Friday, February 25, 2011

Memory Lane Friday - A Store

Welcome to Memory Lane Friday! This week's topic is "A Store."

I've been thinking about which store I'd write about, and finally decided on the L.L. Bean Flagship Store in Freeport, ME.

This place is HUGE! And, they're open 24/7/365!! Yep, they're open all the time!

Anyway, the first time I was there was the summer after my freshman year in college. One of my riding instructors from Culver Academies was the director of horsemanship at a summer camp in Maine. She had asked me and one of my jumping team/Equestriennes teammates (Sara) to head up there for the summer as riding instructors.

We gladly accepted her offer. 

Well, at some point in the summer when we had some time off, Sara and I headed to Freeport to have a fun adventure. Of course, we ended up at L.L. Bean, first the outlet store, and then the flagship store.

I was overwhelmed with the size and all the cool outdoorsy stuff they had. I'd gotten their catalogs (and, of course, bought stuff), but I'd never been to the store . . . until now . . . now that I was finally in Maine.

So . . . we'd had fun on our outing and ended up back at camp, continuing our summer, giving riding lessons to the girls at camp.

Well, at the end of the summer, since I'd flown in, and would be flying out, I needed to get back to the airport. Since Sara drove, she offered to drive me to the airport in Portland. We were going to leave early, so we could have lunch and do one last shopping trip at L.L. Bean before I had to get to the airport.

Guess what? On our way there, Sara's car? It basically went kaput! I don't remember exactly what had happened, but it was not going to be driven anywhere anytime soon. She had to call a tow truck! As for me? I don't remember how I ended up getting to the airport; I must've gotten a cab.

We were disappointed that our plans for a fun outing were ruined, but it sure made for some funny memories to laugh about.

Anyway, back to the store . . . fast forward a few years. When Andrew and I were stationed in the Boston area, we were just a few hours from Freeport. Our first summer there, we decided to take a weekend trip up to Maine, to shop in Freeport at the L.L. Bean store, and for some sightseeing in that part of Maine.

I'd been in Maine one other time, between teaching riding at the summer camp and this trip with Andrew, so I had been to L.L. Bean once more after that day Sara's car died.

But Andrew had never been there; it was fun to see his reaction upon getting to this HUGE store.

We browsed around and ended up getting a few things. Now, since we were making a whole weekend trip out of it, we were staying in a hotel in the area that night.

And since it was around dinnertime, we asked the sales associate for a good restaurant recommendation. She'd ended up recommending a place called "The Muddy Rudder," in Yarmouth, not too far from Freeport.

It was a good choice - we had a table next to a huge window, overlooking a beautiful river. Since it was summer, the foliage was lush green.

And the seafood? Can't get fresher than the coast of Maine, right? I, for one, was appreciative of the sales associate's recommendation. (And I happily ended up at that same restaurant months later with a friend and her daughter.)

So there you have it - a few of my favorite memories about a store.

Please come back next week when the topic is "A Favorite Subject."

Memory Lane Friday is hosted weekly by Two Bears Farm and the Three Cubs. Please click on the button below to read her entry for this week, as well as other participants' entries.


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

On New Years Eve about 8 years ago I was in Freeport w/ my family. My brother and I went out for a few drinks and then wound up hitting the LL Bean store right at midnight. Of course we were the only ones in there - had a fun time although we didn't end up buying anything. On our walk back the the hotel snow was flurrying all over - it was like being in a snow globe. Made for a really fun New years!

Susan Evans said...

My husband's favorite store is Cabela's. It's like an experience, too, what with real stuffed animal displays and lazer shooting. My kids love it, too. We can't set foot in the store without spending at least an hour in there!

Sara said...

I remember this trip well! The reason the car died was because I had been in an accident on the trip to Maine where the front end got damaged. The car had been fixed, we thought, but it turns out that the cooling fan wasn't working so the car over heated and the plug blew off the radiator spewing cooling fluid everywhere! You ended up in a cab and I think the local police called me a tow truck. It was Sunday and I was worried I would have to wait until Monday for the car to even be fixed. Turns out the tow truck guy had a shop at his house and was pretty sure he had the part I needed, so he towed me to his house.... I was a little nervous at first, because I didn't know this guy! But he was very nice and I sat in the house with his very nice wife and visited with her while he fixed my car and sent me on my way in a couple of hours... I don't even think he charged me much! He must have felt sorry for a girl all alone so far from home.. Pete and I just went to Maine in August of 2010 and went through Freeport. Boy, has that town changed! It had been about 20 years since I had been there. There was even more shopping than before and LL Bean had expanded to several buildings rather than just the one. But the Ben & Jerry's ice cream store was still where it had once been so I had to get ice cream!! :-) It was a great summer and I do think of our adventures often... How about when we crammed like 8 people in my Escort and headed to Augusta?? Fun times!!

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