Greetings from the Harraseeket Inn!  Governor Mills has presented her gradual reopening plan for the state of Maine, and it looks like we'll be reopening on June 1st!  It's going to be grand to open our doors once again to all the loyal patrons and friends who make up the Harraseeket family.  Our official grand opening was back in 1989, when we transitioned from a five room bed and breakfast to a 54 room country inn with two restaurants, then in 1997 we had another grand opening to celebrate the completion of our South Wing, which brought us up to 84 rooms and nine extended stay townhouses. And now we're about to celebrate our very first grand reopening on June 1st of 2020, Maine's bicentennial year! 
Fire pit at dusk.  Photo credit Angela Fort

These are challenging times for everyone, and we want to assure all of our guests that although we've always practiced and followed the strictest of sanitation protocols and procedures, we've upped our standards to include social distancing in our public and dining areas, along with many other intensive health and safety protocols to enable us to operate safely during "the Covid-19 Era". Our top priority is, and has always been, the safety and comfort of both our guests and our staff.  Those who wish to see our updated practices, please watch for a video tour of the inn and an update on our practices as we reopen our doors. We hope to greet you remotely through this video on social media and through this newsletter in the next couple of weeks!
Bleeding Heart, photo credit Angela Fort

          ***COVID-19 TRAVEL ADVISORY RESOURCES***
There are still many unknowns at this time, but we're doing our best to respond to the situation as it evolves. We're monitoring health & travel advisories & mandates put forth by the federal government and the state of Maine, and we've collected some resources here for your reference.


Important Notice: If you're traveling to Maine from out of state, please call ahead to ask about any quarantine measures in effect. The quarantine requirement is currently two weeks but that could change. We will do our best to answer any and all of your questions and help you with your travel plans.

Acadia National Park
Maine remains one of the safest and most beautiful places in the nation, and to celebrate our much cherished natural and national treasure, we've come up with some great packages to entice Mainers to become a tourist in their own state and rediscover what makes living here so special. We've listed these packages below! 

There's no doubt that we're all suffering from some degree of quarantine fatigue after over two month of coping with Covid restrictions. A change of scenery is just the ticket to revive spirits dampened by social isolation. Come join us here in Freeport and celebrate summer's approach! There's lots to do and see, and you couldn't be in a safer place. We have several registered Maine fishing guides with boats available for those who might want to take an inland lighthouse cruise on the Kennebec, or try your hand at fishing for those salt water monsters lurking in the deep blue sea.  Just reach out to our front desk team for the contact information and we would be happy to connect you so you can plan your adventure!  These boats take up to four passengers, no fishing license or fishing gear required.
Executive Chef Bo Byrnes.

We'll also be hosting garden tours and informal classes with our very own master gardener and florist Mike Silvia, as well as giving some lively cooking demos with charismatic and talented Executive Chef Bo Byrnes, all conducted with safe social distancing in mind. We're hoping to film some of these events to post to our social media for your virtual viewing pleasure as well.
The Famous Bean Boot!

L.L.Bean has always been the very heartbeat of Freeport, which is why it was so exciting to hear that they're opening up for curbside pickup!  Here's the link to the article in the newspaper, which also guides you through the process of curbside shopping for items in their store, such as Bean boots like the one pictured above, (though hopefully not quite as large). All of Maine's businesses, large and small, are adapting creatively to the challenges of continued restrictions, and honing their reopening plans to promote and ensure safe shopping.  

Baby robins in garden
Robins nesting in our rose arbor
Meanwhile, every sign of life and normality is worthy of celebration, including the pure beauty of spring blossoms lifting their faces to the clear blue sky, birds busily building nests, the glorious song of the cardinals in the predawn darkness, the trees budding out. All of this energy and beauty surrounding us in springtime lifts the spirits.  

A friend of mine recently took a hike out to Freeport's Pettengill Farm and reports it's as beautiful as ever.  The ocean's song of the wind Pettengill Farm through the tall pines, the salty marsh smell of the Harraseeket River estuary, the incredible bird life, the lack of crowds and the easy walking all make this place a very special haven during these times of social distancing.  The Pettengill Farm is owned by the Freeport Historical Society and is an uninhabited saltwater farm built in the early 1800's, just three miles from the inn.  I've rarely encountered another soul on my walks to the farm, and have always been rejuvenated by the peace and beauty that surrounds me there.
wolfes neck We're fortunate to have such beautiful hiking places so close to the inn, including Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park, the Mast Landing Audubon Sanctuary, Bradbury Mountain State Park and Winslow State Park.  We can pack picnic lunches to go if you want to take a really special hike to a beautiful and private picnic spot. Nothing lifts the spirits and dispells cabin fever like a good brisk walk in the fresh air.  Here in Maine we have the great outdoors right outside our doorsteps.  Never has that been so appreciated!

Mother's Day is fast approaching, and this will be the first one ever without our Mother's Day Grand Buffet. We'll miss seeing all of you and wish all mothers a very special day. Wondering what to get your mother for Mother's Day this year?  How about purchasing a Harraseeket Inn Gift Cerificate for food or lodging here at the inn?
gift certificate
Our Gift Certificates make great gifts, and not just for your mom. If you know someone who's been working extra hard during this crisis, which would include anyone in the health field, or maybe those UPS and FedEx drivers, your postal delivery person, police and firemen, those valiant cashiers at the grocery stores and other essential businesses who've been such stalwart soldiers during these trying times, why not give them a gift certificate in appreciation?  You could even purchase one as a gift to yourself for successfully homeschooling the kids! We issue them in any amount, and they never expire! 
Wolfes neck state park
Wolfe Neck Woods State Park


Special Offers and Upcoming Events:

                                      *****************

                   "Mainer" Staycation Getaway Package:

Enjoy a fun-filled "staycation" and experience all the amazing things Freeport and the Maine coast has to offer! Our Mainer Staycation Getaway Package includes everything to make your visit a truly memorable one:

*Two nights lodging (ask one of your favorite desk agents for the best available room type)
*Dinner for 2 one night in the Broad Arrow Tavern
*Lunch for 2 one day in the Broad Arrow Tavern
*Breakfast for 2 each morning in the Maine Harvest Dining room
*Afternoon tea for 2 each day
*Two tickets to an L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School 
*Two movie tickets to Nordica Movie Theater OR one $25 gift card to L.L. Bean
*$25 Irving Gas Card (to fill up your tank from your drive in)
*L.L. Bean tote bag
*Two glasses of wine to relax and enjoy the roaring fire pit on our patio one evening (age restrictions apply)

June 1 through June 25 (rates starting at):
Weekday - $495 Weekend - $565

June 26 - October 25 (rates starting at):
Weekday - $695 Weekend - $795

October 26 - December 30 (rates starting at):
Weekday - $495 Weekend - $795

**subject to availability, proof of Maine residency required, does not include 9% state lodging tax, cannot be combined with other discounts, deluxe accommodations available for an additional charge, pet friendly rooms available for an additional charge.
      

*** It's GREAT to be a Mainer living in Maine!  Celebrate our Grand Reopening with a 15% savings off our standard room rates for the entire month of June!

***Habitat for Humanity***
This year marks the 17 th  Annual Hospitality for Habitat: June 1  through June 30, 2020, we're offering a variety of rooms at half our regular rate, in exchange for a $35. check each night, made payable to Habitat for Humanity. These funds will be distributed among the local chapters of Habitat for Humanity  www.habitat.org  , a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Reservations must be made in advance, and the contribution to Habit for Humanity must be in the form of a check.  Come visit us and pay it forward!
*** Visit Freeport   A calendar of all the creative happenings in town during this social distancing challenge. Everything "Freeport" in one handy website.  Your virtual shopping connection! 

***Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment  A wonderful farm to visit in any season, but spring is when you see all the babies! It's just a few miles from the inn, right on Casco Bay and next to Wolfe's Neck State Park.  

Enjoy a great selection of family oriented and educational outdoor events planned at the park,  just a short drive from the inn.  Beautiful wooded walking, snowshoeing and skiing trails along the rugged shoreline of Casco Bay. A perfect place to escape the chaos of our modern world. Stop by Wolfe's Neck Farm while you're out there, say hello to all the animals!


                                         *******************************************
This month's trivia question is an easy one for all you L.L.Bean buffs.  
What's the shoe size of the sixteen foot tall Bean boot that's right outside their main entry doors?  All correct answers win a voucher worth $5. toward food or lodging on your next visit.  You may redeem up to 12 vouchers at one time, a total of $60.  One voucher per family, please, and only one set of vouchers can be redeemed per guest room.  Please be patient with my replies, it takes a long time to answer hundreds of responses!

In closing, we want to extend our sincere gratitude to all essential front line workers who've kept the wheels turning during the past few months. We appreciate your efforts and applaud your courage.  Thank you.

Happy Mother's Day, and w e very much look forward to seeing you again after our June reopening!
Warmest regards,
Penny Gray
The Gray family 

Maine, Maine, Maine!