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Monday, June 10, 2013

It's Not The Destination, It's The Journey - To Monhegan Island

New Harbor where one the Ferry departs from on the mainland 

Just two days ago I went on a day trip to Monhegan Island.
It is an Island with about 60 residents, 
and until VERY recently there was no ELECTRICITY.
The INNS that you stayed at were all GASLIGHT.

Talk about 'checking out' when you are 
checking in to your vacation house or Inn.....
This is isolation....
this is a true 'escape' right here off the eastern coast of the U.S.
in Maine.

This is a snap of Monhegan Island while approaching. 
Manana is to the upper right side of the island creating a harbor
A close shot of the Isle of Manana which creates the Harbor of Monhegan Isle

But here is my story .....
On the way down to catch the ferry which would take us to Monhegan,
my dear friend gave me the wrong directions and we traveled 25 minutes 
out of the way.

When we finally got to the end of the peninsula ....
I said : "there is no ferry....we went the wrong way"

(we were on a schedule - we had to catch the ferry at 4:30pm
and it was now 5 minutes until 4pm)

She made a call and sure enough we were way off course.
the entire ride on the wrong road
I kept saying over and over,
"This is amazing".

And I meant it.

It was a ride through coastal villages with small harbors.
...Breathtaking views of homes on hills hanging over the water.
Homes that made me wonder about the owners of these 'HOMES'....
just how did they ever find such a lovely spot?

Did they one day take a WRONG turn on the RIGHT road?

The villages were so cozy - forgotten by time and trends.
( not great phone reception here in Maine) 

I could have stayed in this area for days taking pictures,
but now I had to HURRY and turn around and find this damn FERRY!

My friend apologized....
I could see she felt badly.
I reached over and gently tapped her on the leg and said:
"Seriously, don't worry about it! 
This detour was gorgeous. 
Fantastic. I am glad we got lost".
And I meant it.

Lobsta' boat at the dock at Monhegan Island

We did make the ferry just in time.... 
but not without being totally winded from running 
down a very long road to from the car to the ferry.
Manana Isle creates the Harbor for Monhegan Island

I have been told these beautiful stories about Monhegan Island for years.
Everyone paints it as this magical place with breathtaking vistas.
This is what I saw as soon as I got off the ferry walking into the village.

(I loved these white flowers and would love to know what they are)

Monhegan Island has all pale grey/sandy roads.
There are a very few cars here, maybe 3?

Needless to say it is rustic....
Monhegan is about 10 miles off shore and was first established 
in the early 1600's as a plantation of sorts.

People have chickens,
because there is not much in the way of groceries.
In the winter months a mail boat comes 
about twice a week carrying supplies.
I really don't know how (year after year) you would live through winters.

These are the roads.

This is the path I followed up to the top of Monhegan.

The view on the walk up to the light house -

Here is a view from the top of Monhegan

The lush backyard of some Monhegan resident.

The last house on the path on the way to the village. 
 had gorgeous poppies in their front bed.

I loved this image and want to try my hand at painting it.

The point of this trip was to get to the Monhegan Library,
and this was the road to it.

This is the old apple tree in front of the old library where my group was meeting.
The library was incredibly charming and cozy.
It still blows my mind that 
they did EVERYTHING BY GASLIGHT until recently.

This place of course had 2 other rooms.
Every inch of the Monhegan Library was packed with people like sardines.
It was great.


Back to 

You see, 
had I not been in a good place in my head and heart,
that 'wrong turn' could have really ruined my attitude for the rest of the trip.
Today I am trying to tune into something bigger than myself,
I try to do the next right thing that is in front of me.
....keeping it simple.

This big transition from Fla. to Maine had really 
knocked the wind out of my sails.

'Today' I feel gratitude.
It is difficult to be thinking lousy thoughts
feeling lousy when you are grateful.

The long and short of it is that Monhegan Island 
is over rated.
I don't really care 'WHO' stayed there!
It's nice, but my socks weren't blown off.

The very best part of the entire day 
was the ride down the wrong road !

And ...
in the dark, in the cold, and on the rocky seas I rode back on the ferry
while talking to a charming old man from Camden.

Being present in 'the moment' is this summers assignment for myself.


• Monhegan: Abenaki Indian word
   meaning "the Island"

 Tallest cliffs on the coast of Maine
   at 165 feet

 Monhegan Light is the 2nd highest
   lighthouse on the Maine coast at
   178 feet above sea level

 Approx. 60 year round residents

 Approx. 1.5 miles long and three-
   fourths of a mile wide

 Capt. George Weymouth
   visits in 1605 and
   Capt. John Smith in 1614

 9.8 miles between New Harbor
   and Monhegan

 One of only 14 remaining
   year-round Island communities

 Incorporated in 1839

 A seasonal water system is
   supplied by a spring fed meadow

 Ice was cut and stored for
   summertime use until 1972

 Central Monhegan Power Company
   established in the late 1980’s

 The Federal Government installed
   the first telephone during WWII
   to communicate with lookouts

 Monhegan Island Light
   constructed in 1824

Follow Me on Pinterest Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her Blog of her Adventures in Design,Boca Raton and Camden Maine, All Interior Design Services, Monhegan Island, wrong turns, gratitude, Maine's beauty,
Monhegan Island, wrong turns, gratitude, Maine's beauty, your heart in the right place


  1. Great attitude and wonderful tour. We are on vacation in New Hampshire right now...I love it. Sun is finally coming out! Hooray!.

  2. We can take a ride in any direction, to another village and
    have a fun day. Next week maybe Bar Harbor, you will love it.

  3. What a lovely post Renee. I'm so sorry you struggle with your transfer and I know youre trying to find balance. Staying in the moment and experiencing gratitude is a hell of a great idea, we should all do it. We can't control much else. Wishing you a wonderful summer...are you working? I hope you are finding your purpose there. Your images and posts are certainly beautiful.

  4. Didn't know if you knew of this Maine blogger - You might like his column.

    By the way, my husband is moving us to Boca for a job and I'm more than a little apprehensive. Feel free to give me the low down if you get an extra minute. I'm an Alabama girl and have no idea how I'm going to fit in.

  5. I so need that attitude!! I'm on vacation in FL..., and have been making lots of not so good decisions as where to stay...

    Maya @ Completely Coastal



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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