Welcome to day 5 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.

___________________________________________________

SeasideInn29Dec2014

“…vicinity to the sea is desirable, because it is easier to do nothing by the sea than anywhere else”― E.F. Benson, The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson

The Seaside Inn in Kennebunk is “directly on the beach!” and walkable to Kennebunkport’s Dock Square shops and restaurants.

KennebunkportbfromFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
view of Kennebunkport from St. Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery
HiddenPondFordCountrySquirecardecoratedforXmasKennebunk29Dec2014
Country Squire station wagon at Hidden Pond Resort
DeerandBeersignKBCstoreKennebunk29Dec2014
at the Kennebunkport Brewing Co. store

Not to mention just a few hundred yards from the really interesting St. Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery and Guest House,  with its Lithuanian art, stained glass, and sculpture. (And a red-tailed hawk, the day we were there.) What became the monastery and guest house was built around the turn of the 20th century, with landscaping “arranged by the Frederick Law Olmsted Brothers, designers of New York City’s Central Park and Boston’s Emerald Necklace.”  The Lithuanian Friars of St. Casimir bought it in 1947, when they fled the Soviet invasion of Lithuania; their founder here, Fr. Justinas Vaskys, had left Lithuania at the beginning of the occupation of his homeland in 1940. (More on Lithuania under Soviet control in World War II and after.)

chapelFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014

insidechapelFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
the chapel at St. Anthony’s
juvenileredtailedhawkintreecStAnthonyFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk30Dec2014
juvenile red-tailed hawk in tree at St. Anthony’s
lichenonwallriverFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
lichen on wall, + river, St. Anthony’s

memoryofthosewhodiedforlithuanianfreedomstationsofcrossFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014

sheepLourdesshrineFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
sheep at Lourdes shrine, St. Anthony’s
shrinenativitysceneFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
nativity scene, St. Anthony’s
stainedglasswindowinchapelFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
stained glass window, St. Anthony’s chapel
stainedglasswindowsXmastreepewschapelFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
stained glass windows, pews, St. Anthony’s chapel
stationsofcrossstatueStAnthonyFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk31Dec2014
Stations of the Cross, St. Anthony’s
sidealtarpiecechapelFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
side altarpiece, chapel, St. Anthony’s
friezedetailchapelFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
frieze detail, St. Anthony’s
detailVaticanPavillionstatueFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
Vatican Pavilion detail, St. Anthony’s
driedhydrangeabloompachysandraStAnthonyFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk31Dec2014
dried hydrangea, pachysandra, St. Anthony’s
frozencoveStAnthonyFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk30Dec2014
frozen cove, St. Anthony’s
rhododendronpathFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014
rhododendron, path, St. Anthony’s
icesplitongrassescloseStAnthonyFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk31Dec2014
ice split on grasses, St. Anthony’s
icerocksseaweedStAnthonyFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk31Dec2014
ice, rocks, seaweed, St. Anthony’s
grassesiniceKennebunkRiverStAnthonyFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk31Dec2014
grasses in ice, St. Anthony’s

A bit farther, but still within walking distance, is the Mornings in Paris cafe, selling coffee drinks and a wide variety of macarons, napoleons, truffles, and other pastries and sweets.

MorningsinPariscounterKennebunk29Dec2014MorningsinPariscounterblurrywidermacaroonslabelledKennebunk29Dec2014.jpg

A favourite home store for more than 20 years, Pallian & Co., is nearby in Wells.

PallianstorewindowsWellsME31Dec2014

Also in Wells, the wonderful Wells Reserve at Laudholm (or, Laudholm Farm, as I call it), with a short walk to the beach and ocean at Drake’s Island.

pathwithfrostLaudholmFarm30Dec2014
path with frost
orangeandbluegreenrockbeachLaudholmFarmWells29Dec2014
orange and blue rock, Drake’s Island beach
blueorangespeckledrockbeachLaudholmFarmWells29Dec2014
blue-orange speckled rock, Drake’s Island beach
grassesin4pmsunlightLaudholmFarmWells29Dec2014
4 p.m. on the next to last day of the year
greenstuffontreeLaudholmFarm30Dec2014
lichen
boardwalkbridgewithredleavesLaudholmFarmWells29Dec2014
boardwalk with maple leaves
CanadageeselikepaintingLaudholmFarmWells29Dec2014
Canada geese
clamshellinfoamoceanLaudholmFarmWells29Dec2014
clam shell in foam, Drake’s Island beach
brookwithleavesundericeLaudholmFarm30Dec2014
brook with leaves under ice

We also walked on the Mousam River Estuary Trail in Kennebunkport (if you haven’t listened to Hugh Laurie singing “Mystery,” please do. It’s the most important thing I can offer in this whole series.)

pathMousamEstuaryRCNWRKennebunk31Dec2014iceformationsDMadelynMarxPreserveMousamEstuaryRCNWRKennebunk31Dec2014iceformationsCMadelynMarxPreserveMousamEstuaryRCNWRKennebunk31Dec2014
pilingsfieldriverreflectionMousamEstuaryRCNWRKennebunk31Dec2014.jpg

*

Seaside was the perfect place to stay in the waning days of December 2014. I can’t say the room was anything special — the most special thing was how well you could hear what was going on in the other rooms nearby (a reminder that the seemingly private space is actually public) —

bedviewtograssoceanroomSeasideInn29Dec2014bedsdeskbureauclosetroomSeasideInn29Dec2014sinkandfridgeroomSeasideInn29Dec2014

— the patio outside the door was nice —

patioSeasideInn29Dec2014

PleaseDoNotFeedtheSeagullsSignSeasideInn31Dec2014
the sign on the patio wall

— and the location, across a small yard from the beach, is absolutely splendid.

9amviewofoceanfromroomSeasideInn31Dec2014
9 a.m. view of ocean from room
crowinvegetationSeasideInn29Dec2014
crow in shrubbery between motel and ocean

beachrocklineSeasideInn31Dec2014sunset435pmbSeasideInn30Dec2014wetbeachreflectionsSeasideInn30Dec2014gullwithsomethinginmouthSeasideInn30Dec2014ducksflyinginskyoveroceanSeasideInn30Dec2014purplecrabshellbeachSeasideInn30Dec2014

frostcoveredseaweedonbeachSeasideInn30Dec2014
frost on seaweed

gullsinsurfoceanSeasideInn30Dec2014goldenretrieverdogpeopleonbeachSeasideInn31Dec2014manandScottiedogbeachSeasideInn29Dec2014redgreenseaweedsheartsandSeasideInn31Dec2014lavenderseavegetableandrockbeachSeasideInn31Dec2014foamonredseavegetationbeachSeasideInn29Dec2014bladderwrackbeachSeasideInn29Dec2014seaweedgrowingonseawallrockSeasideInn29Dec2014beachwithsunlight830amSeasideInn30Dec2014

“At the seaside all is narrow horizontals, the world reduced to a few long straight lines pressed between earth and sky.” ― John Banville

*

During this mid-winter time, the monastery grounds and church, the French bakery, the quiet beach and seaside motel, the cracking ice everywhere all lent a heterotopic feel to the place, a sense of being suspended in time in a timeless frozen landscape, of finding oneself in the alternate winter universe of a summer tourist town. It felt dreamy and slow.  It felt like the place was taking a deep breath, an intermission, waiting patiently for what would be next, as one year ended and the next came into view. It felt like a good place to end and begin again, a place blurring land-sea-sky boundaries.

iceinKennebunkRiverbyStAnthonyFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk31Dec2014leafonwaterLaudholmFarm30Dec2014sunset435pmSeasideInn30Dec2014

I wonder if the Lithuanian friars felt that it was a good starting place, when they came here under tragic and difficult circumstances from the Soviet Union rather than, probably, be deported to labour camps during and after the war.

StFrancisFountainFranciscanMonasteryKennebunk29Dec2014

*

SeasideInn440pm30Dec2014

One thought on “Seaside Inn, Between Earth & Sky

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s