Flander's Lane, Washington Maine

Flander's Lane is named after my grandfather, Roland Flanders. It is a short dirt road with a few camps set on Washington Pond. There are tales that Flander's Lane is haunted. At least that's what my grandfather says.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Rainy Day At L.L. Bean

Our friend the frogIt's been raining a lot this week, so here's a frog. It's a nice frog. He let me pet his back a few times, and then he did a little hop, and I pet him some more. What a nice frog.

My kid is bouncing off the walls in our little two room cabin. There isn't much for her to do during the rainy weather.

We tend to get cabin fever on these rainy days, so we do stuff like head off to a place called Beth's Farm to buy food, donuts, and juices. All kinds of fresh homemade stuff. The wee one and I go out and play on the old swings, as the rain had let up a bit when we were there. We also like to look at the bee hives where they get their fresh honey. Beth's Farm is nifty. It's nice to be able to buy food right where it is grown.

L.L. Bean BootSunday we couldn't take another day inside the cabin watching it rain, so we packed up some snacks and headed to Freeport to visit L.L. Bean again, where it wasn't so rainy. I swear I'm addicted to the place, as I've pretty much purchased every item in their camping catalog. Often more than one. The three of us are living like kings and queens out here due to all the nifty Bean stuff I got. Here's a short list so far: A kayak, two folding hammocks, two sleeping bags, my Gore-Tex rain coat and shoes (I got two pair, they were so comfortable), a welcome mat with a moose on it, several dry bags to keep cell phones and cameras dry during our kayak trips, a personal flotation device for me and my kid, as well as sweaters, shirts, cardigan sweaters, hooded coats, and Teva footware for all three of us. I also got a Wind N' Go lantern, several shake flashlights, all which need no batteries ever, a way cool Leatherman all in one tool, as well as a backpack to carry it all in. And to top it all off, several pieces of Lodge cast iron cookware and a grill so I can cook over the fire pit in style.

I feel like an unofficial product tester for L.L. Bean this summer with all this outdoor gear I've purchased. Here's a photo of just a few things from Bean's. So far all of it has performed above expectation except a couple items that I returned for store credit. L.L. Bean is great in that they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so when I purchase anything I know there is no risk if it does not live up to my expectations. I just bring it back the next time we head off to Freeport, take it to Customer Service near the front door, and they offer me refund or store credit in about 5 minutes flat. I prefer store credit, as there's always something I don't have yet.

L.L. Bean Camping GearIf you L.L. Bean guys are out there, I'm your man, make me a product tester, and I'll give you all my ideas on ways to better these products. I have many critiques and needs that only field testing here at the cabin brings up. I'm pretty much camping out 24/7 with my wife and daughter from June - December (or whenever the lake freezes our water source) this year, so I'm putting this stuff to the extreme test for sure. Just click the comment link below to contact me, I'd love to help you guys make these great products into even better items. I think I'd be good at it. I live for good design. That's why I shop L.L. Bean in the first place, they're the best.

Here's an extravagant desire: I asked a service rep at Bean's if they had MP3 player accessories, like powered speakers. They don't. Like where's the line of MP3 player gadgets for hiking, tenting, camping? What gave me the idea that Bean's might have such things is that my new backpack has a headphone port and MP3 player pocket, but I want a small set of powered tent speakers that run like the Wind 'N Go, no batteries needed. Yeah. (I like my music to go with me, and there is no high end audio place in the whole Freeport strip - just clothes, clothes, shoes, and more clothes). Has anyone in Freeport heard of the iPod? I'm amazed there is no Mac Store there, across from Ben & Jerry's or something. I've heard that the iPod is rather popular among the on the go high spenders, so there's gotta be room for MP3 player camping accessories, and L.L. Bean are the folk to do it right. They do sell waterproof holders, but I want gadgets like ski hats with embedded headphones (like the baseball hat with lights on the brim)... Waterproof kayak speakers that also hold and protects the player... Let me know when you guys have those in stock, I'm ready now. I like powered speakers, because they do not limit one's hearing quite like headphones. One can hear everything around them, and if one is kayaking or hiking, one needs to hear what's going on, but some soft tunes in the background can be nice.

Ahhh my head is in the clouds. I'm hoping the rain will let up so my little weasel and I can go out kayaking, but the forecast is cloudy, chance of thunderstorms all week, with no end in sight. I really look forward to our time on the lake together. It's all about the lake, and when the weather is cold and rainy, I'm just in a small room with a kid losing her mind. The weather has got to let up, as I'm running out of ideas on what to do inside day after day. Got any rainy day activity ideas for a two year old? Let me know. Please.


At July 28, 2007 9:35 PM , Blogger Hoagie Malone said...

Ask and you shall receive. It seems that the folk at L.L. Bean were working on iPod accessories as I wrote this post. I just did a search a few weeks after writing this, and all kinds of goodies came up. Just go to www.llbean.com and put "iPod" in their search box. Once again, these guys are on top of it.


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