wordsxo Hits the Road!

Jimmy the horse 

I just wrote my first guest blog. I’m so excited!

Last weekend, MEH (My Engineer Husband) and I got in the car: me with my camera and handy reporter’s notebook, and MEH with his handy Flip video camera. We headed to New Gloucester, Maine, about 30 minutes away, to visit two maple syrup producers.

The night before at MEH’s birthday celebration, I asked my friend Mark if he knew anyone who tapped maple trees and made maple syrup. For 14 years I’ve been meaning to go see how this is done; I was clueless! He called me early on Sunday morning and told me to call his son. And Mark’s son (who is equally nice and knowledgeable as Mark) gave me the name of two maple syrup producers. 

In the interest of full disclosure, MEH was not entirely onboard. We were giving up half a Sunday in pursuit of yet another wordsxo project (look for an upcoming blog: MEH Reaches His Breaking Point About Tweeting and Blogging). But MEH, being MEH, came along.

In my infinite wisdom stupidity, I wore my Birkenstock clogs instead of my L.L. Bean boots. Apparently in my excitement I forgot that I was going to a farm during mud season in Maine. (Advice: never go to a farm in Maine during mud season without your boots on or your feet will get really muddy and wet like mine did. And you’ll get teased, a lot!)

Here’s what happened for the rest of the morning:

  • We visited two amazing farms that produce maple syrup
  • We met five really nice people who make syrup
  • We came home with one jar of homemade syrup—yum!
  • We met a sweet horse named Jimmy
  • We had a nice drive through the Maine countryside on a beautiful day
  • It was too windy to use the video camera so we had to rely on MEH’s new Android phone for photos
  • Oh, and MEH had a great time!

I’m no longer clueless about how to make maple syrup, and you don’t have to be either, if you check out my guest blog on Milliver’s Travels (it’s a really cool site anyway, so you’ll want to check it out even if you don’t care about how maple syrup is made).

What kind of adventures do you take to write about on your blog? Are you like me that there are lots of things going on close to home that you never find out about? Do you find that being a blogger is a great excuse to explore your surroundings?

Cheers,

Julia 

Comments

  1. Erika Marks says:

    Oh, wow–a road trip to my hometown! And maple syrup to boot! Was it the old Bois syrup farm on 231, I wonder? Or does Thompson’s produce syrup? How I miss it–but as I love to tell people, Mainers can no more afford maple syrup than we can lobster. Just because it’s down the road, unless you are good friends with a lobsterman or a maple syrup producer, the price is the price–as well it should be. They all work hard to get those goodies for the world to savor.
    Thanks for the memories, Julia!

  2. Erika! I was going to alert you to this, but you found it, I’m so glad! It was a wonderful, wonderful fun and educational trip. And I’m glad you mentioned the affordability–I was amazed when we first moved to Maine that there were lobstermen we met who said they were so poor growing up that ALL they could eat was lobsters they caught! Incredible. Thanks for reading, and more than glad to provide the memories! Julia

  3. I just typed you a lovely message to you and then forgot to select the namerurl profile ‘type’ below and lost it all. So, for the sake of time, please know that I laughed at your husband’s reluctance and that I’m heading over to read your maple syrup blog. YUM.

  4. Julia, as you know, I’m 1,000% thrilled to have you as a guest blogger and your story was fascinating. I had honestly never even seen a picture of those tapping pails (only read about them somewhere) and I had no idea that something called an evaporator is involved in the process, so it was a fun educational experience to read your story.

    I once dragged MEH-B on a Milliver’s Travels excursion that I initiated locally – and he ended up very crotchety when I spent too long on story-gathering. So I was amused (and relieved) to hear that your MEH ended up enjoying himself.

    (Luckily MEH-B is very supportive of my travel-writing habits on bigger trips, or I’d have to get a new MEH. ;~)

    I can’t WAIT to read “MEH Reaches His Breaking Point About Tweeting and Blogging.” And I’ll be sure to minimize the screen if MEH-B walks in while I’m reading it.

    ~ Milli

  5. Melissa, ARGH! I’ve had the worst time with blogger so I completely understand. So glad you sent a lovely message, consider it read in my mind! Yes, MEH was uncharacteristically reluctant (although I didn’t know until the whole trip was over!).

  6. Hi Milli, So glad you liked this (and especially) the Milliver’s story! MEH definitely did enjoy himself, and I didn’t even know he wasn’t thrilled about going until we got home! That’s MEH’s way. However, he definitely is quite near the point of no return with tweeting/blogging cycle, and he really did threaten to hijack the computer so I couldn’t do more — we’ll see if that blog ever sees the light of day!
    yes, guard it carefully from MEH-B if so 🙂

  7. Congrats on the guest post! That sounds like such an amazing (and delicious) adventure.

    I probably should take more adventures for my blog, but usually the process works the other way around; I’ll go someplace new and it’ll spark an idea for a blog post or for a scene in my book. It’s good because it makes me keep my eyes open, but I probably should start planning more adventures purposely!

  8. Leah says:

    Wow, this is SO cool! This is exactly the type of adventure I’d want to do if I lived in Maine. I’m envious! I’ve always wondered how the syrup is made too. What a fun trip! Next time MEH doesn’t want to go and I’m in Maine, we’re going!

  9. Natalia, It was a fun adventure, and I (also) need to plan more just to blog about! It’s so hard to get out of our habits sometimes, isn’t it? (Was that story you wrote about the manuscripts specifically for your blog?) Thanks so much for the comment!

    Leah, So glad you enjoyed the story! And, if/when you come to Maine, we can definitely find lots of these kinds of adventures to go on, don’t worry!

  10. Natalia, It was a fun adventure, and I (also) need to plan more just to blog about! It’s so hard to get out of our habits sometimes, isn’t it? (Was that story you wrote about the manuscripts specifically for your blog?) Thanks so much for the comment!

    Leah, So glad you enjoyed the story! And, if/when you come to Maine, we can definitely find lots of these kinds of adventures to go on, don’t worry!

  11. CMSmith says:

    Sounds like fun. You inspire me to get out and going.

  12. Hi CM, It’s amazing what even this little adventure did to motivate and inspire me!
    Thanks for dropping by! Cheers, Julia

  13. Julia, congrats! I love maple syrup and am looking forward to reading the article. Saveur magazine recently had a piece about maple syrup production in Quebec, along with several recipes. It’s worth a read!

    http://www.saveur.com/article/Travels/Quebec-Maple-Syrup-The-Sweet-Life

  14. Ado says:

    I find that being a blogger has transformed the way I think about moments or happenings, anywhere and everywhere – I think: this would make a very good blog post.
    And I’m new to blogging so I haven’t quite figured out if that’s a good thing or not. I hope it doesn’t get to out of control!

  15. I know exactly what you mean! I’ve been blogging for 2 months and now that I started, I also think about it when something happens–how will *this* make a good blog or how will I write about this. I agree, not sure if it’s good or bad either. So far so good, but it definitely has the potential for getting out of control