Hello from Massachusetts! I am up north yet again! This time the trip was precipated by my desire to help my brother out while he is recovering from major back surgery. I am here as an indentured servant on an indefinite stay!
Actually, I am happy to do it. I have been helping with Etta, the most precious black Labrador retriever in the world. Here she is driving my car:
I have made meals, cleaned, run errands, administered medication, done laundry, grocery shopped, cared for Etta, and driven my brother (and his dog) all around. But I have not thrifted! Ahhhh! Withdrawals!
I am tag teaming my brother with his girlfriend, Nancy. Together, we make a good team and are getting things done! We rock! And he is getting better. I have even had time to do some online house hunting with my BFFs at Zillow.
I know, I know. I found the beautiful green house in a charming village in remote New Hampshire that needs a bit of fixing. Here she is again:
I like the NH green house, but something is holding me back. Probably the idea that something even more lovely and more suitable is out there for me. I am looking for the house that will be my soulmate. No kidding.
So enter my Zillow addiction. I mean, Zillow hobby. I like to think I can quit anytime. Quit scrolling through search results, looking for just the right one. Looking for that gem. Quit expanding my search area on the map and then homing in on a prospective soulmate. I mean, house. Quit tempting myself with more charming cottages.
I just can’t do it! I can’t resist the siren call of my Zillow app, beckoning me just to have a look.
Ok. I believe I have mentioned before that my dad is anti-old house and that my brother would like to see me in a condo versus a cottage. On the other hand, I am rather insistent that she has to be old and am rather anti-condo. It seemed as if we were just going to have to agree to disagree.
Well, thanks to my friends at Zillow, I may just have found a property to make everyone (most of all me!) happy! You see, I was trolling through the houses in southern New Hampstah and Maine the other day. Just for kicks and giggles, I added “condo” into my search criteria. I decided to cruise along the New England sea coast via Zillow.
Then it happened. I got (virtually via Zillow) to Portland, ME. Actually, to an island off Portland. And I discovered the most amazing thing! There is a former Army base, Fort McKinley, on Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay that has been redeveloped as a private community with a seasonally run inn, five star restaurant, general store, museum, art gallery, and private residences!
The story goes that Fort McKinley operated between 1873 and 1947 as an Army coastal defense fort. After the 43 acre fort was decommissioned after World War II, the buildings, built to Government specifications, fell into disrepair.
In 1985, Fort McKinley was sold to private developers who transformed the barrack and officers’ quarters into private residences. Some of the residences are town homes! Condos! They look like this:
The residences are located in Diamond Cove. I took this photo of the town homes from their website which is accessible through the above link. Lovely, no?
Here is a map of Great Diamond Island, which I also borrowed from the Diamond Cove website:
Do you see the dock to the east and the dotted line on the map? That, my friends, is where the ferry from the mainland lands. Yup. The island is not connected to the mainland by any bridge. You take the ferry, a water taxi, or a private boat to get to the island. It gets better. Apparently, there are no cars on Great Diamond Island. It is bicycles and golf carts only! Can you imagine!
According to Wikipedia, in 2010, there were seventy-seven year round residents.
I think this whole thing sounds fascinating. Absolutely fascinating!!!
On Sunday morning, I am making the two hour drive from my brother’s place to Portland. Then I will be boarding the 1000 ferry to Great Diamond Island where I am scheduled to look at three town homes!!! I am so excited!!! And I just can’t hide it!
I have about seven thousand questions. Beginning with “can I have a dog?” because it is a long held wish of mine to have a beautiful Labrador retriever, like Etta, once I relocate to New England. And all sorts of practical questions.
Oh. My. Gosh.
Seriously, if you are in the market for a new place to call home, I can’t give you a better recommendation than to look around a bit on Zillow! My house hunting has been greatly facilitated by my friends at Zillow.
Stay tuned, my friends! Not much thrifting coming up, but a whole lotta travel and house hunting adventure!