For the past 4 years, my husband and I have made a point of taking a trip to Freeport Maine in September. Our family is out of state, so we do something different every year for the holidays. Thus we don't have many traditions around the holidays. Last year when we realized that we were enjoying our third September trip in a row, we knew we could rightfully call it a tradition.
Our first trip had been planned last minute, so we stayed at a random hotel that was about 15 miles away. Our second year was split between one night in Boothbay to celebrate the wedding of two friends and one night in Freeport devoted to romance and trying to get pregnant. With my older son being babysat at my home by my mother, you can imagine that we were pretty happy staying at bead and breakfast that only allowed "well-behaved kids" which is code for "we really don't want your kids here."
When we prepared for our third trip with a 3 year old and 3 month old (conceived the month after our trip from the prior fall), we somehow didn't think a place for "well-behaved kids" was the best fit. I had remembered when researching Bed and Breakfasts the previous year, seeing one called Maple Hill which advertised that it was not only kid-friendly, but pet friendly too. It was within walking distance from our favorite Freeport attraction, LL Bean. They had a golden retriever as their mascot, and they advertised fresh chocolate chip cookies available from a cookie jar every day. What could be better?
So we stayed there. It was really great! It's run by a very friendly family. They even ran our baby's bottles through the dishwasher for us. The cookies were as good as advertised, and the breakfast was absolutely delicious. They have 3 rooms. We stayed in the Birch Room, which is a 2 room suite with a bed in one room and a pull-out couch (and the pack and play) in the other. The only problem with the space is that the bathroom is behind the pullout couch, so it is difficult to walk directly from the real bedroom to the bathroom. However, both rooms have lockable doors that open into the B&B's living space, so it is pretty easy to go into the boys' room behind the pullout couch and get right into the bathroom. In fact, it takes less time to get to the bathroom than to read this sentence.
Continuing the progression from random hotel, to 2 of us in a B&B, to a family of 4 in a B&B, we brought our golden retriever with us this year. The family definitely made him feel welcome. They also made us feel welcome with him. He was allowed to stay in our room by himself when we went for our traditional lobster dinner and while we shopped at LL Bean. Since they didn't have guests coming into our room the day that we left, they allowed us to keep our dog in our room past the checkout time of 11 so that we could all go out for lunch. I admit that during some of my older son's more behaviorally challenging moments during the weekend, I would have been more than willing to stay in the room and send the dog out to lunch with the rest of the family.