Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bean There, Done That

On our way up the Maine coast to pick up our next load, we passed through Freeport.  As soon as I knew we were headed in that direction I made plans to stop at the L.L. Bean Flagship Store.  Parking was tight since it's on Main Street downtown, but it was after Memorial Day, during the week, and raining.  I figured we'd luck out finding something and we did.  Ed was behind the wheel so we could have parked in a spot designated for a Smart Car with his parking skills.

The L.L. Bean "complex" was great.  It included the main flagship store, the Bike, Boat and Ski store, the Home Store, and the Outlet store, all within feet of each other.  And they're all open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.  This particular store, which opened in 1917, has been open 24 hours a day since 1951 with only four exceptions - two days to comply with state blue laws, and two days to honor the deaths of President Kennedy and L.L. Bean himself.

I really wanted to buy one of the classic Boat and Tote
bags, the quintessential L.L. Bean item (other than their Bean Boots - see photo), but I couldn't make a decision.  All the ones I've seen, having been washed who knows how many times, were soft and pliable.  The brand new totes, since they're made of canvas, are stiff and scratchy.  Of course, I know the softness happens over time, and I found some information online about how to speed up the process, so i wont have to wait years and years to get the desired effect.  I also like that they make them with the option of a longer handle, which makes it a great shoulder tote.
After seeing several people at the Tim McGraw concert carrying their snacks and extra blankets in their boat and tote bags, I knew I had to have one.  Clearly these iconic bags are a real Maine thing.  I may have left empty-handed on this visit but once I decide on a color, a Boat and Tote will be mine.  

Because in 1912, Leon Leonwood Bean started this little thing called the mail order catalog.

1 comment:

dlg said...

Which bag did you get? I vote for the leather handle. Maybe in red?