Little Jack’s big adventure in Maine

From Di’s eyes: This warms my heart and makes me wish I had known either of my grandfathers.

“Where they Went” by Diane Daniel
(Published Feb. 15, 2009, in the Boston Globe)

A grassy lawn is a great place for 5-year old Jack Tuttle to get bike-riding lessons

A grassy lawn is a great place for 5-year old Jack Tuttle to get bike-riding lessons

WHO: Barry Solar, 67, of Boston, and his grandson Jack Tuttle, 5, of Brookline, Mass.

WHERE: Round Pond, Maine.

WHEN: One week in August.

WHY: “My wife and I took Jack there [the summer before] just for a weekend. He really liked it. He called it his vacation.”

JUST THE GUYS: Solar and his wife, Judith, had planned to take Jack together. But when she had to work at the last minute, it became a grandfather-grandson outing.

ON THE WATERFRONT: “I’d rented a townhouse in a complex called Spinnaker Landing. It’s on several acres on a peninsula. We were right on the water. At high tide if you looked down from the bedrooms you saw water. It’s right on a working harbor with a lot of lobster fishing.”

SUMMER SCHOOL: Solar had some important things to teach Jack: rock skipping and bike riding. “Every day I showed him how to skip rocks. We’d go down to the little rocky beach.” In a large grassy area near their townhouse, he helped Jack cycle without training wheels. “I do a lot of biking and I’m encouraging him to learn how to ride a two-wheeler. I had to keep saying, pedal, pedal. He couldn’t believe he could ride.”

NIGHT LIFE: Almost nightly, they’d eat at the Anchor Inn Restaurant. “It’s right on the water, with a screen porch. It’s fabulous,” Solar said. “[On the earlier trip] Jack fell in love with this waitress, named Paige. She still works there, and they hugged when they saw each other. We always sat at her table. She would let Jack help write up the check on the computer. After dinner, Jack, who can’t see stars in Brookline, loved finding the Big Dipper from the parking lot.”

BEFRIENDED: They toured the Damariscotta region daily, taking in sights on land and at sea. “One day we took the Maine Eastern Railroad from Wiscasset to the end of line in Rockland. Jack started talking to a boy his age and they played all day.” The same thing happened on a boat tour. With Hardy Boat Cruises out of New Harbor, they motored to Eastern Egg Rock to view puffins. “You think they’re going to be huge from the pictures, but they’re very small,” Solar said.

One of Jack’s favorite stops was Granite Hall Store

One of Jack’s favorite stops was Granite Hall Store

FROM THE OLD DAYS: One of Jack’s favorite stops, remembered from the previous summer, was Granite Hall Store in Round Pond. “We went a couple times,” Solar said. “It’s a really old store and has candy and toys and gifts, and on the side there’s an ice cream shop.”

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6 Responses to “Little Jack’s big adventure in Maine”

  1. Karen Says:

    I love reading this one….as much as I like to read your reports of adventure travelers, it’s a story like this that can set my mood for the day – thanx! BTW: re: adventure: We’re taking that Andaman Sea trip you reported on soon!

  2. karel Says:

    Yes, I can feel a bit of tour emotion. But from the other end. Being a grandfather it gives me a good feeling when my second grandson asked me, a couple of weeks ago, ”opa, can I have a little garden at yours”

  3. Wendy berry Says:

    My mom and dad saw this article in the Sunday Globe. They are interested in possibly renting a condo at Spinnaker Landing for a few days/week this summer. We have tried a Google search and can’t seem to find any information on vacation rentals. Can you provide us with a web site or phone number? Thanks for your help.

    Wendy Berry

  4. didaniel Says:

    This from Barry. Thanks! — Diane

    The agent that had the listing was Tanya Blodgett. Her e-mail is The agency site is The agency name is Newcastle Square Vacation Rentals.

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