Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes (with apologies to Jimmy Buffett)

I promise I won't sing but the song title above does accurately reflect the effect our recent vacation has had on me.  Our week and a half in New England enjoying a much needed break from work has given me an entire new outlook.  I have often described Mid-Coastal Maine as "East Tennessee by the Sea" in that it has rolling hills and mountains like our Gatlinburg area but Maine also has the ocean.

There are many other similarities as well:
  • The rocky soil and the topography as well as the rural nature of much of Maine do remind me of areas of Sevier County, Tennessee.  We stayed in Knox County, Maine - Knox County, Tennessee adjoins our Sevier County area
  • Both of the above Counties as well as Knoxville, TN are named after General Henry Knox
  • Both Gatlinburg and Mid-Coast Maine are naturally beautiful vacation areas that attract thousands annually
  • Maine and Tennessee are both a long way from the mega urban areas of the country
There are also several marked distinctions between the two:
  • Maine is known for remarkable lobster, maple syrup, and blueberries - Not so much Tennessee!
  • Tennessee is known for Jack Daniels whiskey - Not so much Maine!
  • Although we have beautiful large lakes in Tennessee the ocean is an entirely different experience
  • The presence of snow machines reminds me that I'm not in East Tennessee
Beginning with our honeymoon 17 years ago, Karen and I have visited Mid-Coast Maine almost every year since during the fall of the year.  We have even considered purchasing a second home in Maine but the costs of property ownership in Maine are MUCH higher than in Tennessee:
  • Property taxes are SO much higher in Maine
  • The prime vacation season in Maine is dramatically shorter due to the extreme winter weather
  • These harsh winters of New England require much more exterior maintenance
  • Utility expenses are also much higher for Maine home owners

Sometimes I think that I could live in Maine (I LOVE lobster, real maple syrup, and farm fresh blueberries) but the expenses and the really cold winters have discouraged me.   In the end, I don't want to live anywhere but in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.  We will settle for our annual pilgrimage to Camden and enjoy every single minute of it!

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