Monday, June 20, 2011

The L.L Bean Flagship Store.

No. You're not seeing things. That is the real life LL Bean boot. It is about 20 feet tall and stands outside the actual LL Bean store in Freeport, Maine. It's like the catalogue came to life.

The store never closes either. Look closely at the doors. There are no locks. Just paddles.

It's huge. They may need to make a map.

It's exactly what you would expect too. Very campy, very outdoorsy, very surreal.

You can choose from every color and size of duffle bag under the sun.

And of course there are enough traditional backpacks to send a small African country to school for the rest of their lives.

And don't forget about the tote bags. There are thousands. I wanted one. 

Canoes are spread across the store full of trinkets and treasures. 

Not to worry, there is also a full wall of the traditional boots. Just in case you were worried about your feet getting wet. 

Obviously, there is a trout fishing pond in the middle of the store. Obviously. And of course there is a man with the most amazing mustache giving fly fishing lessons. Seriously.

And if you need some LL Bean maple syrup or coffee beans or mixed trail mix then you've come to the right place.

Need a canoe or kayak? Pick your color! There is a whole field of them!

It's time for me to leave. I could spend the whole day wondering around the grounds. And probably spend my whole paycheck.

Okay, fine. I finally broke down, acted like a tourist and bought a tote bag. And I got it embroidered. Don't judge. I've been coming to Maine for seven summers and have resisted all this time. I finally gave in. Mainly because there was no one there to talk me out of it. I'm a nerd. 

Buying the bag was totally worth it just to get these two fine ladies to smile for me and take pride in their awesome work. I promised them I wouldn't put this photo on FB. Do you think putting it on my blog counts???

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog, and this is the first post I've read. (I'll look around a bit more.)

    I grew up about 15 miles from the flagship store and stayed in the area until I graduated from college at Bowdoin. I have been going to that store my entire life, and you would be amazed at how much it has changed over the years... much of what is parking lot, or one of the specialty L.L. Bean store buildings, was once the location of private homes, even in the '90s.

    It's funny to see the reaction of a first-time visitor (or one of your first-times?) I've never heard of the store experience as being described as surreal, but I suppose it might be! I'm trying to think of an equivalent experience from my life, and there isn't really one. The closest I can think of is a visit to Cabela's, but Cabela's doesn't have the history and following of L.L. Bean.

    Glad you broke down and got the bag... it's not just a tourist thing.

    By the way, my sister spent one summer monogramming in the flagship store and she refers to the monogramming shop as the monogramming "sweatshop.":-)