Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bean there, done that: Freeport, Maine's L.L. Bean flagship store

I love a good "ruined" picture. Here are a few of me in front of the giant boot at L.L. Bean.

Boot cookies (a sweet deal for not a lot of dough).

Bear with me on this.

Mmmm...I thought I smelled buck nip!

Come 'n' git it!

Mrs. Bean's trout, caught at Moosehead on July 8, 1953.

Just keepin' it reel.

They've got some cool exhibits of vintage merchandise. These items are from the 1930s.

This unclaimed personalized bag is for sale at the outlet store. It's an especially good bargain if your name happens to be Patti Hall.

Leon Leonwood Bean, founder of the company...

...not to be confused with that other famous Mr. Bean.

In 1912, Leon Leonwood Bean (L.L. to you and me) was tired of getting his feet wet while moose hunting in the woods of Maine. He came up with a boot made up of lightweight leather uppers and rubber bottoms, set up shop in his brother's Freeport, Maine basement, printed up some fliers and thus began one of the nation's most successful mail order businesses. Almost 100 years later, the L.L. Bean company is still located in Freeport, with a giant campus of clothing, hunting, fishing, boating, skiing, camping and furniture stores on Main Street. And the Bean boot, or Maine Hunting Shoe, is still a popular item, as the giant 16-foot photo-op model outside their door will attest. Inside the store, you'll find a trout pond, aquarium, stuffed animals, and lots of friendly, knowledgeable employees to advise you on the proper weight of waders or gauge of Gortex. I'm not exactly what you'd call an outdoorsman (roughing it for me is a motel room with only 10 channels on cable), but it's still very entertaining walking through a retail temple to the great outdoors like this. Orange dog safety vest? Right over here. Swarovski Z3 rifle scope? Behind you. Under Armour Evolution ColdGear leggings? You just passed them. And if all this isn't enough, there's an outlet store across the street with clearance items and markdowns on unclaimed personalized tote bags (where are you, Patti Hall?). If you can't have a good eccentric roadside time here, well, you just don't know Bean's.


roadsidewonders said...

You might have the new record for the most photo bombings per minute :)

Denise said...

Love those ruined photos! And the Mr. Bean photo at the end was freakin' hilarious!

Rick Kilby said...

"Puniest" post ever!

Amber Von Felts said...

You are the king of puns! That boot is friggin' huge. I'd love to see a big giant sock to go with it!

Traci said...

I got a great shot of my son posing under the tip of that boot like he was going to get smooshed! My kids really loved the huge fish tank inside that store. I was more partial to the Wicked Whoopies shop down the street, and the giant globe further south in Yarmouth.

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Traci, The kid under the boot is a classic! We visited that giant globe too while we were in the area, and there's also a giant Indian statue along Route 1. So much to see right there and all fodder for future posts!