When Ruby woke up Friday morning, the sky was grey and the hotel parking lot was wet. They visited Max, the omelet chef, in the dining room again; then they were travelling in the Salsa Red Pearl van north from Portland just a little way to Freeport Maine, home of L.L. Bean.
L.L. Bean was like a shopping center all on its own with five different stores. It has been in Freeport for over a hundred years! They went in the door of the Hunting and Fishing store first where they saw racks stacked high with canoes, and racks and racks of rifles standing in rows on the floor. Then they looked at taxidermy animals under an open staircase. The animals were so still in their make-believe forest. Ruby thought that they should get their taxi and go back to the real forest.
Next they went into a corridor with lots and lots of pictures of L.L. Bean catalog covers through the years. Ruby found the ones she liked best–the ones without guns.
At the other end of the corridor was the clothing store. Miss Jennie tried on pants, shirts, and pajamas. Ruby became very bored. There were no clothes her size, not even dungarees. They looked at the gigantic L.L. Bean boot outside the Clothing Store entrance. It was so big that Ruby didn’t want to have her picture taken there.
When they were finally outside again, there was an ice cream shop, but they didn’t go there. Instead, they went across the way to the L.L. Bean Home Store. “Oh, no!” thought Ruby, “I’m going to be bored for longer!” But just inside the door, she found something fun–toy log cabins, just her size.
Then there were more things that caught her attention!
After the L.L. Bean stores, there were more fun shops to explore. Ruby didn’t have to wait too much more for the big people to look at clothing. They went into a fabulous art store called Abacus, where they found sea shell art, recycled broken glass made into pottery dishes, and tiny cars and trucks made out of tin cans.
They did finally go in an ice cream store, and Ruby especially liked the chocolate lobsters (with soft claws) and chocolate blueberries at Len Libby Chocolate Store.
Ruby thought of Little Davie in her room at home in Oregon City, and about how much he liked his toys. She brought home a little tin can car for him.
Touring and shopping in Maine for four days had been the best of times! It would soon be time to return to Uncle David and Aunt Lynn’s home in Connecticut. And there was a very SPECIAL shop that Ruby was looking forward to visiting there, where she would feel right at home.
To be continued . . .