I just got home from the first annual Scarlett’s Maine Event, and it was everything I dreamed it would be and more.
Centered at the Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit Maine, the September 9-13 event is the brainchild of Scarlett from Scarlett’s Makeovers in Thompson CT. If you’ve been to any of the major transgender event in the US in the last several years, you’ve probably run into Scarlett. Okay, I may be overstating her attendance but she goes to lots of events. She’s a very talented, hard working makeup artist with a deep and personal understanding of the trans community and is an absolute pleasure to be around. She’s also gorgeous and can rock a fab pairs of heels.
This event is unlike many of the others because of it’s totally a la cart pricing. It was only $35 to register (goodie bag included with lots of helpful info, stuff and a very cool event pendant) and registrants pick from the list of add-ons according to their preferences and budgets. There are no bundled activities like so many other events where we invariably end up paying for things that don’t interest us.
The Meadowmere Resort is one of the largest resorts in the beautiful town of Ogunquit Maine. It’s a sprawling property with several interconnected buildings, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub, bar and beautifully landscaped grounds. And the hotel was quite busy during our stay .. unusually busy, it appears, for that time of the year.
Dinner each night, for those who chose to dine with the group, were served at Jonathan’s; the fine dining restaurant on an adjoining property was not only conveniently close for those of us who like to drink and not drive but the food was fabulous! Salads, entrees and desserts were all totally yummy. A wonderful dinner for just a $40 add-on per night.
Efficient, attentive and personable wait staff too. I was able to chat briefly with Larry, the manager. (I hope my memory isn’t failing me regarding his name!) A classy guy, soft spoken, generous (he paid for our drinks the first night!) , very professional and quite happy to have us there.
Some of the add-on activities were:
- tickets to the Million Dollar Quartet at the Ogunquit Playhouse,
- a shopping trip to Kittery Outlets,
- a docent-led tour through the Ogunquit Museum of Art,
- the Nubble Lighthouse Boat Cruise with FinestKind Cruises
- entertainment and dancing at the Front Porch piano bar or MEST nightclub
- and a Farewell Brunch on Sunday back at Jonathan’s.
Scarlett also brilliantly provided a hospitality suite at the Meadowmere complete with water, soft drinks, coffee and snacks so there was always a place to hang out.
Value related to the cost: Excellent. The complementary large continental breakfast buffet was great and meant most of us didn’t need lunch. And the event cost, with add-ons, was totally reasonable.
The Venue: Very good. The Meadowmere Resort is a wonderful hotel. Every staff contact I had was fabulous. My room and room rate was fine; the hotel property was meticulously maintained.
The City: Ogunquit is a very cool, artsy seaside resort. Think Provincetown but more elegant, less hilly, less expensive and less ‘in your face” LGBT friendly. Typical Maine architecture with lots of boutique shops and very few national chain stores. For $2, several trolleys on a circuit will take you to most of the cool places in town and bring
you back as well. Lobsters, fishing, boating, beaches. Everything you’d expect by the sea. Oh, and the Marginal Way .. a very cool hiking path at the edge of the cliffs along the seashore .. very picturesque and an easy walk on a paved path. (I did the entire walk in ballet slippers while carrying a heavy camera bag.) Ogunquit did seem like a very trans friendly town. No rude or even inquisitive comments at all for this girl, even though I rarely dress totally age or venue appropriate.
I felt like I’d been misplaced in the cosmos and I belonged in Maine.
– Terry Goodkind
The Attendees: Not as many attention whores, egomaniacs, party animals, shy newbies and seasoned veterans as one would expect. Yes, the ‘dance club girls” seemed to keep to themselves but everyone else was very easy to be with. And there was a relatively high percentage of spouses in attendance too. Always a good thing when Kim comes with me. But to be totally honest, this was one of the nicest groups of people I’m ever spent time with. I think it all stems from Scarlett herself. You know that old “birds of a feather” idiom? Well, sweet gravitates toward sweet.
Speaking of sweet, my sweetie and I felt lucky to have met (and fell in love with) a couple couples (lol) who we look forward to spending more time with in the future. But to be totally honest, good friends from Canada were there too so it would have been fine if we hadn’t connected with anyone.
Dining: The included continental breakfast at the hotel was very good while dinner each night at Jonathan’s was fabulous. I can’t say enough about the restaurant; it’s decor, the food and the service.
The Event: Very good. The day I arrived, it was very hot … mid 90° temps but it cooled off lots and the rest of the week was very comfortable. But honestly, this event was about the people.
From the keepsake pendant in the goodie bag to the Farewell Brunch, everything was nicely done. The Nubble Lighthouse Boat Cruise was a highlight for me as were the dinners. Did I mention Jonathan’s? haha!!
I regret not signing up for the Million Dollar Quartet at the Playhouse .. it’s a live theater musical about the night Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash all came together at a recording studio in Memphis for one of the most iconic jam sessions ever. Everyone who attended said it was fabulous!
Will I return to Scarlett’s Maine Event? Absolutely. Indications from Scarlett is that she plans to do it again next year and I’ll be there. I’ll also do my best to help spread the word once a date is confirmed. It’s the type of event many would appreciate.
I predict good things for this event and wouldn’t be surprised if attendance grows exponentially next year, as it should.
Scarlett’s Maine Event was that good!