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I recently had the opportunity to visit mid-coast Maine for the first time. Pre-departure from 82 degree Maui, I was trepidatious to make the journey to 20 degree weather and a forecast of freezing rain, but work called so I went. Even the misery of 20 hours of travel on an assortment of man's wonder machines was worth what I experienced upon arrival in this magnificent part of the country.

Travel is an opportunity for us to get out from our lives and look at the world differently and I am grateful for any chance I have to experience the world and the incredible diversity it contains. Maine has never been on my radar but this trip solidly put this beautiful and remote place on my list of must see places. Rugged coast lines, gentle rolling and heavily wooded hills and bucolic architecture. Truly everywhere you looked was like a postcard.

But let's focus on the architecture for a minute. What captures you immediately is the fact that almost all the houses are cohesive, with clapboard siding, high pitched roofs with little or no overhangs and starkly placed on their lots - usually with ample space between them. The towns as well have a cohesive and comforting quality about them - places you want to visit. My first impression is that "they" got it right a hundred plus years ago. So why have we since degraded our homes into cramped neighborhoods with cookie-cutter homes and we shop in characterless strip malls? I certainly don't know but am also pleased that there has been a resurgence of trying to create more cohesive, aesthetic and livable communities.

Maine was inspiring and reaffirmed that simple and bucolic architecture endures.