(Freeport, Maine) - There have been few Christmas seasons when I have not made at least one purchase from L.L. Bean.

Don Briand photo

I love walking through the sea of lighted Christmas trees (they are great even at 10 in the morning!) and grabbing a hot cocoa in the process.  I even had a chance to speak with the young lady who was the "voice" of the trees.

Don Briand photo

There was live music inside the store and everyone was in a good mood, even if they had to wait in line to check out.

Of course, there are other stores in Freeport. Lots of choices for shopping, and a co-worker says no visit is complete without having a fresh cinnamon bun from Isabella's.

I had hoped to take the Amtrak Downeaster this year, but weekend tickets were sold out for the entire month of December.

Next year, I will plan better and secure my tickets in July!