Keys to the Beandom?

It’s no secret that Tina and I visit Disney on a regular basis. One of the tours we took while we were there was “Keys to the Kingdom” which is essentially a behind-the-scenes look at the Magic Kingdom. It lasts for about 4 hours, includes lots of notable trivia bits and looks at the most secretive of places in the entire park (including the underground tunnels that traverse the entire property).

Two days ago, we were passing through Freeport, Maine, home to L.L. Bean. Tina’s had a purple pullover from there that was bought back in her freshman year of college… and in a manner similar to me going to the Apple Computer Headquarters in Cuppertino, CA, going to L.L. Bean was like coming home for Tina. The pullover itself has acquired almost mythical status… known simply as her “Bean”. It embodies all of the possible Beanness one item could have. She loves it and it loves her back, I suppose.

It’s almost hard to express in words the look on her face and her state of excitement when she realized that there were FOUR buildings that comprise the L.L. Bean flagship location… and that the main one is open 24/7/365! She simply was in awe of trying to figure out what would require a run to the “Bean” to buy a “Bean” at 3am.

I wasn’t willing to find out who visited at 3am, though, so we had to go at a more normal 1pm. After walking through all of the buildings and taking pictures of Tina wearing a giant backpack

(and getting in an even LARGER backpack),

we were ready to go. But not before getting the boot.

And as we walked away from the Bean, Tina simply inquired why they didn’t offer tours of their facilities (including their full warehouse a few miles down the road) just like Disney. “They should have ‘Keys to the Beandom’!”

All I could do was smile.