I shared on a previous blog post that Chris and I have decided to visit all 50 states. I said in that post that as we hit each state, I’ll write about some of the highlights to save you time if you should take on such adventures yourself.
I’m typing this from a tiny little airport in Maine (we were the only ones in line for security type of small) as we fly home after spending five nights in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Maine was one of those places that I’ve always wanted to visit. It was like that mysterious state over in the upper right corner that was supposed to have perfect weather, nautical clothing, lighthouses, boats, and rich people. It was the state that everyone says they want to go to but never really go for some reason; and those who have gone claim it’s one of their favorite places. So when it was my turn in our rotation back and forth of who gets to pick the trip destination — I picked Maine, obviously.
General Observations: Maine is in fact the perfect weather, nautical clothing, lighthouses, boats, and we’ll just assume all the people are rich kind of place. It’s filled with people who are dressed “normal.” Everyone either just came back from a hike, is going on a hike, or are in their nicer clothes from J. Jill or a local boutique if they’re on their way to dinner. No one is in high heels. For my fellow Gilmore Girls fans, Bar Harbor, Maine is the real-life Stars Hollow. It’s small parks, lots of park benches, kids running around everywhere because apparently they don’t breed them to be addicted to technology in Maine, and whole families play tag or chase each other around the town’s gazebo while an older gentleman sits inside smoking a cigar. Everyone has a dog — and most everyone has a Pomeranian dog — and most push their dogs around in strollers. People LOVE lobster in Maine. People LOVE ice cream in Maine. You can actually kill two birds with one stone and get lobster ice cream (as early as 8 a.m). There’s fog in Maine that causes you to not be able to see boats that are right in front of you. There’s language like “high tide” and “low tide” and every restaurant, coffee shop, or pie shop is run out of what looks like a tiny house. When you don’t have a reservation there’s a 20 minute wait, when you do have reservations no one else is waiting.
Here are just some of the places we visited along the way. . .
Bar Harbor Inn: This is where we stayed (requires a minimum of 5 night stay) and I splurged and got a room with a water view, which was so worth it. We were on the first floor but had a balcony that was up off the ground a bit and was the perfect spot for coffee drinking, reading, or trying to find ships that were right in front of your face and would magically fade into the fog and then become visible again. Most places in Bar Harbor are bed and breakfast types of accommodations, but this Inn caught my eye and I’d definitely recommend!
Acadia National Park: This is the second most visited national park in the United States. I had no idea. When I told Chris I wanted to go to Maine, I didn’t have a particular city or town in mind so I told him to find a place he’d want to hike and I’d plan around it. Acadia National Park is enormous and awesome and there’s trails for the casual hiker (I’d classify myself as that) and the advanced hiker that has the shoes and the right gear (I’d classify Chris as that). Below are just some of my photos, and they’re in a hodge podge order, but note (and praise me) that we hiked Cadillac Mountain South Trail which was difficult (and I bought myself a patch after because I work best on a reward system), and we did Ocean Path. Chris also did some pretty hard paths by himself on our last full day there.
Poor Boy’s Gourmet: When you’re married to someone who is blessed with the ability to eat healthy for all his meals, selecting a restaurant can be rough on trips. We came across this restaurant and ended up eating dinner there twice. It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but is home of the best crab cakes I’ve had to date.
Thrive: This is a juice bar that we visited every day. They make juices, smoothies, smoothie bowls, energy bites. It was a great in-between meals stop or place to go post-hike/pre-dinner. What I love about this place, just like Poor Boy’s and most of the other places we went is the fact that they’re all walking distance from each other. Thrive can be found down what may look like an alley, but it was just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Main St area.
A Slice of Eden: It’s just a little house (closed on Sundays and Mondays, thank goodness we decided to stop on a Saturday). Nothing fancy inside except this extremely delicious blueberry pie on a little paper plate. 99% of the blueberries in the United States come from Maine (another fun fact I didn’t know before we went) so for as many lobster items you can get, you can get an equal amount of blueberry treats: pancakes, muffins, tea, jam, ice cream, pie!
Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium: People are already in a line during breakfast time to get ice cream. I ended up having ice cream every day. You guys, you don’t even want the ice cream and then you see hundreds of people spread across this perfect little town walking dogs and eating ice cream and you’re like “fine. . . chocolate chip, waffle cone, small, thanks.” You can buy just about any kind of candy in this place too. I didn’t get a picture of my ice cream, but this one sums up Maine in one photo.
Shore Path: This is a path that is a little over a mile. It’s a gravel path that’s easy to walk on if you’re dressed any kind of way other than like that of a hiker. It was the path from our Inn to Poor Boy’s Gourmet and A Slice of Eden.
We visited a small lighthouse, walked across the water during low tide, ate at other restaurants, and weaved in and out of every shop. . . oh yeah, and I did get my palm read by the local psychic on the last night (maybe I’ll save that for another blog, possibly another book). But my favorite night was the last night when we just sat on a park bench for a couple hours watching all the people, listening to pieces of their stories as they walked by, and watching their kids run around from a sugar rush of too much ice cream. This is us on that night. . . no fancy filter. . . just us.
Next up: Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park). Time to order the real hiking gear.