Celebrating 10 years
We always planned for our 10 year anniversary to be a trip to Europe but that’s the thing about marriage and life. It doesn’t always go as planned. We decided that this was going to be the year we get our adoption paperwork in and get the process rolling. But we also knew that it was important for us to get away and celebrate being married 10 years, even if just for a few days. We had a lot of ideas but I think the best one was a cheap ticket to Boston and a drive up the Maine coast.
We got an early flight to Boston on Thursday morning and were in Portland by lunchtime. Which was perfect! We got to spend the day in Portland running around looking at everything we could. It was a pretty warm day and beautiful. And of course for dinner Ryan had his first taste of a lobster roll. After dinner we drove up to Bangor Maine to stay the night so we would be closer to Friday’s destination, Bar Harbor.
For the next two days we stayed at a bed-and-breakfast on West Street in Bar Harbor, Maine. West Street is the main road along the harbor. The Manor House Inn was not only beautiful, but it was extremely convenient and comfortable. There was a lovely breakfast spread every morning, a fire in the fireplace, big front wraparound front porch for afternoon tea and treats (which Ryan particularly loved).
We arrived in Bar Harbor in time for a late breakfast. Since we hadn’t checked into our bed-and-breakfast, we decided to have a very traditional Maine breakfast. I had heard that you have to try something with blueberries in it so we hunted for blueberry pancakes. In Bar Harbor there are a lot of options for a good breakfast, but we found Jeannie’s Great Maine Breakfast. It’s a little place and it kind of reminds me of a southern greasy spoon diner. There was a wait but it was worth it. We ended up not getting the pancakes because everything looked just too good, so I got stuffed French toast with rhubarb and Ryan got a traditional potato and egg dish.
Acadia National Park
We spent the rest of the day exploring Acadia National Park by driving around the park loop. We started with a hike along Jessups path which starts at the Acadia Gardens. It was an easy walk and very scenic with birch trees in a meadow. It’s not actually inside the national Park and it was a different view than what you get generally. It’s pretty much right in the middle of the island and in the valleys of all the mountains.
We headed toward the park and drove the loop, which I highly recommend doing. We stopped along the way to see the sights and walk along the coast. We saw Jordan pond and tried to get some pop overs at the restaurant, but passed due to an hour long wait.
We made it back to the Manor House Inn for coffee and some sweet treats and then it was off to explore Bar Harbor. I was a little surprised that Bar Harbor is not terribly big, at least the town wasn’t. There’s a lot of little shops and many restaurants, but you can make your way through the whole town in just a few hours. There is a path along the water that was really fun to do before dinner, particularly with the cool breeze coming off the water in August. As the sun was getting pretty low we decided to figure out what we were going to do for dinner. We ate at West Street and had the Best shrimp scampi there ever was.
The next day we had our big hiking goals. We set out for Cadillac Mountain, particularly to reach the summit by hiking the North Ridge Trail. This trail was not the most difficult trail in the park, but it was still quite a climb. On top of the mountain you could see the Atlantic ocean and the entire harbor. It was absolutely breathtaking, and shockingly cold for this southern girl.
We took a different route down, which was the steepest I’ve ever climbed. We did see families with young kids doing it, which kind of shocked me. But best of luck to them.
Afterword we drove around a little bit more and found a marina in one of the little towns on the other island outside of Acadia national Park. At the marina there were two food trucks and Ryan had his second lobster roll of the trip while I had the most amazing clam chowder and blueberry soda. I was in New England heaven. I will never forget that lunch, and as you can tell, I really like to eat. And I know that the things that make me happy are strange!
That night was our plan to have the big lobster dinner! We picked a place right on the harbor, Stewman’s Lobster Pound, and ate outside in the low 60° weather. We ordered the “Maine Experience,” which included a full lobster, corn and potatoes, mussels, and of course blueberry pie to finish it off. Ryan even ordered a beer brewed from Shipyard Brewing Company.
On the third day of our trip we decided to take the long way back to Boston before our early flight the next morning. We drove along the coast and stopped at every little town. We saw the famous Marshall Point Lighthouse, which was in the movie Forrest Gump. We found the most beautiful harbors within the many little New England colonial towns we drove through. We made it back to Boston for dinner and a quick visit with some friends that we haven’t seen in a long time.
I think if we ever go back, we’re definitely bringing the whole family. I was shocked at how many young families there were and how many activities there were that were fun for young kids to do there. It was nice to get away from the humidity for a few days also.
They say that August is the busiest season for Maine. While we did see a lot of crowds, it never felt overcrowded to the point of getting annoying. There were some moments we were worried we wouldn’t find parking , but it helped that our bed-and-breakfast was on the main road. We could walk to pretty much everywhere in Bar Harbor from there. Acadia national Park is definitely a fun place, but it’s not the entire island. There’s actually a whole lot more to see beyond that. So if you ever plan to go, be sure to give yourself some time to see all of it because it’s worth seeing!