16 June 2014, 01.22 PM
Our Travels, Post by Heather
Check! Two More States
Over Memorial Day weekend, Eric and I traveled up to the great Northeast, hitting Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I’m on a mission to help Eric knock out the remaining states he has yet to visit – New Hampshire and Maine are now crossed off the list!
Flying into Boston, the first day we took a “quick” drive up to Montpelier to visit a childhood friend of mine who just added a beautiful little baby girl to her family. It is always fun to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and it filled my heart to see how happy she and her hubby are with the new addition to their active lives.
That night, we made our way back to Vermont for an overnight pit stop in Concord so we could get a jump on our drive the next day to Bar Harbor, ME. What a drive it was! We decided to forego the interstate for the first half of the drive in favor of a direct cut across on some smaller highways. Although the speeds were slower, it gave us a good opportunity to take in the unique beauty of the Northeast. Small towns tucked into the mountains, surrounded by forest, with quaint churches peeking out amongst the trees. I read some travel tips for the area before our trip that the interstate up there is the way to go because you can see just as much and get where you are going in half the time…..Untrue! What you see from the interstate is only trees for the most part, and it really didn’t add much time at all…..I sometimes feel that by taking interstate, a person can miss out on half of what makes an area interesting.
Along the way, we stopped in Portland to check out downtown and have lunch. I’m not sure what I was expecting – but I was surprised at how touristy it seemed and how many people were downtown on a Sunday morning. It was definitely a cool place with a lot of fun shops, art galleries and restaurants, but it was somewhat of a cluster getting there with all the people and narrow one way streets. We made our way to parking and happened upon J’s Oyster by the water, where we had a tasty lunch of lobster stew, lobster cocktail, a lobster roll, and oh, some oysters (for variety). YUM! I hope coastal residents never take for granted the amazing freshness of seafood they get by being there. After lunch, we took a stroll around the area to check out the galleries and shops, sample some locally made gin and wine, listen to some street performers, and stop off for some cannoli’s and gelato.
Since we killed so much time in Portland and had a dinner reservation at Mache Bistro that night in Bar Harbor, we didn’t have much time for stopping the rest of the drive up – other than to take an obligatory photo op at the capitol building in Augusta.
We spent our 2 nights in Bar Harbor enjoying the great outdoors. We lucked out, because it was supposed to rain while we were there, but it ended up being sunny and gorgeous almost the entire time. This gave us the opportunity to get some biking and walks in, enjoy some dinners outside, and savor the wine and views from our balcony overlooking Frenchman Bay.
On Memorial Day we rented bikes to check out the Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park. The carriage roads were originally built by the Rockefellers and gifted to the national park system. What a beautiful gift for everyone to be able to enjoy! We biked around lakes, over stone bridges, through forest, and up to the summit of Day Mountain for spectacular views of the water. At one point on our ride, we were met by a carriage tour. It was fun to see the roads still being used for their original purpose, and the Clydesdales pulling the carriage were amazing creatures.
While in Bar Harbor, we continued our quest to eat lobster/fresh seafood every day and for every meal – from lobster omelets, to scallops, to full lobsters, to mussels, to oysters, we were not disappointed…..except when I found out later that we could have had lobster ice cream somewhere and we never came across it! Ah, the tragedy, ha! One of my favorite food experiences there was grabbing dinner at The Travellin’ Lobster. This was basically a “shack” behind a house along the road. We ordered and the friendly owner steamed up 2 lobsters, a pound of mussels, and 2 ears of corn for $31….$31!!!! What a deal! All this was served up in a small blue plastic tub that we carried over to the picnic tables at the winery next door. No better way to spend a lovely afternoon after biking than with a delicious meal and a glass of wine.
It came time to say goodbye to Bar Harbor and make our way back down to Boston. This ended up being a good day for driving as it was dreary and very cold! Again, we took the slower, scenic route on the highways, stopping in Rockland for the art galleries and lunch, stopping again in Portland to check out the Allagash Brewery and the Portland Head Light, and then in Kennebunkport for another dinner stuffed with, you guessed it, Lobsta!
All good vacations must come to an end unfortunately, so until the next one!