Maine Coast Adventures, Part 1

Another of my resolutions this year was to go somewhere in the US that I have not yet been. And pretty quickly, it became apparent that place should be Maine, specifically Mount Desert Island: Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

Early on the 4th, I fled the cruel Chicago summer heatwave for the welcoming weather of the East Coast. Sure, I got to Midway three hours early, but it was an air conditioned utopia compared with my breeze-free apartment. With my closest Boston friends out of town, when I arrived, I truly got to pretend as if I lived there (a tourist tip from
BKJ). Three trains and 1.5 miles of awkward walking-boot travel later, I was comfortably settled on the Cambridge side of the Charles River, waiting for fireworks and surreptitious champagne toasts.

The fireworks were, of course, amazing. The warm summer rain that started in synchronization with the first fireworks was welcome and just inconvenient enough to create a good story. After all the sparkles and boom!s, we headed back to the Chateau and discussed how chance affects evolution and whether intelligence is a good or bad thing for human survival (…only in Boston) until 2 a.m.

The next morning, with no alarm clock (because who needs one on vacation?), I took my time waking up and readying for the next leg of my trip: a four hour bus ride to Bangor, Maine. And that was much better than expected – the bus more comfortable and the trip more beautiful than I had hoped. I read Christopher Camuto’s
Time and Tide in Acadia most of the way, which easily increased my anticipation for “nature!”

CMM picked me up in Bangor and we made the hour-drive to Bar Harbor, listening to This American Life at first, and then pointing out landmarks. After a lovely dinner – my first lobster roll of the trip, it was time to call it a night. I was tired from traveling all day and my host had to wake up early for work the next day.

Friday rolled around and I woke early while CMM got ready for work and then alternated between light dozing and finishing Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. By 11 a.m. though, I was out the door and started on my first journey, The Shore Path.

This path is a little less than a mile (good for my awkward walking) and provides lovely views of the rocky shore and the unattainable and gorgeous houses on the waterfront.

The end of the path, where I paused to take my one and only work call of the trip, 
brings you back into town. From there I meandered through the shops of Main Street and Cottage Street before heading back to Friday night’s dinner spot for my second lobster roll (what? how often do you get lobster that was caught right there just that morning?!)

Lobster Roll at Side Street Cafe in Bar Harbor, ME.

After a short rest, my favorite canine and I headed out for another walk – to visit the sand bar to a neighboring island. It was high tide, as I suspected, but I thought it worth a view so I could compare on a subsequent visit during low tide. You know, you see a town differently walking a dog. And that was another very perfect part of the trip. (Come on, isn’t he just the prettiest dog?)

Hello readers – meet Wingman, the dog who convinced me to get a dog asap.

CMM returned home and we popped out to dinner (no lobster roll this time, ok), drinks at a narrow  bar, and wrapped up the evening with a show at
ImprovAcadia. A pretty fantastic day, it was an auspicious start to a vacation where nothing could go wrong. No – that’s not foreshadowing, nothing went wrong!

Saturday and Sunday brought all that nature I had been anxiously waiting for, and provided much material for Part 2.

Blog Recommendation: If you like beautiful nature writing, so much so that it warms your cold, city heart to trees and flowers (but not too much to birds), then check out

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