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Trip Report Trip report Acadia and Bar Harbor (from July)

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Wednesday, July 1st

Rascal woke me up at 4:30AM by jumping on my head. I didn’t lock him out of the room as I usually do because I felt bad that were leaving him for 5 days. We cuddled for awhile and then got up to play.

We dropped Rascal off at Lynda and Paul’s at 7AM. It was a bit traumatic for me. He’s only been part of the family for five weeks and this is the first time we’ve been away from him. He seemed fine though – he immediately chased Sammy upstairs, pounced on Frankie and tried to eat Narla’s food. She is three times his size. She hissed at him and walked away.

We went back home to clean a bit and pack. It was pouring buckets. It rained 28 out of 30 days in June, it’s getting to be a bit depressing.

We headed off on our 5 hour journey. It went quickly for me as I spent most of the time dealing with an annoying work crisis.

At the beginning of our journey we stopped by Sherman Farm to buy a 6-pack of peanut butter cookies topped with a candy kiss. I ate four and all six of the kisses– not good!

We arrived at 2:30PM, just as the sun came out (amazing how it changes your mood!!) easily found the B&B on West Street but opted to eat first. We choose the West Street Café , 76 West Street. We shared a basket of homemade onion rings. They were wonderful – small rings, lightly battered and very flavorful. Then we each got lobster rolls served with French fries. The lobster was great – fresh, not too much mayo and served on a grilled hot dog bun. The fries were yummy too. Total before tip was $46.00.

We headed to the B&B, the Saltair Inn, 121 West Street. It is a stately looking building in a great location (central and on the water). A man on a tractor came to immediately greet us an introduced himself as Matt, one of the owners. He was very personable. He took us inside to show us around and gave us some history on his family’s life and the Inn which was built in the late 1800’s. They were originally from Virginia and have been here for four years with their very cute kids, two girls Katie and Emily and a boy Adam (ages 2, 4 and 7 – I think). Matt was a structural engineer and Kristi worked for the FBI in DNA/forensics. At one time Matt’s parents owned the inn next door, Matt and Kristi visited and fell in love with the area. In total they have five guest rooms. They currently live in the basement but are working on redoing the 3rd floor for their family.

They did a fabulous job refurbishing the place. Our oversized room (Master Suite) is on the first floor with giant floor to ceiling picture windows that open to incredible views of a stately lawn and the ocean. It is nicely decorated, has a huge tub and large standup shower in an equally oversized bathroom. Large, thick towels too. There is a large sitting room with comfy chairs looking out to the ocean, a gas stove, fireplace and a 4 poster very comfy king size bed (great pillows!). Classical music was playing from a small portable stereo system, a nice touch. We were very happy with our choice.

They have plenty of guidebooks, maps, DVDs, books and games. They offer free drinks, snacks, tea and coffee and a big plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies was on the dining room table, and Hershey’s candy in the front hall. Matt offered to help us with restaurants, hikes and other activities.

We headed to our room to lie down “just for a minute”. We both passed out cold for two hours. When we awoke we headed out to the dining area where we met Matt’s wife Kristi who was equally as personable. She offered us a glass of wine (after a tour of her incredible gourmet kitchen). We chatted with her and Matt for awhile. They are really nice down to earth people. We enjoyed their company.

John spent some time looking around and decided that he is going to copy their coffered ceilings (think that is what they are called) in his office at home.

On the suggestion of our innkeepers we headed out to dinner at Galyn’s on 17 Main Street. It was a short walk (5 minutes or so). We were seated immediately in the upstairs dining room. The ambience was great, romantic warm lights and clean. The waitress was pleasant. I ordered a lobster enchilada with a cilantro cream sauce. It was fabulous! John ordered a spinach salad with Salmon, he said it was very good. We each got a glass of wine, I had a cappuccino and Jon got a blueberry/apple crisp (he did share a few bites, it was yummy). The check was $65.00 before tip. Quite reasonable.

After dinner we browsed the shops it was a bit chilly, but not too bad. We bought cute Rascal & Jackson Christmas ornaments (Jackson will be Rascal’s brother who we are picking up next week). I was getting a bit neurotic over the fact that we hadn’t heard anything about Rascal and was hoping everything was okay. As we headed back I convinced John to call Lynda.

I needn’t have worried. Lynda said that at one point Rascal had all three cats hiding under the bed. They were all in the kitchen now (which is a good sign), but Rascal was still chasing Frankie around the house and was showing no signs of being tired. John is proud that our kitten is a bully!

We headed back to the room, read for awhile and headed off to bed.

Thursday, July 2nd

We slept well and awoke to a foggy (but not rainy) morning. We met two nice couples at breakfast, one from Pensacola and another from Kentucky. The man from Kentucky has visited Jackson on several occasions staying at the Christmas Farm and Thorn Hill.

We had a really great breakfast. We had warm apple muffins, fresh fruit, thick slabs of bacon and homemade blueberry pancakes. She also served us real maple cream that a previous guest had given as a gift (tasted like frosting). We chatted with Kristi and Matt for a bit and they helped us to select a hike and then lent us a guidebook and a great map.

We bickered a little this morning because John was trying to work on vacation and he was pissed off at worked because they lost a deal for 57 robots to Australia. It only last a few minutes….

We picked the Giant Slide Trail to the Sargeant summit. We headed off, got slightly lost looking for Rt 198 and stopped for water & snacks and directions. We found the cedar post marking the trail head (just before Sargeant Drive on the left, it’s a really small post and easy to miss) then you just follow the blue dots. The hike was 5.2 miles round trip. We got off trail a bit but ended up on another trail that took us to the same summit.

It was a great trail – fairly strenuous, first over foot bridges through mossy areas, across a few carriage roads, rock scrambles along a brook and some great views of Somes Sound and beyond. We got another wonderful day, a bit of fog this morning but it cleared into a partly sunny day as we began our hike. At the summit we met a nice family from CT (who as John pointed out all carried their own backpacks), we had snacks and headed back down, retracing our steps.

I forgot hiking poles and boots at home so coming down at some points was a bit slippery with all the rain we’ve had. I took a good fall, landed on my butt but somehow hurt my collar bone (John thinks I must have shot my arm up in the air and popped it out for a second). It is a little achy.

The hike took us 3 hours (to the second), according to my heart rate monitor I burned 1200 calories. Poor John probably burned more as he carried the backpack which had over a gallon of water and the D200.

We headed down to Northeast Harbor and had lunch at the Colonial’s Restaurant & Bakery. It was a brand new building, very clean looking (it had burnt down last July and rebuilt). It had a cool bar and was very clean. The bartender was nice and friendly. Service was quick. We ordered onion rings (the people next to us had them and they looked wonderful), the order was huge but they didn’t offer half sizes. They were yummy. I got a steak bomb with peppers, cheese and onions and John got a Swordfish sandwich. Neither was all that great. John’s roll was twice the size of the fish so he basically had a bread sandwich. I also has a mostly bread, veggie and cheese sandwich. The shaved steak that I did get was a bit dry and about 1/4th of it fatty. Total was $41 before tip.

We browsed through the shops; some great clothes (I was too sweaty to try anything on), art, knickknacks, etc. I spent $300 on 8 placemats and napkins (John wasn’t happy but they were very cute and it is something that we need for entertaining vs. always putting out the white paper napkins).

Although I made a “no nap” rule earlier, after a nice warm shower, I changed the rule. I napped for a few hours while John went for a walk downtown, bought a coffee and window shopped a bit.

John is being very huggy/kissy today. Not sure what has gotten into him!

On the way out to dinner I grabbed a few of Kristi’s homemade cookies. Today we had the choice of chocolate chip or butterscotch. I used to love butterscotch cookies as a kid and haven’t had one in years. It was so wonderful that I had to go back for seconds.

We made 7PM reservations at Havana (a Cuban restaurant) for dinner. We have visited on two other occasions when in Bar Harbor, it’s one of our favorites. We decided to walk. It was several blocks down Main Street; we stopped at a few shops along the way; I got some doggie dish towels for Lianne.

Our dinner did not disappoint. First the chef sent out a yummy pork taste. We shared an ahi tuna salad with avocado, aioli and a tempora red pepper, it was incredible. We also had salt cod fritters, sweet potatoes & plantains, garlic bread with chorizo and local mussels in a yummy garlic cream sauce. Each dish was incredible! We had two glasses of wine each as recommended by our server Nicolas. Nicolas was very professional, polite, changed utensils between each course, kept the water glasses full and timed the food delivery perfectly. The meal also included jalapeño corn bread and French bread with maple walnut butter. The owner came over to introduce himself and to ask if we were enjoying our meal, he was a personable guy. We were very full so we took a pass on dessert even though they looked appealing. Total before tip was $92.00.

We headed down the street next to Havana and walked home via the shore path. It was a nice walk. A very cute cat walked next to us most of the way after we stopped to pet him. It reminded us that we miss Rascal. It was dusk and the fog had returned. The temperature was cool for this time of year (low 60’s) but at least it wasn’t raining.

We hung in the room me reading and John watching a pool match on TV. Yet another sport that he likes????

Before heading to bed, John called Paul to check in on Rascal. He says that Rascal is still terrorizing the three other cats. They are all hiding under the bed and Rascal is on top of the bed pouncing on them if they try to come out.

Still raining in Jackson…

Friday, July 3
There were crazy thunder and lightening storms last night. At about 2AM the power went out and Kirsti got up to find candles to leave in the entryway “just in case”, after all her efforts the power came back on 10 minutes later.

Breakfast this morning was really outstanding! We had a cinnamon, blueberry, apple crisp to start and then a goat cheese and spinach quiche with a side of tomato/mozzarella/basil salad and homemade scones.

We met another nice couple from Lexington, MA. We chatted again with Kristi and Matt and then headed off on our next adventure.

The plan was to drive to Lubec to hike and see the Quoddy Lighthouse and maybe stop at some quaint towns along the way. It was about 100 miles each way. We followed Route 1 stopping in Machias at the Fat Cat Deli & Pizzeria for lunch. We split a small Pesto Pizza – it was really good. While we were there, John got a text from Aris (his son Jeffrey’s girlfriend) to say that Jeff had spent the night in jail for a DUI, she was on her way to bail him out. There wasn’t much John could do so we headed on toward our destination. The further we drove, the foggier it got. When we arrived at the lighthouse it started to drizzle and it was a bit cold so we bagged the hiking plans.

We looked through the museum and art display then headed back, stopping at a few shops (one in the shape of a giant blueberry) but they were all pretty lame. Most of the towns were 8 or 9 miles off Rt 1. Since we weren’t sure which if any would be worthwhile stops we decided not to bother (plus it was getting late and John was having a bit of anxiety about Jeffrey)

Schoonic Point was our last stop. There weren’t many waves. John talked to his ex for awhile who told of her plans to drive to Jeffrey’s tonight (5 hours from Derry) when her husband got out of work at 9PM to get Jeff to sign a contract saying that he loses the car if he loses his license. She doesn’t plan to stay over. Drive 5 hours, get him to sign the contract, drive back 5 hours….we don’t really get it, strange woman…

We got a text from Lauren at about 4:00; they are at our house in Jackson falling in love with Rascal.

We arrived back in Bar Harbor to clear blue sunny skies at about 6PM. We headed to Café This Way for dinner.

I had three little Malibu/pineapple drinks, John had two beers. We split an appetizer of French bread, cheese, peppers, roasted garlic and tapenade. John had Caesar salad, I had an endive salad. For an entrée I had pecan crusted halibut with asparagus and smashed potatoes. John had surf and turf – steak, a small piece of lobster and a handful of tiny shrimp. On a scale of 1-10 we’d rate the food as an 8. Not as good as our meal at Havana but good nonetheless. We had breakfast here a few years ago and it was really great. Our server was very attentive. Total was $105 before tip.

After dinner we wandered through a few shops and then headed back to the Saltair where Matt informed us that Bar Harbor had sunny blue skies since noon – big bummer for us! We grabbed some of Kristi’s cherry cobbler (really, really good!) and headed down to sit by the ocean (they have Adirondack chairs at the edge of the lawn). John smoked a cigar, we shared some wine (it wasn’t that good) and enjoyed the view. It was a perfect evening.

Saturday, July 4th
Full house this morning of 10 guests and another really, really great breakfast.

First a cinnamon apple cake, a red, white and blue parfait (strawberries, blueberries, yogurt and granola) then baked french toast with pear and brie compote and some thick cut bacon. I told Kristi that she needs to write a cookbook!!

We headed to the bike shop to rent a tandem. We didn’t bring ours since we assumed if would just continue raining…. When we got to the bike place, the man behind the counter responded, “oh no, you don’t want to rent a tandem, we call those the divorce machine!” We assured his that we had our own at home and we’ve only come close to divorce twice in four years over the tandem so we were sure we’d be okay. We had to bring the first bike back as John’s seat post was bent so he couldn’t get the seat to a comfortable height. They fixed this in a few seconds and we were off.

We headed towards the Jordan Pond House (about a 20 mile round trip). The streets were a bit difficult to navigate as everyone was lined up for the 4th of July parade (where they through candy at the crowd). Kirsti and Matt’s daughter actually brought Matt’s Easter basket (shaped like a baseball) to use to store her candy. She informed me that one of her friends was throwing the candy and had promised to throw a lot at her! She also let me know that Daddy’s favorite candy was twix bars and that’s what they filled the basket with on Easter.

It took us less than 5 minutes to bike to the park entrance. It was up and downhill most of the way. For the most part a great ride. There were a few parts where clueless people just all piled their bikes across the rode so you couldn’t get by and one guy who walked in front of us to take a family photo, didn’t even notice the 350 pounds on a tandem (not easy to stop) coming right at him, we missed him by inches.

We followed the signs to Jordan Pond House. At one point John took a right. It didn’t seem correct to me as I didn’t see any sign. I asked him how sure he was on a scale of 1-10. He said “100%, fu^%%g 10!”. Sure enough we came to a sign about two miles down the road that pointed us back in the opposite direction to get to the Jordan Pond House. I won’t say anymore 

We finally made it there at 11:30, they seated us immediately. We had a very nice waiter from the Baltic region. I had lobster stew and popovers with butter & jelly, John had a curry chicken salad with cranberries served with crackers, grapes and a popover. The food was fabulous and of course you always have to have one of their popovers when you come to Acadia! John also had a cappachino and I had an ice tea. Total was $40 before tip.

Next we did a short hike around Jordan Pond. It was about 4 miles, relatively flat but fun (would be great for kids). There were bridges, stepping stones and log footpaths to walk on. It took us about an hour. John wasn’t feeling great so it was a chance for him to relax. Noticed that there are a lot of Asians in the park, must be a popular destination.

We headed back to town. At this point my rear end was VERY uncomfortable (John was smart and brought his bike shorts). Luckily the trip back was more downhill that up so we got to coast a lot. It took about 45 minutes to get back to town (it was 60 minutes to get out there). We returned the bikes and headed back to the Saltair.

I had one of Kristi’s 4th of July fudgy brownies with red, white & blue frosting (really yummy) and chatted with Matt a bit. John vegged a bit, taking in the view. We can see Bar Island from our window. It was low tide so you can walk over, at high tide you can’t walk over… We both took showers and then I napped (after checking in on Rascal) while John headed out to the tool shop (again) and to return the key to our bike lock which he had forgotten in the room.

John says the tool store has some really cool stuff but he felt that they were a bit overpriced.

We headed off to town after Emily showed us her “candy stash” from the parade. It was one of the few times that we saw the kids. They were all out playing on the front lawn. Kirsti has a Nanny who comes daily so that she & Matt can get breakfast done and clean the rooms.

We tried McKay’s for dinner. Our reservation was at 7 but John wasn’t feeling well so we stopped in at 5:30 to see if they could take us early. On our waitresses suggestion I ordered the lobster mac & cheese and a beet salad. John had the Caesar salad and an ahi tuna with a brown rice. We each had a glass of wine and John had coffee. Total was $102. Service was great and food yummy.

We headed back along the shore path. It was a beautiful evening although it was getting a bit colder. Still two hours to fireworks and John’s stomach was doing somersaults (we think from too much effort on our bike adventure) so we headed back to the room.

I had another brownie and chatted with Matt for while. They really area very nice family, owning a B&B seems to be a very good fit for them.

I returned to the room and finished my book while John went to bed. The fireworks started at about 9:15, needless to say we didn’t make it…It was a bit rainy and cold or I may have walked down.

Sunday, July 5th

We awoke to a really beautiful day, no fog. At 7 we headed out for a walk – we started down the shore path and returned via Main Street. It was a beautiful morning.

We returned to the Inn and sat on the back deck with our coffee enjoying the view. Soon other guests started to arrive and after chatting for a bit we sat down to another (and sadly our last) wonderful breakfast. This morning we had a fruit crisp, then eggs benedict with asparagus wrapped in phillo.

After breakfast we packed, chatted with Kristi & Matt for a long time and then checked out. John bought a coffee cup. I asked to buy a Christmas ornament. They insisted that we take it as a gift from them. When we got home, we found it nicely inscribed for our first anniversary. It was very sweet of them.

We headed down Route 1 and stopped in Camden to browse the shops and at Camden Deli for lunch. I had a grilled cheese, tuna and tomato and John had a mushroom/veggie wrap. The food was very good.

We headed on our way, stopped at a tool store so John could press his face against the glass window (they are closed on Sunday) and then headed for home.

It seemed to take forever… There was lots of traffic and we seemed to get behind every person over 80 who were all driving 20MPH below the speed limit. We finally arrived at 5:45 (Mike and Lauren left at 2).

Rascal was sooooo excited to see us. He spent the evening cuddling. He really missed us.