Ahhhh, Maine how I love you! Yes, it is that time of the year again, Gist and I just returned from our annual Columbus Day mini-vacation to Mount Desert Island (MDI.) We always have such a wonderful time – it is something I look forward to all year long.
This year we left on Friday morning after stopping for a delicious breakfast at Gromley’s here in Lowell. We split the difference between the fast route and the scenic (although both are scenic) routes and took the interstate (I95 & I295) up to Augusta and then took local roads the rest of the way. With stops, the entire trip took about 51/2 hours.
We arrived in Bar Harbor at 4:30ish and immediately checked into our hotel, the Bar Harbor Inn. We love it there! We always book the Autumn Gold package which includes a full breakfast each morning, one dinner in the restaurant, a Maine lobster bake, and a sail on the Margaret Todd or a bus tour of Acadia.
After checking in, we decided to take a stroll along the Shore Path. The Shore Path is a lovely path that winds along the water and past some lovely (and huge) houses. It is about a mile long and it was just what we needed after sitting in the car for so long. When you’ve reached the end of the path, you can either turn around and walk back or loop through downtown. We chose the latter and meandered into some shops before deciding to eat supper at Rupununi.
Yum! We sat outside on the bustling patio and, I think for the first time ever, Gist and I got the exact same thing: beet salads and lobster bisque. Both were extremely tasty! After supper we meandered around some more and headed back to the hotel.
On Saturday I woke up early enough to see a beautiful sunrise.
Then we ate breakfast and headed up to Acadia to do the Ocean Trail. It is a popular hike but we arrived early (by 8:00 am) and, for the most part, had the path all to ourselves. And what a lovely path it is
We decided to check out the Asticou Azalea Garden. It was lovely and serene – we were the only people there for most of our visit.
Asticou has many oriental elements including a Japanese sand garden. We then headed over to Thuya Garden. Thuya, like Asticou, was designed by Charles K. Savage. It also has some oriental elements but is known for the perennial borders: it is more of a traditional “flower garden.”
We then decided to check out the Abbe Museum. The museum is fantastic and there was a special exhibit of Maine landscape photographs that I really enjoyed but Gist and I must have looked like bad seeds because the museum employee gave an extensive lecture on how to carry our bags and how we couldn’t take pictures or touch anything! Tee hee! We then headed back to the Inn to relax in anticipation of our sail on the Margaret Todd.
We chose the sunset cruise this year (last year we did the early morning one) and it was nice but the weather wasn’t really cooperating! A cold front was coming in so there wasn’t much wind and it was sprinkling. We did see some seals and porpoises and the Margaret Todd is a beautiful boat.
On Sunday we got an early (but not as early as Saturday) start. We enjoyed a tasty brunch buffet at the Inn and then headed over to Southwest Harbor. The cold front had arrived, bring with it my favorite type of fall day – sunny, windy and crisp with that amazing October scent in the air. On our way to Southwest Harbor, we stopped at Somes Sound, the only fjord in the U.S. (although there is some debate about that.) Somes is lovely place but it sure was windy!
In Southwest Harbor, our first stop was the Wendell Gilley Museum. Tis was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Wendell Gilley was a local plumber (he was the museum employee’s plumber actually) who took up bird carving as a creative endeavor. He loved it, became good at it and eventually sold his plumbing business to carve full time. His carvings are lovely – and I love a bird carving! There was a video interview with him shortly before his death and he just seemed like a really great guy.
Next, since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped by the Lilac Lily! I had been looking forward to visiting there all year and it didn’t disappoint. They have a lovely selection of yarns and I had a hard time picking out a souvenir! I ended up with two gorgeous skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in a gorgeous lapis/teal blue. I cast on immediately for the Pashmina Cowl from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
We then decided to go to the Bass Harbor lighthouse. It is a working lighthouse and a Coast Guard family lives there. One of my childhood fantasies was that I would someday live in a lighthouse (and I have to admit that is still ver appealing to me) and Bass Harbor seems like the perfect little lighthouse. It’s so gorgeous!
We then headed back to Bar Harbor for a late lunch at Lompoc Cafe. Yum! If you’re ever in Bar Harbor go there – the food is delicious and it is a great place to KIP. I found out from our server that his boss is also a knitter and would be happy to know that I was knitting at lunch.
Monday was a sad day: time to go home. It was overcast and we left early but not before doing some serious leaf peeping!