Yesterday, Mike and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary - yay, us! August was a good month for us - a one year cancer anniversary and this. We had a low-key day after work with dinner at Raaz (Indian) at the Rio and then a movie. We were supposed to go to Elk Lake, PA again with friends, but something happened with them and we ended up not going so our weekend plans have shifted. We thought dinner and a movie was a nice way to celebrate after going to Maine the week before.
Maine was truly great. We drove up Saturday to Portland, ME and spent the night. We tooled around Portland on Sunday before driving up to our final destination: Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park. It's so hot down here in August and we tried to get our minds around 55 degrees at night before we left, but we still weren't ready for the fall-like weather. After finally finding a hotel in Portland, we put on warmer clothes from our shorts and headed into the historic and restaurant-heavy Old Port part of town. It was cool. We had dinner at the Portland Lobster Company on the pier. We sat outside (with our coats on) and enjoyed the live band and some local food. Mike had some lobster bisque since we were in Maine. After dinner, we wandered around taking pictures and such. We found a 6 foot section of the Berlin Wall sitting on one of the piers - I walked right by it at first and then we realized what it was. Simply amazing to see.
On the way up to Bar Harbor, we stopped in Freeport - the LL Bean "mecca". We had gone to LL Bean at midnight the night before just because we had heard they were open 24/7. I wasn't overly impressed because I thought the clothes wouldn't be as expensive as they were. I was thinking "outlet" when it wasn't. We did hit the LL Bean outlet on Sunday (a separate store that's not open 24/7) when we returned, but there wasn't anything I was interested in. However, we hit the jackpot at North Face and each bought winter coats for $40! Those coats sure came in handy the rest of the week as the temps dropped down a couple of nights that week.
Bar Harbor is great. We loved this tiny town right next to Acadia. We stayed at a B&B, a 10 minute walk from town (we didn't realize how close it was for 2 days and drove into town to hunt for parking). Our B&B was nice and quaint. The inn owner was very quirky, but his wife wasn't so bad. During our tour of the facilities, he stated that they don't usually have a tv, but they had made a special exception for the Olympics and had placed a 13" tv in the living room downstairs. Our host stated we were only to watch the Olympics and nothing else. I thought Mike was going to run out the door! "R" just had a very particular manner of him, kind of like an old-fashioned dad. For example, R offered to have coffee and tea waiting outside our room every morning but we were not to bring our mugs downstairs to the breakfast area because he would have new ones at each table. Fine. Our first morning, we selected our table and then went to the dining room area to see what coffee and teas were available. We didn't take the mug from our table because we were just looking and R instructed us not to take a new mug from the counter because we had our own at the table. He was just so particular, precise and anal. It drove us both a little crazy. We spent most of week just hoping we wouldn't run into him, but the location was great and the B&B itself was nice.
We had lots of lovely meals in Bar Harbor and a fantastic lunch overlooking the harbor in Southwest Harbor on the other side of the island. We met lots of dogs and lots of people. We attended a local improv show that was really funny. We took pictures of sunrise and sunset on Cadillac Mountain, which is the first place on the east coat where you can see the sunrise. We got up at 4:45am that day to get there. For some reason, I thought it would just be us up there but there were about 100 of our closes friends that morning to usher in the new day. I was kind of disappointed in the people talking about being loud because I think you should quietly appreciate the sunrise instead of goofing off and stuff. Maybe I'm old - or just grouchy that early in the morning. We walked across a sand bar at low tide to the neighboring island (with some of the same people who were up for the sunrise). We saw lots of little boats and quite a few yachts. We took 2 whale watch cruises because we were fogged in on the first trip and couldn't see anything past the boat. The 2nd trip was a success and we saw 3 whales! It was really cold out there - I'm glad we had our new winter coats!
We walked a 6 mile loop on one of the carriage trails in Acadia and did a little bit of trail hiking around Jordan Pond in the park. It was beautiful and peaceful. I really enjoyed the park and wish we had either brought our bikes or rented them. I also wish we had hiked a little more because it was so awesome. We stood in the rain to see "thunder hole" do some thundering when the high tide rolled in, but it was more like "burping hole". We also stuck our feet in the ice cold water on the only sand beach in Acadia (also in the rain) just to say we did it.
On our way back home, we stayed in Portland again for a couple of days. This time we walked to the Portland Observatory tower that had been built in 1807. It was used as a communication tower for the busy port as the ships sailed in and managed to survive a devastating fire in 1886 that wiped out half the city. It had great views of the city and the port. We also took a sunset ferry ride for $13 each. We saw a beautiful sunset and some of the islands off the coast. It was a nice way to complete our Maine vacation before we headed back home the next day.