Friday, September 6, 2019

The Best of Bar Harbor, Maine

Labor Day weekend was an adventure to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in Maine!! 

This included a plethora of delicious food, decadent desserts, hiking through moss-laden woods, and much gazing into the forest of stars in the night sky above.

First stop though: Portland!

Maxx, Ida and I walked the red-brick lain, quaint streets of the city, stopping for cupcakes, Whoopie pie, and tea in between.

Loved this.  Portland was charming, quiet, trendy, and laid back.  The colorful storefronts and awnings, standing out with a splash against the otherwise mostly uniform red brick backdrop.

Then, it was onward to Bar Harbor.  We had dinner at Cafe This Way, sitting outside on the back porch so Ida could join us too, in the slightly chilly air.  Enjoying edamame falafel in a tahini yogurt sauce, smothered baked potato chips in duck meat, cheese, lime crema and corn salsa, pan-fried fishcakes, skillet bibimbap, and for dessert, chocolate truffle cake with raspberry and homemade blueberry pie.  SO good.

The next day, we woke up bright and early for some hiking.  Venturing down the Carriage Roads, though narrow, shrouded woods, alongside sun-dappled streams, pausing for pictures, and for Ida to play in the water.

Then, we paused for lunch with the below as our background.  There was a little cafe on the lawn in front of us, the Jordan Pond Carriage Road House.  We dined on a lobster roll, chicken salad, and their famous popovers with butter and jam.  Delectable.  With, of course, phenomenal views at the forefront.

That afternoon, we embarked on a boat ride amidst the islands of Bar Harbor.  See the first photo below.  The huge white ship, partially covered by the green one in front, that was our boat. 

This was leisurely, scenic, and great fun.  I volunteered to assist with hoisting the sails- hilarious, laughter-inducing, and physically challenging.  Throughout the boat ride, the breeze was strong, rushing across our faces, whipping our hair.  Luckily, the sun was warm. 

It was a gorgeous and laid back afternoon activity.

We finished the night, after a scrumptious dinner at Havana of fish and appetizers of deviled eggs and Papas Bravas, all of which, we agreed, was excellent.  Then, headed to the park pictured below, which offers gorgeous, sweeping views of the harbor and nearby islands.  We hung out and relaxed here for a bit, people watching and chatting.  Ida took a nap <3.  Then, we headed back to our little cabin in the woods.

The next day, Maxx picked the hike, and it was a steep one.  Luckily, it wasn't too long, as I might have keeled over and died if it were both steep and for a significant length of time ;-). 

The view at the peak though?  Totally worth it.

We found a tiny toad along the way!

At the mountain peak, Ida was freaked out by the steep incline of the rocks on which Maxx and I were sitting, so she went and hid in the woods haha.

Later on that day, we headed to The Burning Tree for dinner.  Man, oh, man, was this yummy.  We had a salad of spiced greens (dandelion greens and arugula) topped with a gorgonzola cream dressing, so good.  As well as, an Asian inspired breaded and fried dish.  As an entree, Maxx had monkfish and I tried the baked Sol fish.  For dessert, walnut cake, lemon mousse, and earl gray ice cream were enjoyed (aka, devoured).

Then, back to our little cabin and stargazing was in order.  The night sky, looking like a forest of stars, something like the photo just below.

I Googled "Maine Night Sky."  This is the one that appeared most like what we saw.

Then, below, another awesome hike we did the following day, through a flatter, though rather magical, moss-laden, winding and hilly wood.  Loved this.

Following the hike, we went on a kayaking expedition through the waters surrounding Bar Harbor.  Aside from being a bit nervous, for me, in the imagining of sharks, this was incredible.  Serene.  Wildly scenic.  Quiet.  We saw several bald eagles (most of which, Maxx spotted!), as well as, a group of porpoise which swam within roughly 7-8 feet of Maxx and me!  SO cool.  This was a thrilling and awesome moment. 

Then, we had a phenomenal dinner at Sweet Pea cafe of meatballs and marinara (with housemade ricotta), spicy green beans, and a cucumber and seaweed salad (for appetizers).  Maxx ate the chorizo, pepper, and onion pizza for his entree, while I had the salmon with polenta, both were great.  And for dessert, with slight hesitation, we sampled the chocolate beer cake, which was one of the better chocolate cakes I've ever had.  Moist, light, super chocolatey, it was superb.  I'm still dreaming about it, much to my surprise.

The below pictures were taken on our last morning, at Thunder Hole.  Gorgeous.

Can you spot the seal's head!?  It's a harbor seal.

Can you spot the TWO harbor seals?

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