Day 5: Acadia National Park
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
I started my day with coffee by the ocean and capturing the sunrise. I'm shocked that I had the beach to myself but took full advantage of the alone time by meditating and taking lots of photos. Later that morning, Scott and I had coconut french toast on the patio and enjoyed the bright, warm sun to get us energized for our road trip and hiking adventure.
We drove north on US Hwy 1 and stopped after 40 minutes so we could take a look at The Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory. We didn't go inside the observatory because we wanted to spend as much time as possible in Acadia.
We arrived at Acadia National Park and after paying for our pass, we headed to Jordan Pond House. Lisa Telander Lukis suggested the restaurant for our lunch and the view of The Bubbles. As soon as we were sat at our table, the wind picked up and so it wasn't as relaxing as I had imagined but it definitely was beautiful.
After hiking up the North Ridge Trail to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, we hiked down the South Ridge Trail. The hike took most of the afternoon and we barely made it to Thunder Hole before the sun started setting.
We went to the town of Bar Harbor so we could have dinner before driving back to Lincolnville. It was dark and we were tired and hungry so we just picked the first place that didn't have a wait - Bar Harbor Beerworks. I think I was too tired to really care about anything at that point on the trip. I rallied for ice cream at Mt. Desert Ice Cream though!
Day 6: Local brews
Thursday, September 4, 2014
The early bird gets the worm and boy do mornings like this one make me appreciate my ability to get up early (or inability to sleep). The sunrise was spectacular and once again I had the entire beach to myself.
Despite all of my advanced planning for the trip, I still managed to not pack enough underthings. So, we decided to do laundry in Camden and in between loads we checked out the Camden Public Library and Zoot Coffee. The Camden Public Library is incredible. It recently had a major renovation and it is stunning inside and out. If I lived anywhere near Camden, I'd go to the library just for the view of the harbor.
We drove about 45 minutes south Newcastle, ME so we could check out Oxbow Brewing Company. It was a beautiful drive and a charming part of Maine. I wish we would have spent more time driving around the area. Oxbow had great beers and an even better ambiance. There tagline of "loud beer from a quiet place" rings true.
We continued on to Boothbay and had lunch at Mine Oyster Restaurant and Raw Bar. We walked around Boothbay a little bit and then headed to Boothbay Craft Brewery. It turns out we could have had lunch there and I kind of wished we had judging by the smells wafting out of the kitchen.
When we arrived back in Camden, we decided to go to the top of Mount Battie at the Camden Hills State Park. Normally we would have wanted to walk the trails but we had limited time before the park closed.
Before heading back to the Inn at Ocean's Edge, we had dinner at Cappy's Chowder House which kind of seems like a requirement when you're in the area. We had lobster artichoke pizza and lobster tacos. No chowder.
Day 7: Portland light house, beer and art
Friday, September 5, 2014
We returned to Portland on Friday morning and went to the Portland Head Light, the one and only lighthouse we visited in the land of light houses.
After lunch at Elevation Burger, we went on a self-guided brewery/distillery tour. We started at Allagash Brewing Company on the edge of Portland in an industrial park. We split a flight so we could pace ourselves for the afternoon.
Across the street from Allagash are three more breweries, two of which were open for tastings. We went to Foundation Brewing Company followed by Bissell Brothers.
We took a short break from beer so we could try some distilled spirits at Maine Craft Distilling. The bartender poured small samples while giving us the low down about Blueshine, Ration, Fifty Stone, and Chesuncook.
Next door to Maine Craft Distilling is Rising Tide Brewing Company, co-owned by husband and wife team Nathan and Heather Sanborn.
We lucked out and it was First Friday Art Walk in downtown Portland. We walked along Congress Street and went into Maine College of Art (MECA). We watched several street performances - break dancing, Maine Marimba Ensemble, and a kilted juggler to name a few.
We wanted to check out Portland food trucks so we went to Flea Bites at the Portland Flea-for-All. After browsing through three levels of the Flea-For-All, we were spent and it was time to call it a night. By this point I was done traveling and ready for the comforts of home.
Day 8: Homeward bound
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Our flight wasn't until 1:30 PM but we had already filled up our rental car and we were both just ready to be home so we didn't do any sightseeing before heading to the airport. Before we left, we had breakfast in our room thanks to a stop at the Whole Foods the night before. I picked up some local blueberries and boy were they delicious.
We had a long layover in New York (LaGuardia) and their air conditioning was broken during heatwave so it was not pleasant. I was so ready to be home. During our flight from New York to Minneapolis, we saw a beautiful sunset.
We arrived home to find Stewie and he was so excited to see us. He was well cared for by our neighbors which helped us relax while we were away. It was a fantastic vacation and I'm thrilled we had the opportunity to spend a week in beautiful Maine. That said, it was great to be home and my heart still belongs to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Nivens Family