Monday, September 25, 2017

Maine Trip

Portland Head Light, Maine
We've been back from vacation for a week and I'm still struggling to go through all the photos. Probably because I got sick while on vacation and I'm still fighting it. All I want to do is nap! It's Day 10 of this evil cold and happily, I'm not quite as snotty as I was. Just a lot of throat clearing.
Canobie Lake Park
We decided to go to Maine. As we researched driving times, flights, etc., plans changed and the trip grew in length. We ended up flying into Boston and renting a car, driving first to Portsmouth, NH. Our first vacation day was spent at Canobie Lake Park, where SP got to ride several new-to-him roller coasters and I got to eat fried dough. Win-win (except for that part where he left me near the stage and a twangy country band came on to play and I was going crazy and couldn't move myself because I was on a hill and I didn't trust myself to not roll myself into people, or a tree, or something worse).
The next day we took a walking tour of Portsmouth with Discover Portsmouth. Our guide was Linda and she was terrific. It was obvious she loves her town, we learned a lot, and our tour flew by. One of our stops on the tour was the African Burying Ground Memorial. I'm not going to write all about the memorial, but it was sad yet heart-warming, bittersweet.
I think North Church was our last stop. Such a beautiful church, and to me, what I think of when I think New England Church. It's in the middle, in Market Square, so we saw it a lot as we wandered through shops & checked out restaurants.
Of course there was lots of food, including a meal outside along the river near the tugboats.
Bug Light
From Portsmouth, we drove north along Route 1 to Cape Elizabeth, Portland Head Light, and Bug Light, and had our first lobster roll from a lobster roll truck at Fort Williams Park.
Boats on Casco Bay
We stopped in Portland, Maine for a day or so. It's a beautiful city, though I did have my issues with cobblestone streets and shops that weren't wheelchair accessible. We checked out the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and took a train ride along Casco Bay then climbed the hill (well, SP climbed & pushed me, I just enjoyed the ride) to the Portland Observatory where SP climbed to the top and enjoyed the view. And yes, there was more lobster eating in Portland.
View from atop Mt. Cadillac
Next up was driving to Bar Harbor, Maine. SP had never been to Bar Harbor. My parents took us on a family trip there when I was 4 years old - back when we had the green truck and the camper and camped a lot. I don't remember much from that trip, just a few memories of crashing waves and rocks and my brother getting his thumb smashed in the camper door. Fortunately, I have the photos. In 1999 my mom & I took a trip back to Bar Harbor. We found our old campground! I love Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park. I was so excited to go back this time.
I am so happy that SP loved this part of Maine, too. Acadia is a beautiful national park. We were fortunate to be able to drive up Mt. Cadillac and not have fog blocking our view. We spent quite some time driving the 27 mile loop road, just pulling over and staring at gorgeous scenery.
We both also love Bar Harbor. Lots of shops to stroll through, a shore path to walk along, restaurants to enjoy, water & boats to gaze at.
 And a beautiful sunset to see.
I think a lot of people might overlook the part of Acadia that is across Frenchman Bay, across from Bar Harbor. It's the Schoodic Peninsula and it's stunning.
In some ways, it's more stunning than the Mount Desert Island part of Acadia.The Schoodic shoreline consists of exposed and weathered red granite that varies from 10 to 100 feet in width from ocean to the beginning of plants. This part of the Atlantic Ocean is the first ocean I saw in my life and it's why I always think of the Atlantic as rugged and dangerous, pounding surf, and scary while I think of the Pacific as calm, smooth, soothing. I remember being 4 years old, in Maine, on these rocks, and being warned to sit my butt down and not move closer, not move at all, because the rocks are rugged and slippery and the waves pounding and dangerous yet beautiful. I could sit here for days, just watching.
There is also calm water along the Schoodic loop.

After a few days in Bar Harbor/Acadia (and more lobster), we drove back to Portsmouth, NH for a night and then spent a morning walking around in some mist-drizzle stuff. I felt very much like a non-hardy New Englander. I was chilly, I wanted my raincoat, I wanted to use the umbrella, but no one else was using an umbrella/hat/coat. Then we drove to Boston and after an hour delay, flew home.
I can't wait to go back. I love Maine.

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