Heading to Bar Harbor

Getting showered, dressed and packed up to head off for Bar Harbor and The Inn on Mt. Desert. First we’ll have breakfast at Becky’s and make a stop at the original LLBean in Freeport.

We had a wonderful time shopping at L.L.Bean. They have a huge Petite section in the store and I found several things. Chris found a couple of shirts and pair of slacks that actually fit his tall slender frame.

We decided to take the longer more scenic route to Bar Harbor which was a fabulous idea.

The leaves are just barely beginning to change color so every so often there would be a little splash of bright red or orange! Beautiful, who knows we could get lucky. My main goal was to be here when the fewest tourists were here and I think we managed it.

We went through a town called Bath where they build the Navy’s Zumwalt class destroyer, which incorporates stealth-like qualities. If you want to read about it here is the link. https://www.gdbiw.com/Programs.html

We stopped at a wonderful Scottish Pub called The Drouthy Bear in Camden. Excellent food and a great beer list! They even had one of my favorites, “Wee Heavy” on Nitro!


Charlie’s Nice Salad


Warm Apple and Scallop Salad

We left Camden and headed on toward Bar Harbor. The area along SR1 is so beautiful! Lots of trees, small sea ports, and small towns filled with old restored homes. We loved every bit of it.

On down the road we came upon the town of Penobscot where the Penobscot Narrows Bridge is. It’s a beautiful cable bridge and you can go up to the top of the viewing area and see for miles on a clear day, which we had.

By the time we were done looking out the windows at the top of the observatory and taking photos it was getting really late so we just made a beeline for our hotel. We got in about 6:00 PM and were settled in our room by 7:00 PM.

By then we were thinking about dinner and didn’t want to be out wandering the streets of Bar Harbor in the middle of the night. We decided to try a place called Side Street Café that got very good Yelp reviews. We think those reviews are well deserved. We each had a half order of the Lobster Mac, really good, the lobster was sweet and tender.

Now we’re back in our room getting ready to go to bed so we’ll be well rested for tomorrows hike in the Acadia National Park.

Last Full Day in Portland, ME

Got up, showered and made it to breakfast, ugh. One of the all time worst hotel breakfasts I’ve ever had; very overcooked, very cold scrambled eggs and very cold, soggy potatoes, the muffin was great and the coffee was weak. Happily that was the worst part of the day and the rest of the day was awesome!

We spent the whole day walking around Portland. What a wonderful town.

To the left out of our hotel, looking down the street. On the left in the photo is the Lobster Shack where we had our chowders last night.

Original cobblestones on the street.

U.S. Customs House

There is a walking path that runs along the waterfront so we took that to explore the city. Not far along the path we came upon the Portland Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. Very cool place where volunteers are restoring the old train cars and engines, they also give train rides. We didn’t choose to go on a train ride but we did go through the museum.

We continued walking along the path into the Eastern Promenade Park shared by lots of walkers, joggers, dog walkers and bicyclists.

Next we headed on up to the Eastern Promenade to look at all the restored historic old homes there. They are just gorgeous.

One in particular stood out from the rest and we happened to get lucky enough to speak with the owner for awhile.

She and her husband had lived there for 25 years and were the third family to live in the house, it had always been a single family home. Her yard was stunning and she took care of it all herself.

After looking at a number of these wonderful old homes we headed to the Portland Observatory, built in 1807. The Portland Observatory is the only known signal tower of it’s type left in the United States. We had a wonderful conversation with the docent inside, she told us the history of the observatory as well as the area. Very interesting.

View from the top of the Portland Observatory.

We were beginning to get hungry so we headed back in the direction of Old Port. On the way we took pictures of the Eastern Cemetery, an artistically painted old house, St. Vincent de’Paul, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and the City Hall.

The weather vane at the top of City Hall.

We had lunch at a great little pub off of Monument called Shay’s Grill Pub. We each had a beer and a Cranberry Walnut Salad, I had beautifully cooked Blackened Salmon on mine.

Now we are back in our room chilling until dinner.

Oh my goodness! At about 5:30 PM we began looking at dinner options. I remembered a place I’d seen while walking back to our hotel after lunch at Shay’s called Walter’s. We decided to take a chance and go there. It had good reviews, just not very many total reviews. Well, it was delicious!

I had the Brick Chicken and Chris had the Ahi Tuna.

First Full Day in Maine

Woke up at 8:00 this morning after getting an amazing nights sleep. Chris was still asleep so I made myself some coffee and tried to be quiet.

It was lightly raining outside and the weather widget said it was probably going to be a pretty nice day.

Chris woke up about 8:45 and we began showering and getting dressed in preparation for the day. By the time we were finished the hotel’s breakfast buffet was over.

The waiter downstairs offered to try and find us something if we liked or he could recommend a place. We chose the recommendation, which was Becky’s, a place I had noticed on our way into Portland. At that time I had mentioned that it looked like a good place to eat.

Not only was it a good place to eat, it was packed, the service was top notch and the prices were unbelievably reasonable. Our whole breakfast bill including coffee and tip was under $20.

After a great breakfast we decided to walk down to the Portland Fish Pier. It’s a real working fishing pier and I really enjoyed watching all of the activity.

After that we went back to the hotel and got a shuttle to the airport car rental to pick up our rental car, a Nissan Versa.

From there we drove out to the Portland Head Lighthouse and explored the area. It’s really a beautiful lighthouse and the surrounding coastline is gorgeous. This is the first time I’ve had much of a chance to enjoy the Atlantic coast and it is very different from the California coast.

Ram Island Ledge Light Station.

Portland Head Lighthouse with the Ram Island Ledge Light Station in the distance.

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse

Lobster tank at the Lobster Shack where we ate lunch.

The Lobster Shack at Two Lighthouses State Park where we had lunch.

Lobster Roll with Fries and Coleslaw (not in picture).

We then headed off to Allagash Brewery for some beer tasting. We has some very good beer there one of which we both loved called James Bean. Unfortunately they don’t bottle it. We were told that they may begin distributing it next year but it will be under a different name so we should look for it by searching on it’s qualities; Bourbon barrel aged tripel blended with cold brewed coffee. Wow! One of my newly found favorites!

Headed back to our hotel and after a bit of a rest we set off down the street to find something light for dinner. We found some yummy Lobster Bisque and a glass of Pinot Noir for me and Chicken and Corn Chowder with a beer for Chris.

Now we are happily relaxing in our room.

Headed for Maine

Didn’t sleep last night between restless legs and thinking about the early flight.

Got up at 4:00am, got dressed and finished last minute packing. I had a couple of pulls from my Nespresso. We said goodbye to our kitty and headed for the airport.

There is virtually no traffic at 4:45 in the morning. We breezed into the airport and parked the car in the airport lot. Next time we’ll take a “Lyft”, much less expensive.

Going through security in our small regional airport was pretty fast and painless. I think it would have been even without TSA Pre.

They announced that they were checking all carryons with wheels. I was afraid I might have to Gate Check my carryon with all my electronics, cameras and prescriptions. Fortunately for me my international carryon was small enough to fit under the seat.

Our plane was a Canadian Bombardier 900 from San Luis Obispo to Phoenix. The flight was pleasant and after debarking we went in search of breakfast.

Our flight to Chicago was on one of the new air buses with varying seat pitches. Our seats were the least expensive and had the lowest pitch. I am 5′ tall and had barely enough room. Getting my carryon under the seat in front or out again was very difficult because of the lack of room between my seat and the seat in front of me. Other than that it was a very nice flight with included free wifi.

Having a meal and beers at the Chicago Airport.

On our last flight of the day from Chicago to Portland, ME we flew over Lake Michigan, my first time ever to see a Great Lake! We were seated over the wing so I couldn’t really get any photos but I can see a trip to Chicago in our future and not just to the airport.

We arrived in Portland, ME about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. It was pouring rain as expected. Great flight by the way on a Canadian Bombardier 700.

After collecting our luggage we called a Lyft and within minutes were being whisked to our hotel The Hyatt Place Portland – Old Port in the older section of Portland.

After a wonderful checkin experience by Kia and with a large glass of red in my hand and bottle of beer in Chris’s we retired to our room overlooking a very wet and beautiful city.

Packing Day

Got in a nice little bike ride this morning on our tandem. The mornings are so cool and beautiful even though the afternoons have been unbearably hot. We won’t be riding bikes for 2 weeks, just hiking, walking and maybe some swimming.

Did something I’m always saying I should do and end up not doing. I made a checklist of what I thought I’d need to bring, got it all out and packed it into my packing cubes. It made packing so much easier. It also helped me weed out the unneeded or mismatched articles. Then took it all out again and took pictures so I’d know what I had if my luggage gets lost.

There are plenty of rain and thunderstorms predicted for our first few days so it sounds like indoor activities will be in order. I’m sure we will still manage to do plenty of sightseeing in spite of the weather. We get so little rain here in California these days that it’s a real treat to spend some time in it.

Just a Few More Days

In three days we will board an American Airlines flight to Portland, ME. Since I started planning this trip about a year ago, I can hardly believe it’s here.

We have been watching the weather reports for the Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick areas and have come to the conclusion we need to bring clothing for every single eventuality that weather can provide! In other words; I have no idea what to bring! Whatever I bring will have to fit into one 25″ suitcase and a small carryon because I don’t like dragging bunches of luggage everywhere.

We will be hiking, walking, sightseeing, road tripping and eating lobster as much as possible.

We have been reading travel books to learn more about the areas we will be visiting as well as researching on the internet for interesting places to visit.