Long Day of Driving Back to Portland, ME

Today was sadly our last morning in Saint John. We got up early, showered, finished packing and walked down to Cora’s for breakfast.

The food was still good but the service this time was pretty bad. We were seated at a table by the window, handed menus and left. After about 10 minutes, I got up and asked if we could please get some coffee. I got a big smile and a yes she would be there in just a minute, which she was. Since we had her there we ordered our breakfast.

Breakfast came and that was the last we saw of her. Chris was hoping for another cup of coffee so after another bit of time, I got up again and asked for some coffee, which came after a minute or so. Weird cause when we came here on Friday morning the service was excellent.

Walking back to our room we came upon the Loyalist House built between 1817 and 1820. It’s the oldest building in Saint John and survived the fire of 1877 that destroyed most of Saint John.

Next we packed up the car and headed out of Saint John.

Not a very exciting day. I kept hoping to see a moose and there were signs to watch for them but no such luck.

We did find a really pretty Rest Stop with a very filthy outhouse and no paper, I opted to go behind a bush.

After that we headed straight for Newport, ME where we found a pretty good little sandwich place called Harvest Moon.

After a couple of very scenic wrong turns we took a break in Augusta, the capitol of Maine. Augusta is a nice little city but it’s very empty on Sunday.

We walked around town and took a few photos. The weather was absolutely gorgeous today!

7587874336_img_4845 Old Fort Western. (Click on the photo for more information.)

This will be my last post until our next trip.

Exploring Mount Desert Island

Today we spent the entire day exploring Mount Desert Island.

We drove up to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia NP and enjoyed the views with several hundred of our very closest friends.

The first photo is of Eagle Lake, on the way up.

After that we headed off to explore the sights around the outer rim of the island. It was another gorgeous day with mild temperatures and some breeze.

The coastline here is so beautiful. Lots of rock with trees and flowers. The trees are just beginning to turn so every now and then you’re treated to a pop of color! A little bit of a tease for what is to come.

We stopped for lunch at a place along the harbor called The Chart Room where we had really good Caesar salads, mine with perfectly cooked, freshly caught scallops and Chris’s with perfectly cooked tuna. The service was excellent too, in spite of the fact that they had a group of about 35 with small kids.

After lunch we headed back to the Park Loop Rd. to view and take pictures of the ocean.

I wish we had more time to do more hiking and exploring but we are leaving tomorrow early for the ferry across to Digby, Nova Scotia.

First Day in Bar Harbor

Really nice room at the Inn on Mount Desert and we slept very well.

Before going to bed we had a chat with Branden at the front desk who is a wealth of information. We were interesting in moderate hikes in the Acadia NP. He gave us lots of options and recommended we buy a good map in town.

This morning we had breakfast at the Inn. Then headed down to Bar Harbor to the recommended shop called Acadia Shop. They were super nice and helpful and we bought a trail map.

When we came back Branden traced some trail hikes for us and gave Chris verbal information.

There are a lot of trails criss crossing Acadia NP from the Wild Gardens of Acadia so after meandering through the Gardens we decided to do the Hemlock Trail.

Below are a few photos from the Wild Gardens of Acadia.

Time to set off for the Hemlock Trail. We hiked along the designated trail until we came to a fork and a trail marker where we turned in the indicated direction.

It was pretty easy and we motored right along. After awhile the trail started up over some stairs. It then began to go up even more steeply scrambling over rocks, it kind of felt like a steep creek bed. We began to doubt our trail marker following prowess and stopped to get our bearings.

We were perfectly fine through the stairs and steepness but had been warned about getting on the wrong trail and how onerous it was. That was when we began to doubt ourselves so we turned around back to the fork and went toward the Stratheden Trail. We followed it until it came out on the road then followed the road up to the Gorge Trail where we began hiking again. Soon we came to a juncture that pointed us toward the Hemlock Trail…that was when we realized we had been on the correct trail in the first place! By then it was getting close to lunch and we hadn’t brought enough food for too much more exploring. We followed the Hemlock Trail back down the steep rocks we had already descended back to the trail fork and then back to the car. We had a good laugh!

Drove back to our room and walked to lunch at the Side Street. I had a large lobster salad with an Allagash Black and Chris had large chicken salad with a beer called Juiced.

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.

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.