We only had three days on Acadia National Park before we had to move on to our next destination (with WIFI!) which is why I’m blasting the last three days at you all at once.
I have to do something in the car…
Speaking of WI-FI (or zee wee fee, as I like to say with a French accent) I made a morning habit of walking over to the hotel across the street and having a cup of coffee and poaching some internet.
Loony refused to go with me because he felt that it was dishonest to walk into their lobby and drink 25 cents worth of coffee.
Yes, technically he is right. I’m not a paying guest but holy shit, you should see him go to a garage sale and savagely offer $4 for a like-new Patagonia jacket that cost $500. And they go for it!
Nope, he doesn’t feel bad about that but bumming a cup of coffee and wifi is crossing the line.
I’m going to try to be linear about this and I’m using a TON OF PICTURES because it’s the best way to show my dad (Hi Dad!) what’s going on. And MAC. Always Mac.
We left Bangor in the morning loaded up with pies and ready to get onto the island.
Chris called me to find out where we were.
“We just passed JP’s farm stand.”
“YOU HAVE TO TURN AROUND AND GET STRAWBERRIES!”
It’s been a long road trip and I was in heaven amongst the fresh produce and flowers.
I don’t feel right about posting photos of Chris’s house but the grounds were a wonderland for the boys. It reminded me in so many ways of my great grandmother’s estate in Blowing Rock.
We arrived at Chris and Rich’s and settled into the guest cottage for a few minutes before he pressed a map into our hands and told us what we had to do for the rest of the day.
We went to Pretty Marsh tidal flats when the tide was out and at just the right depth for the kids to find crabs and snails.
It was at this point that Loony declared Acadia “not really up to National Park standards.”
I get mad when he says ignorant shit like that because the kids start saying it too and then everyone is all, “Meh,” and that’s just wrong.
From there we went to Thurston’s Lobster Pound for a genuine Maine dinner. It was so picturesque that I kind of wondered if it was even real. It was like something straight out of movie.
We hightailed it home but stopped a Sawyer for ice cream from a place that Chris assured me was quintessential Maine.
The next morning (Thursday) was rainy and gray which threw a wrench in our plans to go whale watching with those free tickets we scored.
Loony mentioned that the woman who gave us the tickets said that the Rockefeller’s had a Japanese garden that was open to the public but we didn’t know much more about it.
Chris said it was just down the street (so is Martha Stewart for that matter) and he put in a call to a friend who would know more about it.
He got off the phone and said, “Everyone, meet me at the car in 10 minutes! We have to go now!”
The gardens are open to the public on Thursdays from 9 to 1 and by appointment only. It was 11:30 and his friend just happened to be heading over right then.
What a wonderful bit of luck!
We had lunch in the nearby little town of Northeast Harbor and checked out Chris’s art show at a local gallery.
His work inspired me to look down at the miniature landscapes around my feet. I became obsessed with the lichen, barnacles, moss and seaweed tableaux.
The day suddenly cleared up and we took advantage of the sun to check out more of the island.
Since Loony was complaining that Acadia wasn’t “National park-y enough,” Chris sent us to Cadillac Mountain. I could have died of embarrassment.
We moved along to Sand Beach where the boys ran amok on the rocks.
That night turned into its own drunk post (coming later, but don’t get excited, I didn’t attack my elderly host and challenge him to a wrestling match).
I dragged everyone out of the house at the crack of dawn to go whale watching. Loony’s crazy driving and uncanny sense of direction got us there with no time to spare.
We toured a puffin sanctuary, saw a Mola Mola, Finned Whales and Humpbacks.
The Dramamine knocked us all out, but we needed it. Fortunately we had a very mellow evening planned.
The last thing we saw on our way out Saturday morning was Thuya Gardens.
There are spectacular, publicly accessible gardens all over the island. They all have a box for $5 donations, but otherwise seem to be maintained privately.
Everywhere you look is a gorgeous garden. Acadia is such an unusual place. It was established as a National Park long after it was dotted with fishing villages and fancy summer communities.
It’s a delightful mixture of private homes, working lobster pounds and public spaces.
Three days isn’t long enough to take in all of Acadia. In my opinion, three days is only long enough to come to the conclusion that you have to come back. I’ll definitely be back so I can canoe, swim, bike and hike, all things I didn’t get to do this time around.
Okay. Time to make it to our penultimate destination: Hampton, New Hampshire. It’s a mere six hours away. No prob.