When we left off in part 1 of our Bar Harbor trip I had just experienced a horrible bout of food poisoning. Being the forever “look on the bright side” kind of person, there were a couple things that worked in my favor. We had an early dinner that night, eating around 5:00. We were exhausted so it was an early bedtime for all. That means I had fallen asleep at 8:15 and then it hit me like a ton of bricks at 8:45. Still, it was early and not in the middle of the night so while it was a miserable couple hours, I still managed to get some decent sleep.
When I was sick I was so bummed wondering how much of the trip I would miss while I recovered, but when I woke up in the morning I was surprised at how OK I was feeling. Weak? Yes. Tired? For sure. But, not sick. I’ll take it!
We eased into the day gently, heading into Acadia to hike The Bubbles. It was a great one for the morning. We covered a couple miles, it was a moderate trail, and we had the payoff of some great views. I focused on getting in water and LMNT and felt pretty good overall.
We returned to town in search of lunch, deciding on Side Street Cafe. What a great spot! The service and food were excellent, but perhaps the best part was that they give each kid a small package of foam clay, keeping our crew joyfully entertained for all of lunch. Afterwards we grabbed ice cream at Mountain Island Ice Cream, which is full of unique flavors and was deliciously creamy. We walked back to the house after that for a little downtime.
I took a power nap so I could feel up for joining everyone at putt-putt. It was a great little pirate themed course and though it was busy, it moved along nicely. Afterwards we were looking for a simple dinner and all agreed Side Street Cafe was a winner, so we returned for more of their fabulous food and the margaritas they are famous for. Afterwards we wandered the town and did some shopping, where Kaitlyn convinced David she needed the full junior ranger outfit. How could he say no?! She beamed and looked so darn cute.
I felt like a new person the next morning and we were all ready to take on the day! A funny thing is that we had gotten into a habit of doing two meals a day, usually a brunch and a dinner, and snacking in between. The kids woke up asking if we could have a proper breakfast, but knowing we were planning on getting into the park early to beat the crowd, we directed them to the kitchen where they enjoyed BBQ chips and chocolate wafers to start the day! They got a kick out of that…
On our way into the park we picked up boxed lunches from Downeast Deli and more blueberry donuts and lattes from The Stadium. As we headed into the park we realized we weren’t the only ones wanting to get there early to take advantage of the one clear day! We finally found a parking spot though and walked Ocean Path down to the start of Gorham Mountain, a 3.5 mile loop with promised excellent views.
The promise was fulfilled and we ogled incredible long range views of the ocean and surrounding islands. It was wonderful to get a clear day to really see Acadia in all her glory!
From there, we walked Ocean Path down to Sand Beach. We had promised the girls we’d return with suits, and that’s just what we did. The beach was slammed and it was a lively atmosphere of people picnicking, screeching in the 53 degree water, and seagulls swooping down to try and score a snack. One did when it swooped right down, landed ON my mom’s shoulder, and took a bite out of her sandwich! I was laughing and scrambling, not to help but to try and get a picture, ha! Unfortunately I missed the bird, but got the bite.
For novelty sake, David convinced me to try the water and next thing you know we were running hand in hand into the icy cold waves! My legs almost immediately went numb and I lasted all of about 2 minutes, but it was quite the refreshing cold plunge!
Feeling fueled and refreshed we got the sand off of us as best we could and headed for another hike- Beech Mountain Loop. Being just a 1.2 mile loop and containing some fun ladders to climb and granite to scramble up, it was a fun hike! Make sure to do it counter clock-wise so you’re climbing up the ladders instead of down.
The girls were itching to get their junior ranger badges and Kaitlyn was doing her best to memorize the pledge, so we headed to the visitor’s center to check that box. They were all so engaged, asking the ranger all kinds of questions about how to become a ranger and his favorite trails.
We returned to the house for showers, then set the kids up with a movie and pizza while the adults dressed up and walked into town for one of the most extravagant meals I’ve ever experienced at Salt & Steel.
Located inside an old home, this restaurant serves exquisite dishes created in partnership with local farms for produce, proteins, honey, and more. The food was intricate and decadent, the service was warm and personal, and the entire experience is unforgettable. It was quite a cherry on top of a beautiful day!
On the morning of our last day, the clouds had rolled back in and mist hung thick in the air. The moodiness of Maine gives it such a magical, storybook kind of feel, but I sure am grateful we got that one clear day to fully see it’s beauty!
We headed into the park to tackle our last hike of the trip- Acadia Mountain Loop! Being just shy of 3 miles and with some elevation gain, it made for a fun one. There were millions of wild blueberries that we had learned from a ranger we had permission to pick and eat. I was also enamored by the fresh cedar and pine everywhere that looked like the most picturesque Christmas garland. It really is such a lush and beautiful landscape.
Upon completion we went in search of what we had deemed “legit lobster” and found it in the form of Thurston’s Lobster Pound. We showed up 20 minutes before it opened, not knowing what to expect, but really enjoyed the storybook view of the harbor, the boats, and the hundreds of lobster traps. The man steaming lobsters on the deck gave quite a show and was so welcoming to the 21 questions from the kids.
When their doors opened, a line had formed, and we learned that you stop at the counter to place your order before sitting down. We scrambled to make our selections while the incredibly kind employees took their time engaging the kids and letting them pick out and hold their own lobsters. We surely looked like total newbies as we tore into the whole lobster, but the food was tasty! It was such an idyllic “Maine” experience.
Afterwards we stopped by another lobster spot, Archie’s Lobster Trap, that had a beautiful long view of the water. It has more of a brewery feel (though it’s BYOB) and the kids enjoyed having the wide open space to frolic while the adults enjoyed some chit chatting and chowder.
By midafternoon we were back at the rental house, where we wasted no time walking into town for the rest of the afternoon. It was moody and misty and we lived it up, shopping the stores, admiring the boats from the waterfront, and watching the girls perform “Let It Go” in all it’s glory to the cheers of others hanging out at Agamont Park.
Two spots I had wanted to try, Galyn’s and Geddy’s, were both fully booked for the evening, so we ended up on the corner at Paddy’s Irish Pub. Don’t be fooled by the pub name, this large restaurant has ample outdoor seating, a friendly staff, and a wide variety of excellent food. It was a hit for our last dinner in Maine.
After a bit more after dinner shopping, we walked home to start packing things up for an early morning departure. The kids played pool while we gathered our things and reminisced on what an adventurous and wonderful week it had been exploring a new (to me) part of the country. Getting to experience it with so many people I love is something that will stick with me forever.
Next up… Rhode Island!