Thursday, June 21, 2018

Travel: Maine- Bangor and Bar Harbor

Maine has been a place I have dreamed of going for some time now. It is funny because, before my sister Lindsey ever met her now husband, we talked about visiting Maine together one day. It turned out she would give us a very good reason to visit Maine. She met Dustin, who is an airman at MacDill Air Force Base, who is a Mainer. They got engaged and voila! Trip to Maine to watch them get married. <3

We flew into Bangor on Friday and stayed until Monday. The first place we hit up was Stephen King's house. There are people living there and the gate was open. A Mercedes sat in the driveway and a green Chevy truck pulled in as we were lurking about. A Stephen King tour van pulled up while we were there too. It seemed to be a hopping place. 

The home is on a quiet tree shaded street with beautiful homes all about. The wrought iron fence work was whimsical and creepy cool.

The weather was spectacular. Highs in the 70's and lows in the 40's. Vibrant blue skies, breezes and not a stitch of humidity. Perfect break from the 90's swampy Florida summer. Though everyone's noses were dry and sore. We are used to our moisture I suppose. 

We walked around downtown Bangor and grabbed some lunch at Bagel Central (highly recommend) before headed to the Lucerne Inn in Dedham.

The Lucerne Inn was where the wedding was held so we went ahead and booked our rooms there. Nicely appointed rooms in a 200 year old inn with a pool, propane fireplaces in the rooms and the view shown above from right outside our window. Our particular room was $150/night. 

I found a trail behind the inn that led down into a birchwood copse. I very much enjoyed hiking down there on my own.

This is the inn from my mom's room which was across the way.

Saturday morning we woke up early to drive down to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Forest, about 45 minutes from the Inn. There are dozens and dozens of trails that meander all over the park and island but we only had time for one trail. We chose the hike up Flying Mountain. We initially were going to try and watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain (the first place to see the sun rise in this hemisphere and the highest mountain in the area) but sunrise was at 4:45 am and we are not that great at early rising.

The views from the top of the trail were breathtaking.

We stopped off for some sea glass searching before heading into Bar Harbor for the whale watching tour.

The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co took us on a 5 1/2 hour expedition into Canadian waters to search for puffins and whales. The tickets were about $63 per adult and less for the girls. Normally a tour is 4 hours but they have the right to extend it, so don't make plans for afterwards. Also, seasickness is real. I brought some anti-medics and they came in handy for sure, but poor Scarlette felt like crap towards the end.

We came upon a research station and were able to radio in the scientists there to ask questions about the birds.

These birds! The puffins! So cute. 

These are the scientists who were talking with us.

We moved further out and were able to see a pod of seven Fin whales. They are endangered.

It was a very cool experience and it brought tears to my eyes. Savanna wanted to see Humpback whales but no dice. They did end up seeing them the next day on the tour but I am not going to tell her that. This was worth it to do once in a lifetime.

Sunday morning dawned brilliant on the day of the wedding. 

Lindsey and Dustin had a moving ceremony outdoors and she even let me take their pictures in that birchwood forest I found.

Later that day we headed back to Bangor to walk around some more and take in the last little bits of Maine before heading home.

My favorite store was The Rock & Art Shop. The girls and I picked up our treasures there: wooden color pencils, gemstones and crystals, stationary and bugs. 

One of my best treasures though.

Downtown Bangor is picturesque. From interesting angles of buildings to Ginko trees and crocheted benches, the city has it own beat.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that I got to travel with my mom and also got to spend time with Dean, my former step-dad who has been in my life since I was five. The girls enjoyed spending time with him too.

Favorite things about Maine:
- Wildflowers on the roadside
- Fox Family chips and Humpty Dumpty All Dressed chips
- Stone lined rivers and creeks
- Chocolate whoopie pies
- Birch trees and evergreens
- Cedar Wax Wing birds
- Nice people
- Ravens
- Rolling hills and low slung mountains
- Cool morning breezes
- Lobster rolls and chowder
- Maple candy
- Wild skunks
- Bounding deer
- Sea glass chips and tightly curled snail shells
- Birdsong
- Ice cold sea water

I would love to go back to Maine and spend more time in Bar Harbor and exploring Acadia National Park. 

Have you been to Maine? Would you want to? If you have, what is your favorite part?


  1. I have not been to Maine. A former coworker (and close friend at the time) and her husband spent their honeymoon in Bar Harbor. Maine and Wisconsin scenery look similar. And now I realize I still haven't taken a pic of my one little birch tree for you! The inn you stayed at looks awesome. Two hundred years old?! Any ghosts there? hehe


    1. If Bar Harbor and Wisconsin look similar I need to come visit you! We loved it. Thank you for sharing that picture of your birch tree it was the last thing I saw before I headed off to bed last night.

      Yes! It was very old with cranking windows and noisy floors and strange sounds. There is a girl ghost that sits in one of the chairs down stairs and my sister and her boyfriend (the sister, Heather, from Texas) tried to stay up and spot her.

  2. Beautiful photos and descriptions. Thank you for sharing (though I do miss the exotic wildlife camping).

    1. Thank you for stopping by and taking a peek! Exotic wildlife camping sounds amazing. What did that entail? Where did you go?

  3. I have been to Kennebunkport a couple times, once as a child and 9 years ago. I remember it being quaint with small shops, a small New England coastal town experience, but overall everything you did looks more interesting and more scenic. Glad the weather was perfect while you were there.

    1. Yes! I think that is what the vibe was without me even knowing what a New England coastal town entailed. It was just full of character and charm. I loved it. Thank you! They were saying it was the on and off rainy season when we visited but we are used to that from Florida. Summer means summer thunderstorms and afternoon thunderstorms.

  4. Picturesque? I'll say, picture perfect! Julie, these are magnificent. I hope you made a photo book for your sister and/or your family. You know all of this is my cup of tea, from creepy King's abode to the lighthouse and mountain views, to Acadia (ugh, someday!) What songbirds did you get to hear?
    And sea glass is such a treasure, did you know that you can perfume it to make scented glass? You should try it!

    1. Thank you for the idea Jay. That would be a sweet wedding gift. Especially since the quilt is taking me ages. LOL! It might be a "Your First Married Christmas" quilt. I really truly want to head back to Bar Harbor and spend more time in Acadia. It is such a stunning park. I heard the Cedar Wax Wings singing when we were on top of Flying Mountain so I crept up on them and snapped a picture. It is on my Facebook page but I should have put it here. They sounded beautiful. But I could hear birds everywhere we went. I am trying to get better at identifying them by song but it is taking me a while. I have cardinals, blue jays and tufted titmice down pat. Lots of ravens in Maine. I loved that.

      I had no idea about the scented sea glass. That would be cool. Kinda like a little bowl of sea glass potpourri? I will try it on my nightstand. I only found like 4 pieces though. I ended up giving most tot he girls and my mom. She was really after it.

  5. Your trip looks so lovely, and heavens, you worked so much into such a short amount of time! Maine looks spectacular - it's the perfect time of year when the trees are still all vibrant and lush. Your family looks so lovely; that picture of the four of you on the porch is definitely a keeper. :) Glad you had what looks like a wonderful time (and way to creep on Stephen King's already creepy house; what's with the gargoyles, man?!)

    1. It was a really nice time. I am so selfishly happy Lindsey got married in Maine. And yes, vibrant and lush are exactly how I would describe it. It felt like an energized spring. Thank you for the kind words. <3

      And creeping on the King was a nice turn of the tables. I kind of want to take decorating tips from him.