June 28-29, 2014 – This weekend we stuck around Boston, but that doesn’t mean we stayed home (at least, not all weekend). So, what did we check out? First up was Plimoth Plantation. The plantation has a nice air-conditioned cafeteria where we got lunch, as well as a recreated settler village and an Indian village. There are people in traditional dress in both villages, and various buildings you can walk into. There are also farm animals in the settlers’ village, with the chickens, cows, and mini goats being the favorites.
Next up was Cold Stone. This was back in Boston, and it was a warm day that definitely called for some ice cream. After a bit of wandering around we eventually found the Mapparium. The Mapparium is inside the Mary Baker Eddy library; you have to take a tour to see it, and the you only get 20 minutes. However, it is pretty neat to see, particularly if you’re lucky enough to be tall enough to see over and around the other people crammed into the room. One of the neat things about the map is the current version is from the mid-1900′s, so there are some out-dated national borders and names on the map.
June 20 – 22, 2014 – It had been a long, long week, and we just needed to get away and relax for a bit. So we headed to our favorite weekend getaway – Acadia National Park. Since we’ve done so many of these posts in the past, let’s just cut to the chase and give you a nice little list of what we were up to this time around.
The weather finally cooperated enough to climb the Beehive and Mount Champlain. We always bring enough snacks with us to have an informal light lunch on Mount Champlain. Today the view was great, we could see mountains in the far, far distance, and had a clear view of Schoodic Point. We also saw a bald eagle soaring.
We’ve never made it to a sunset at Cadillac Mountain, though now that we have (we stopped at a pulloff about 2/3 of the way up), we might just make this a regular occurrence. The sky was perfect, and we could hear birds singing up the valley. We also had a view of a pond, and could see a little sliver of ocean peaking out from between two mountains.
Pizza, garlic cheese knots and beer at Pat’s Pizza. The pizza has fantastic pepperoni and sausage, and a nice light but still substantial crust. This is one of our must-eat-at places (now that we’ve discovered it).
Picnic lunch at the little section of the park by Trenton bridge. Maine is perfect for outdoor dining. Just stop at an IGA or Hannaford’s, grab some bread, cheese and cold cuts, juice and pop, and some chips and you’re set. I like to bring a table cloth and plastic silverware with me from home, so that simplifies the picnic process a bit.
The walk along Jordan Pond from The Bubbles to the Pond House. This is a really lovely, wooded walk.
Along the walk we heard some squeaking. A baby common merganser and mother were swimming along. When the mother dove, the baby would look for her underwater, and then start squeaking until the mother came back up.
Peanut butter and black raspberry ice cream at Blueberry Hill. They only take cash, but the ice cream is always good and the large cone is huge.
On Sunday we did a new hike from Jordan Pond House – down the Asticou trail over to the Thuya gardens. Actually, we kind of found the gardens by accident. We’d just hiked up several dozen, very old stone stairs (apparently this was one of the first trails built, around the turn of the last century) with lots of hungry mosquitoes, when we found a trail covered in woodchips. Then we found a little map hut. And then we realized that our trail up a little mountain was going to be both flooded and overgrown. So instead we walked down a road with a sign that said “Thuya.” We had no idea what “Thuya” was, but we figured we’d find out. Thuya is actually a garden landscaped in the English style, with a lodge and some lovely overlooks that are just right for a picnic lunch.
Just down the hill from Thuya gardens are the Asticou Azalea gardens. These are slightly smaller than Thuya, but lovely and peaceful.
May 23-26, 2014 – So, what did we do on our long anniversary weekend?
Drove through lots and lots of rain on Friday to get to Lake Placid. Also discovered that traffic on backroads can move very slowly if you’re stuck behind a pickup truck carrying scrap metal.
Hotel room with lake view balcony just off Mirror Lake.
Saturday walk around the lake, more rain, walk to the nature trails, loon, diner with chicken fried steak and spicy hash scramble for lunch, X-Men movie in cool old theater, pub for dinner with pizza and soup and grilled cheese, walk around the lake with ice cream
Sunday hike up Mt Jo, lunch at the diner with sausage gravy and buttered biscuits, partial muddy hike up The Washbowl trail, pub for dinner with pizza and fire fish, and a walk around the lake with loons and ice cream
Monday coffee shop, nature trails, lunch at the pub with fried chicken and club sandwich with fries (also great BBQ sauce), walk around the lake, drive home
May 16 – 18, 2014 - We left home on Friday night on our way to a birthday trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. First up was the traditional dinner at Popeye’s, followed by an uneventful drive to Bar Harbor.
Saturday morning we started out early and beat the rain for a quick walk by Eagle Lake. By the time we got back to the car the rain had started to pick up. We were able to have a picnic lunch in the car at Schoodic Point, complete with peanut butter whoopie pie for dessert. It was still raining after lunch, though that didn’t stop us from running after some miscellaneous, non-flying, very fast little birds. It seemed like a good afternoon to watch a movie. Lucky for us Godzilla had recently opened.
It was prom weekend in Bar Harbor and most restaurants were packed. We got dinner at a fancy tavern- crab dip, a local pulled pork sandwich, handcut fries… the food was good, though the dip wasn’t our style. The fries were fantastic though. And what other way to end a birthday than with cards, presents, and cookies back at the hotel?
On Sunday the weather cleared up a bit, but things were still pretty damp. We decided hiking up large wet rocks wasn’t such a great idea. Instead we took a nice walk on the carriage paths by Betty Pond. We were pleasantly surprised with how pretty the pond was, how deserted the path turned out to be, and with the wildlife (frogs, warblers, and an audible but not visible owl).
We finally made it to Side Street Cafe for lunch- mac n cheese with bacon and onions (or bacon and shrimp) and local beer. The mac n cheese needs bacon, but if you get it with bacon and anything else, it’s fantastic since the cheese sauce takes on the bacon flavor. On the way home we stopped at Blueberry Hill for some ice cream (blueberry and pineapple orange twist… fantastic as always).