May 28, 2011 – The Homewood Suites had a great breakfast, including oatmeal, dried raisins and cranberries, fresh fruit, yogurt, and sausage/egg/cheese muffins. Their coffee was also a few steps above most hotel coffees.
We were able to quickly get on the road and begin heading north. Our lunch stop was only a few hours away, so we took a few detours. First we stopped at Freeport, Maine. Not only does the town have a cute old main street, but it’s also home to L.L. Bean’s flagship store. The store is open 24/7, and has been since they “took the locks off the doors” in 1951; that’s 60 years of being open around the clock, in a town where (we have a hunch) they used to roll the sidewalks up quite a bit earlier. The mail order catalog has been around since 1912; displays inside the store depict most of the previous catalog covers. We enjoyed browsing, and eventually settled on snagging a few odds and ends, as well as chocolate covered blueberries (yum) and Needhams. These area apparently the Maine version of a Mounds bar, and are definitely much tastier. They’re 1”x1”x1/4” blocks of chocolate-covered coconut (and might contain potato…?).
After a stop and a candy snack we continued to our primary destination – Captain’s Fresh Idea. Their naked lobster roll (fresh chilled lobster meat served on a toasted, buttered hot dog bun, along with drawn butter and lemon wedges) is definitely “wicked good.” They don’t skimp on the lobster, either – each 7” long sandwich has the meat from two 1lb lobsters. Tony tried their draught Maine blueberry soda, which was a nice accompaniment. We were feeling almost-satisfied, but Louisa overheard something about a blueberry crumb cake. As we pondered whether to get a slice for the road, we were told it was served warm, topped with vanilla ice cream, blueberry compote and whipped cream. Sold.
After-lunch festivities were a stop at Fort Knox. The fort is by a new suspension bridge, with an observation tower about 430’ feet above the water. Despite the fog there were some great views from the bridge. The fort was the most user-friendly fort we’ve been to. We were told to bring a flashlight (in this case, Tony’s cell phone). The light was necessary since you could wander down the passageways where several dozen armed troops could be stationed. There was also space for a few dozen canons… and a wedding party setting up by one of the now-abandoned batteries. We avoided the wedding party, headed down a spiral staircase, through a passageway and along the outside of the fort. Only to discover that a short wall was blocking our way. We hopped the wall, walked down the hillside and congratulated ourselves on finding a “shortcut” out of the fort.
Tonight we’re staying at the Ullikana Inn in Henry’s room. The room is cute, small but well decorated with stenciling and a skylight. The weather here is drizzly/foggy/misty, in the 50s and windy. The leaves are just starting to pop out, the tulips are in full bloom and the lilacs are just becoming fragrant. We even spotted a few forget-me-nots on our chilly stroll down the ocean walk.
Dinner was a loud but enjoyable experience at Café This Way. We split the Maine seafood spring rolls for an appetizer. Entrees were a grilled ribeye steak with mushrooms/leak/garlic, served with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans, and the Southwest shepherds pie, consisting of pan-fried eggplant, creamed corn (wonderful cream), and chevre whipped potatoes. This restaurant is consistently good, and is our favorite place to eat in Bar Harbor. We finished the evening with some orange herbal tea and chai while we planned for tomorrow.