Monday, June 02, 2003

Bar Harbor

We got up early and had breakfast. Kay always makes more food than any sane human can eat, so when she saw we had no room for her freshly baked sticky buns she packed them for us to take along. We stopped at the post office and mailed some postcards, then headed toward Maine, via the indirect route, since there are no fast east/west roads in that part of the country.

We stopped at some very nice rest stops in New Hampshire and Maine and got maps and area guides. Around noon we stopped near Pitsfield, Maine, and had a picnic lunch of leftover tandoori chicken and basmati rice from the night before, and sticky buns courtesy of Kay.

We arrived in Bar Harbor at 3 and got settled in at our B&B. This took longer than it should've because some pushy walk-ins from Alabama kept interrupting the innkeeper. It didn't help that the innkeeper had a rather lengthy spiel that he felt he had to give us before he would show us to our room. But the room was lovely and very elegant. It was much fancier than Kay's place, although the inn lacked the same "at-home" feel that we always get with Kay.

We skipped tea and went to a nearby bike shop to check on rentals for the next day. Then we went to Acadia where we immediately decided it would be more work than fun to ride road bikes, not to mention that it would be dangerous to ride the winding hilly roads with no shoulder. I suggested we rent mountain bikes and do the carriage trails, but he thought they would be too crowded and we could just hike instead.

In the meantime we were driving the park road and eventually stopped at Sand Beach to take pictures. It was very picturesque, but also sanitized and touristy compared to Vermont. We had dinner at the Jordan Pond House. The popovers and tea were great and the food was quite good, but a bit overpriced. With the incredible views all around, what could one expect? After dinner we walked the pond trail a bit and then went back to the inn and strolled through town. We saw some nightlife and some questionable characters, but no one bothered us. We bought some coffee at an ice cream shop that sold lobster ice cream, but we passed on the offer of samples. Instead we went back to the inn and sat on the porch for awhile, planning the next day's events.

We concluded we were a little disappointed with Bar Harbor. It was less picturesque than Cape Cod and less rustic than Vermont. We had expected it to be more like the Cape, with everything designed to blend into the original architecture of the place, and with efforts made to keep it looking quaint. Well, if we hadn't gone, we would've always wondered.

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