October 22, 2009

The Maine Idea

If any state has it together, it is Maine. Everything there is aesthetically pleasing. There are no billboards, no annoying "open house" signs at every corner, and their Starbucks is the cutest in the world. After my night with the birds from hades, I took a walk on the wild side and ordered a Peppermint Mocha. With caffeine... something that I've been off of for several months.

After meeting momma's needs our breakfast treat, we strolled around Freeport, Maine. Not much is open at 7:50 in the morning except this place:
But after all, L.L. Bean is what Freeport is famous for. And their Canadian geese. Six blocks of L.L. Bean stores were open. We strolled a few, and then found the outlet. Did you know that with 3 kids and a shot of caffeine, you can do it all in 32 minutes flat?

As CPQ says, "always eat local while on vacation."
I totally agree. 100%.
It isn't hard to do when this is the local fare:
New England clam chowda. This is not your Cambell's soup variety either. Every bite was creamy goodness.

It's also fun to try the local beverages. Old Soaker won my heart.
Hubby even bought a six pack for me to bring home. Some people buy magnets, I buy soda.

But let's be real. What is the creme de la creme of Maine?
Oh. Yes. And I enjoyed every single bite. The kids thought it was totally gross that he looks at you the whole time, but I wouldn't have cared if he introduced himself in a cute little French accent. I had driven 1,247 miles for this plate and I intended to take my time.

We had reached our furthest destination of the trip: Bar Harbor, Maine. It is the quintessence of New England coastal living.
I highly recommend this little town located on Mount Desert Island at the base of Acadia National Park. A tourist spot? Totally. Charming? Definitely. A must see.

It also turned out to be my favorite camping spot. Rustic without roughing it. (Aka: warm showers, clean toilets, and enforced quiet hours.) One of the things I really liked about this campground was the separation of tent sites and camper sites. Not that I don't like campers... in fact by this point in the trip I had camper at the top of my Christmas list. However, it was nice to have a quiet, natural setting.
When we arrived at the Bar Harbor Campground, I made nice with the lady at the office and casually asked her about wildlife. She laughed and said, "oh, honey, the only thing we have have around here is deer and squirrel." I think I let the words I love you escape my lips, but I did refrain from wrapping her in a bear hug.

Out of all the campgrounds I had scoped online, this was the one that I was most nervous about. 1.) They don't take reservations. 2.) Their website looks like something I could have designed (that's not much) 3.) When I called, the guy laughed and said I definitely wouldn't have trouble getting a site (later I found out that it isn't peak camping week, hence the laughter)

But it was cheap. And it was the closest one to the town. So we tried it.
I am SO glad we did. If you are ever going to Bar Harbor and need a place to camp, this is perfect. Check out the view:
The fall colors were at peak that week (1st week of October). It was cold, but not unbearable. I did sleep in my earmuffs and gloves, but I SLEPT. Like a baby. Without loud teenagers, honking geese, rabid dogs, or bears.


Bugs and Sunshine said...

Awwww how WONDERFUL! 8 years ago my hubby and I, along with another couple, flew up to Maine. We visited Vermont, Maine and ended up in NY. Maine is absolutely amazing-the covered bridges, Boston, all the cute little places! Sounds like ya'll scored a great vacation! Now I am hungry :).

Kellie said...

These are great! I would love to visit Maine someday.... I'll add that to my forever long list. lol :)

Amy Kinser said...

So glad that you found a place that you could get a good night's sleep and a Starbucks.

Love the pictures and that they stir up fond memories of our trip there last year and of the yummiful(as my seven yer old would say) chowder.

God bless...

Sheila said...

I LOVE Maine! We went there in 1999, taking my parents. That happened to be during Hurricane Floyd & we drove right through the middle of it to get to Kennebunkport! Our trip started in Indiana.) I loved that area but also enjoyed Bar Harbour & Mt. Desert Island. Beautiful! -- My only time to stay in a bed & breakfast was during our visit to Bar Harbour.

Sounds like you are making memories with your family!

Carpool Queen said...

I'm thinking this will be the list for a visit next September when the boys are out of school. Looking forward to it already!

Gretchen said...

Any place with a cute Starbucks cannot be that bad.

Actually, it looks adorable, and the colors are amazing. Living in the Pac. NW, we're more about crabs and mussels than lobstah. So I must go find me one of those some day. And eat him all up. Happily. With buttah.

Elizabeth said...

One of my dreams is to visit Maine, and these pictures only make me more anxious to get there! It's so charming and beautiful, I just love it. My hubby isn't too fond of the idea of going though, so any suggestions for how to get him excited about it?

Graceful said...

I went to Acadia with my husband on our first-year anniversary vacation. Your post and pics brought back many happy memories. Thank you!

Kellie said...

I have always wanted to go to Maine. Those pictures are amazing!