Friday, August 7, 2015

"Lobster, Lobster, Lobster" : Our Trip to Maine

Andrew and I took a trip last September to Acadia National Park, and my mission was to eat my way to our destination and back.  To be more specific, eat lobster every day. Spoiler alert: I accomplished my goal. Or fulfilled a dream of mine. Both statements are equally true.

Our first stop in Maine was Ogunquit, which means "beautiful place by the sea" in the Native American Abenaki language.

 I was drooling for the lobster grilled cheese sandwich from Foot Bridge Lobster.  That's Andrew ordering. Just imagine me pacing back and forth with the same anxiety as a father waiting to hear about the status of his newborn baby.  Wait, aren't fathers present at the birth? I think I watched too many old school movies with scenes in which the dad is outside the labor room.  Look, if you're a father who is not there holding the mother's hand during labor, you're a dick.  Unless your wife kicked you out. That happens, right? I don't know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, how adorable is this shop!
Dude in red throwing me shade.

My baby arrived!

But it wasn't unconditional love. Because as good as it was, this grilled cheese sandwich could have used a little more CHEESE, dontcha think?

Whatever.  It still made me happy. Thanks for the snack and pretty views, Ogunquit. 

The next stop was Camden, Maine.  We were basically just staying the night to rest up for the remaining drive to Bar Harbor, so we picked a nice, clean economic choice located at a convenient location. Towne Motel was an awesome value. I recommend it.

It started pouring right after we checked in.  We made the short walk (with what looks like a broken umbrella) to town, but we got drenched!

Back on the road, and we stopped at Young's Lobster Pound in Belfast. As someone on Yelp put it, it's a "Real Downest Lobster Pound".

There are tables set up outside in the back.  Pretty view.

Here's my slightly blurry photo of the lobster roll.  Although the place got very good reviews, I wasn't blown away by the watery, super fishy-tasting lobster meat. 

 The clam chowder was also very "thin".  A lot of onions.  Perhaps it's authentic, and I may just be used to a certain thicker type of chowder.  It also had a strong fishy taste.

Some pit stops along the way.

Cute houses

So we made it to Bar Harbor and stayed at Acadia Inn.  I remember weird, fake eggs made from a mix being served at the breakfast buffet, but beyond that, the place was perfect for us.  

We hiked the Precipice Trail once we got into the park. You should definitely read up on it.  The trail is closed at certain times during the year.
This is the parking lot at the foot of Champlain Mountain.

This is my view looking upward.  We had to climb up on these rocks- I guess you call that a rock scramble?  We followed the blue stripes (blazes).

I almost didn't see Andrew in this pic.

Taking a little break.  The sun shadows make me look really skinny here.

Oh, here we go.  Hello, the more healthy, lobster loving version of myself!

This would not be a fun thing for anyone with claustrophobia.  You have to duck into small enclosed areas.

Yeah, that's a tiny opening.

 It's not a trail for the faint of heart. As you can see, the trail can narrow to really narrow paths.  There are iron rungs attached to the cliffside to help you (not die).


This was my first perilous hike with no guardrails present.  It was kind of exciting, but also a bit worrisome.  You feel all adventurous and almost Indiana Jones-ish as you come to a footbridge with planks missing.  But then you realize it's not a movie. I shouldn't state the obvious, but don't bring your kids on this trail!  Andrew and I were even discussing if this would be safe for our nieces and nephew, and they're in middle and high school now. Ehhhh...still questionable.

 Made it!

Andrew and I were calling Acadia Park a silver destination. Old people love this place.

 Just me doing a weird school picture day pose on this rock/these rocks.

See this beach.

We went there.


Ok, if you come to Acadia Park, you HAVE to, HAVE to go bike riding and eat popovers at Jordan Pond House!  Please tell me you's the perfect break after some riding.

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond House:  We totally took a nap on the grass while waiting for our table.

The popover!  It doesn't look like much, but it's magic in your mouth!  I ordered an extra. 

Alright, so I ordered more than popovers.  Hey, bike riding is strenuous exercise. 
Now that's what I'm talking about...delicious thick clam chowder!

Mmmmm.  Lobster roll redemption. No gross overly fishy flavor here.

Ok, ok! These are like my favorite, favorite restaurants of the trip!

Here is Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard.

 Gorgeous view AND amazing food. YESSSS.

 Look at that lobster BLT. 

We loved Thurston's so much that we returned for a second visit.

Another place we ate at twice was Side Street Cafe, which is in town in Bar Harbor. 

Their lobster and lobster stew are to-die for!

 The lobster mac n cheese is pretty good, too. But it's so huge and heavy that I couldn't finish it.

 Washed it all down with some blueberry beer.  This area's known for its blueberries so be sure to try the blueberry beer and blueberry pie!

 We also went on a tour with Coastal Kayaking.  You get to see seals! Andrew has all the photos of the tour, but believe me, you won't want to miss out on this if you're already in the park area.  I believe we just missed out on some major seal watching months when we went in September. 

Walking around the park.

 Time to leave Bar Harbor.  We gave thumbs up to breakfast at Cafe This Way.
This is The Harney.  Corned beef hash with 2 poached eggs, toast, and hollandaise sauce.

 And then we made it back to NYC safe and sound.

No, we didn't.  Because the car broke down.
So we stayed a night in "I don't know where" Maine until the car could be fixed.

**updated:  We weren't even in Maine!  We were in Portsmouth, NH.  We stayed at the Best Western, which reminded me of The Shining.  And it smelled like warm bleach in the hallways (probably to clean up the blood).  

But that Roundabout Diner attached to the served up a mean lobster BLT. 

Surprisingly, I wasn't lobster-ed out by the end of the trip.  And now, after posting this, I really want to eat lobster. 

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