February 11th-13th, 2011
High 30s….Windy….and FREEZING! (Don’t mind my ridiculous garb)
ABOUT THE TRIP:
Our very good friend Jeremie lives in Boston. Dave and his friends from college went to visit him the year before and I had never been and really wanted to visit. So we coordinated our schedules and were able to get a great flight deal and so off we went for a brief weekend getaway. After touching down, Jeremie picked us up at the airport. On our first night, we just relaxed and caught up on each others’ lives. We ordered pizza and drank some vino before retiring for the evening. The next morning, we ate a delicious and hearty breakfast at the house before venturing out to walk……The Freedom Trail!!! The weather was freezing cold and the wind was fierce, but hey, you can’t let the weather stop you from having fun! We parked outside of the Boston Common, the starting point for the trail. We pretty much hit all of the major sites on this trail…except for a few. From the Boston Common, we visited the following:
- The State House (the building with the gold dome)
- Park Street Church
- Granary Burying Ground (Here lies Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Sam Adams; it was covered in snow, so we couldn’t walk through the cemetery)
- King’s Chapel (*Note—we quickly learned on this tour that to see the extra and interesting stuff, you have to cough up the cash. Example, we really wanted to see the crypt and bell tower, but it was $8.00 each.)
- King’s Chapel Burying Ground (Covered in snow…unable to walk through)
- Boston Latin School and Old Corner Book Store (somehow we missed these, but we did see the Old City Hall building!
- The Old South Meeting House (which is where there was heavy discussion as to what to do with the hundreds of barrels of tea!)
- Old State House (the Boston Massacre occurred right outside of this building)
- Paul Revere House (our favorite!) It was such a small and humble house. Hard to believe that he had 16 children! He left that very house to make his legendary ride to Lexington to warn the colonists that the British were coming.
- Old North Church-Before riding to Lexington, Paul Revere stopped here to notify the church how many lanterns to hang in the steeple; they hung 2 to indicate that the British were arriving from the sea.
- Copp’s Hill-a burying ground that we could not tour due to snow.
- Bunker Hill-The British won this battle, but not by much. It gave the colonists hope that they could succeed. The monument was closed because there was ice on the steps!!! What a disappointment!!! So, we went across the street to the Bunker Hill Museum instead.
- USS Constitution-We ran out of time. Jeremie volunteers his time to a local basketball team and they had a game that afternoon and we all went to that instead. Oh well…there’s always next time.
- Canon Powershot SD1000
- 1 bottle of H2O
- 2 Cliff Bars
- Warm clothing
At one point during the day we stopped at Mike’s Pastry. I ordered a chocolate cupcake. Why I didn’t order the Boston Cream Pie, I couldn’t tell you. Why no one else asked me why I didn’t order the Boston Cream Pie…again, I just couldn’t tell you. Although the word is that the “Ricotta Pie” is one of the desserts that they are most famous for.
We also walked through the local market. Funny story: There was this guy who kept going to every vendor and was haggling and lying and saying that the other vendors were offering their produce for cheaper in hopes of getting a bargain. The vendors totally knew what he was doing and well..let’s just say that they collectively called him out on it and there’s was lots of jeering and profanities that were exchanged between both parties. We got a kick out of it.
After arriving home, we got ready and went out to dinner and then though exhausted, we headed out to a local bar. The next morning, we had a lovely brunch before heading back to the airport.
WHAT WE BROUGHT:
Paul Revere’s House hands down. It’s just so much better to learn about history in the place where the events actually occurred. Reading about it in a book just doesn’t bring it to life.
LIVE AND LEARN:
We’d get the Boston Cream Pie! And see the USS Constitution. Had we traveled to the city at any time besides winter, it would have been fun to take the Duck Boat or Swan Boat Tour. And tour Fenway Park too! We made the best of it despite the weather and the short amount of time that we had.
SHOW ME THE DOUGH:
Plane tickets: ~$220.00
1 magnet= ~$3.14
Paul Revere Tour=$3.50 X 2= $7.00
Mike’s Pastry cupcake and cookie= ~7.00
Dinner and drinks not included!
GRAND TOTAL: $237.14
About the Trip
The time was 3:45 am. By 4:20, we were in the car where we began our 11 hour journey to Bar Harbor, Maine. We buzzed through Delaware and New Jersey. The sun rose when we were driving through New York. The silhouette of the city complemented the sky which looked like a billowy color changing quilt. It was breathtaking. We had a moment of silence for those that were taken on 9/11. Not surprisingly, we hit traffic on where else but the George Washington Bridge! That did not fare well for Dave and his hunger pangs. That was the only major delay that we hit on I-95, which surprised us both! We cruised through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. We did stop at McDonalds for breakfast in Massachusetts (yes, we splurge big time when we go on vacation. We were told by past travelers that it’s obvious when you enter Maine because the landscape immediately changes to pine trees…and they were right. Nothing but miles upon miles of pine trees. As soon as we entered the state of Maine, we knew that we were going to love this beautiful state. We pulled over once more to stretch our legs, and then less than an hour later, we had arrived at our destination: Bar Harbor, Maine. The “almost” fall weather was spectacular.
We stayed at the Windward Cottages, which is located along the Western Bay of Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor. Ollie is the owner of the cottages and he made us feel welcome and right at home before we even walked into the cottage. After settling into our cottage we realized that we had struck the perfect combination of solitude while being within close proximity to the conveniences of modern day living. We also realized that we were famished. Ollie recommended the Thurston’s Lobster Pound, located on the southern part of the island. Back in the car we went. What a cute place! It was right on the water, there were so many boats and so many vivid lobster buoys and crates. It was picturesque. I ordered the clam dinner with a medium lobster (it came with corn on the cob, coleslaw and blueberry spice cake and Dave ordered the lobster roll dinner.) While waiting for our meals, we walked out onto the dock and watched the lobster boats make their way back in after their long day at sea. The lobster…..pausing to relive the moment…….was perfectly red and piping hot and my surroundings became non-existent as I feasted on this delicious crustacean. Dave ate his very first lobster at this establishment….but he wasn’t impressed with the taste of lobster….he prefers fish. To each his own I suppose. After dinner, we headed back home for a quiet evening of relaxation. We brought our own snacks from home and cracked open a bottle of vino before bundling up and venturing outside to lay on the picnic tables and stargaze. We spotted dozens of shooting stars. Wonder if all of those wishes we made will come true!
Day 2 AKA “Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary”
Dave loves my banana walnut pancakes so much that he insisted on bringing all of the ingredients from home. So that is what we had for breakfast along with coffee. The cottage had a nice little kitchenette which was stocked with all of the essentials. After breakfast, we headed out to check out the bay as it was at low tide. It was teeming with clams, snails, and barnacles. We enjoyed watching the seagulls drop the clams onto the rocks and eating what they are supposed to eat! After that, we headed to the Visitor’s Center to buy our Acadia National Park Pass. We also spoke to the rangers to find out what their most favorite hikes are before starting the day. We hiked the Sand Beach Trail. It’s a quick little jaunt along the coast with lots of great vantage points. Dave explored tide pools and we sat on the rocks and watched the lobster boats passing by while we ate our snacks. Then we stopped at Thunder Hole (only go during high tide, otherwise, drive right by it). We spent about 2 minutes here. Next we headed over to Jordan’s Pond House to hike some more. We hiked the Penobscot Mountain. It took us about an hour to reach the summit. We had the whole summit to ourselves so we sat down and ate our trail food (clementines and trail mix) before starting the descent. After we got off of the mountain, we walked around the Jordan Pond. This pond is ginormous! As you can see, we never ate an actual meal for lunch so we had to figure out our dinner plans so this is what we did… we drove off of the island and went to Walmart. There we bought half of our anniversary dinner-potatoes, brussel sprouts, and Oreo cookies. We also picked up some food supplies to get us through the rest of the trip. We stopped at Down East Lobster in Trenton, Maine, where we bought our take-out live lobster and clams. Dave of course got fish. We went back home and started cooking. Our 1st home-cooked lobster turned out to be a smashing success! We enjoyed another night of stargazing and wine-sipping.
We ate pancakes again. Then set out to hike “The Beehive Trail,” a very popular, somewhat challenging trail that offers rungs and ladders and will make you hyperventilate if you are a chicken like me. This was easy peasy for Dave, of course. I pretty much climbed this mountain on my knees, but the views were well worth the 45 minutes of fretting. This wasn’t even the most strenuous hike that Acadia offers….it is appropriately named, “The Precipice Trail.” Dave was planning on hiking this exhilarating 1000-foot vertical incline of a beast, but it rained on Day 4. Soooo….after we descended the mountain, we went to Jordan’s Pond House for tea, popovers, and seafood chow-dah. Best. Popovers. Ever. Smother them with butter and jam for the optimal experience. Following tea time, we spent a nice chunk of time chilling at “Otter Cliffs.” Park in the Gorham Mountain Trailhead lot and walk across the street to gain access to the Cliffs. The water was so clear that we could see the ducks diving down several feet into the ocean. Awesome. When we returned home, we decided to test out the kayaks at the cottage (free to use!) So, the first time we ventured out into the bay, we had to come right back because of the prehistoric mosquitoes. These suckers were huge and fierce! They were swarming all around us. So after dousing ourselves with bugspray, we gave it a second go and made it out just in time to catch a stunning sunset. We got a chance to meet our friendly cottage neighbors who came out to the watch the sunset too. A special thank you to Louisa for taking our kayak action shots for us! We finished off the day with a trip to the Trenton Lobster Pound for more take-out lobster and fish.
We woke up super early to watch the sunrise at the top of Cadillac Mountain. It’s the first point that the sun hits in the Continental United States, making us the first people to see the sunrise in the U.S on September 20, 2011. It was a beautiful sunrise that was almost threatened by a rogue row of clouds (which is what tainted our Mount Haleakala sunrise). We drove back to the cottage and went back to sleep. When we woke up again, we decided to spend our last day exploring the town of Bar Harbor. The weather wasn’t the best-scattered showers, but we made do. We walked around the town, stopped at Bar Harbor Brewery for a tasting (we enjoyed the Blue and Black Stout) and walked along the paved “Ocean Path.” On our way home, we stopped at the Atlantic Brewery, which is right down the road from our cottage for lunch and a brewery tour. We gorged ourselves with food and drink(Dave with the pork dinner platter and me with the giant chicken sandwich and 2 pints of Ale and Black and Blue Stout) After the brewery tour, we enjoyed some samples before heading to this giant junk/antique store. It had the coolest stuff! We purchased an old fishing buoy; a fitting Maine memento. We also learned that I have horrible haggling skills. When we finally arrived back at the cottage, we quickly headed out in the kayaks one last time to see the sunset before getting take-out lobster (again) and spending the evening packing and getting ready for the long ride home in the morning.
WHAT WE BROUGHT
- Canon Powershot SD1000
- Panasonic FZ8 camera
- Warm weather clothing, i.e hats, gloves, scarves
- Two Camelbaks
- Athletic/comfy clothing
- Food and Drink from our casa
Show me the dough
Estimated round trip fuel cost from DC @ 40 mpg X 1400 miles=~$122.00
Toll costs: ~$60.00
Windward Cottages: $600.00
Acadia National Park Pass: $20.00
Magnets X 2: $8.00
GRAND TOTAL: $997.71
About the Trip
On our way to the beach last fall, we saw signs for the annual “Apple Scrapple Festival” in Bridgeville, Delaware, which takes place every second weekend in October. Now, being born and raised Delawarians, we are very well versed when it comes to scrapple. For those of you who don’t know what scrapple is, let’s just say that nothing on the little piggy goes to waste. Yes, hence and therefore, scrapple is the ground up remains of the piggy that is made into a sausage-like material. Sounds gross? Yes…it is when you think of it like that. But, it browns up nicely and with a little mustard, it’s quite tasty. Anyway, we were feeling adventurous and pulled over to check out the ins-and-outs of the festival.
We arrived mid-morning and were able to find a parking spot alongside the road that was relatively close to the festival. There is no entrance fee. This event houses many arts and crafts vendors who have a lot of fall and Halloween décor for sale and there are rows upon rows of trade vendors. After scouring around, I picked up a cute Halloween sign to add to our Halloween home décor collection.
There’s a little amusement ride section for the kiddies and if you get hungry, there are lots of food choices to choose from; amongst them are apples and scrapple of course, but they offer standard festival fare as well. There is also a car show here. Boy did Dave have a time walking up and down the streets checking out the cars. There was also a Civil War reenactment camp that was set up and we got to watch them reenact a small battle scene.
It took us about an hour or two to walk through the festival—we stopped a lot. The festival offers a lot of other events such as Scrapple Chunkin,’ which is the sister event to Punkin Chunkin,’ as well as a baking contest.
If you are in the area, it’s a fun event to check out.
Ever been here? What did you think? Tell us about your favorite festivals!
WHAT WE BROUGHT
- Canon Powershot SD1000
The line to get a scrapple sandwich was about 200 deep. No joke. So, if you have a hankering for it, you gotta get there early. OR, you could just make your own if your grocery store carries scrapple.