My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vacation: Bar Harbor

Vacation Day #3 continued...

After exploring Sullivan and the joy of cowlicks (lol), we arrived at our motel in Bar Harbor, the Highbrook. What a sweet place! It sits up on a hill, all perky and quaint with its barn red and crisp white colors, and has such clean, quiet, pretty rooms which are large yet cozy. We even had a screen door, which I thought was a homey little touch for a motel! It's owned and operated by a very nice and helpful family, and the rates are quite reasonable, especially for Bar Harbor in the summer.

Here's BW sitting on the porch outside our room, patiently waiting for the photographer to finish so we can dig into our al fresco dinner...

Simple, yummy and frugal, our dinner was a "souvenir feast" of goodies gathered from various places we'd visited to this point...

The multigrain bread was from Whole Foods in Portland, Dr. McDougall's Tomato Basil soups from Brunswick's Parkview Café (which somewhat redeemed their pitiful breakfast offerings), and the Ryvita Pumpkin Seeds & Oats crackers, raw kale salads, Raye's Mustard Winter Garden spread (made in Maine), and Peak Organic amber ales (also made in Maine) all came from the Natural Living Center in Bangor.

Another neat feature of our motel was its proximity to two bus stops on the fantastic Island Explorer bus route (a free bus service every 15-30 minutes from the motel to Bar Harbor's Village Green, and from there to various locations in Acadia National Park!) We could catch the bus right next to our motel, or if we wanted to catch it 20 minutes earlier, right across the street on the campus of the College of the Atlantic. I mention the COA because as small world coincidences would have it, our neighbor's son Shiva went there on a full scholarship a few years ago! We'd never even heard of it till then, and here we end up staying right across the street and frequently catching our bus to Bar Harbor there. (Shiva, a delightful person and fellow vegan, has gone on to do much good work on behalf of the world's oceans, forests and fellow earthlings. Go, Shiva!)

We wasted no time hopping on the Island Explorer for the first time. Right after dinner we took it to the Village Green - where this photo of BW under a comely clock was taken - and poked around some of the fun shops.

After strolling around the Green, we walked down to Agamont Park by the harbor and took the next two photos before heading out to Bar Island...

I thought it was too bad, from a photography perspective, that the fountain wasn't on. But then I realized if it had been, I probably wouldn't have wanted to perch my fanny on the rim of it for a photo. :-)

As you can see, it was a very nice, cool evening and lots of people were out enjoying it. But no one appeared to be enjoying it half as much as my husband! Hey, BW ~ show us your Happy Vacation Face!

Note the beautiful four-masted windjammer,
the Margaret Todd, over his shoulder

The walk from Bar Harbor to Bar Island (which is part of Acadia National Park) is about 1/2 mile each way and can only be done for about 3-4 hours around low tide. During high tide the sand bar (which is far more rocky than sandy) is underwater. It was a lovely stroll, and looking back at Bar Harbor we could see these two waterfront "cottages"...

I took this next photo from the rocky edge of Bar Island looking back at Bar Harbor. I like to call it, "Bairns & Cairns." :-)

Though no longer bairns, we too added stones to the cairns!

As you enter the trees of Bar Island, you're officially in part of Acadia. There's a hiking trail across it, but it was getting dark and we hadn't bought our Acadia pass yet so we waited till the next day to set foot on Acadian soil.

And that's a good segue to my next posts, which will take us into Acadia National Park and through a very busy day. Wear good walking shoes! :-)


  1. I'm so jealous that you got to visit Acadia! I can tell from both of your happy, relaxed faces and postures that you were very much enjoying your trip. I'm loving the posts so far!

  2. Hi, Molly!
    Acadia is wonderful! I think you'll especially enjoy the next few posts - starring Acadia and its immediate vicinity! :-) Despite living in Maine and making several visits there before that growing up (my grandparents lived there), I'd only been to Acadia once, for just a weekend camping/hiking trip when I was a sophomore in college. I'd always wanted to go back, and just wish BW and I could have spent more time there. Have you ever been? You'd love it! It's the second most-visited National Park in the US after Yellowstone, and maybe it's because we were there a little early in the summer but it sure never felt crowded at all. And those Island Explorer buses are awesome! I can't say enough great things about them!

    I'm glad our relaxed, happy vacation attitude shows up in our photos! And I'm so tickled you're enjoying these posts. (I'm trying not to feel like some dull and droning aunt making everyone sit through her boring vacation slideshow! LOL)

  3. All you Maine goodies look good! I'm especially interested in that mustard...I'm a real mustard fiend and always looking for new kinds to try. So did you make kale salad/mustard sandwiches?

    The weather looks perfect, and the Happy Vacation Faces are great...the world could never have too many of those.

    Thanks for pointing out the windjammer in the background; the harbor looks lovely, but I probably would have spaced on that if you hadn't pointed it out.

    Looking forward to the Acadia photos.

  4. Rose - Did you check out the Raye's Mustard web site yet? They have tons of flavors! We really liked the Winter Garden one, though haven't tried any of the others. It never occurred to us to make a kale/mustard sandwich! Where were clever you when we needed you? :-) We just ate the mustard on our bread and on our crackers, and the kale salad by itself. All quite tasty!

    I agree the world needs more happy vacation faces.

    I was going to add that the windjammer was over BW's right shoulder, but it's his right, our left, and I got confused wondering how to say it without confusing other people, so I just hoped the "4-masted" description would be enough. Glad to know it was! :-) We saw windjammers elsewhere too... such pretty vessels!

    First Acadia post should appear tomorrow morning, so - not too much of a wait! ;-)

  5. Cottages!? Egads. The photo of the brick one is luhv-ley if I do say so myself.
    I see there was some compromising between the vacation photos and the art photos.
    All these pics of Bar Harbour make me realize....I need to visit there too. And I don't even live in Wyoming.

  6. Sue - The brick "cottage" was my favorite of the two also. BW preferred the blue-gray one but being quizzed as to why revealed that it was because of the Adirondack chairs down by the water! (Which I'm not even sure are on that house's property!) So at least the cottage's feature he liked best is within our budget to own someday! LOL

    Yes'm, get thee to Bar Harbor and Acadia one day soon. I know how hard it can be to visit your own "backyard" sometimes. We get so busy with our day-to-day lives and responsibilities that it can feel too impractical to set aside time to go to Devil's Tower or Yellowstone (which is absurd, given how relatively close we are!) In the case of Yellowstone, it's required having company from away to goose us into going there!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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