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

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vacation: Acadia Pt 2 & Bye-bye Bar Harbor

Vacation Day #4 concludes and Day #5 begins...

Here's your trusty Acadia map for the last time!

After our visits to Asticou and Thuya Gardens just outside Acadia, we hopped another Island Explorer (you can just flag them down alongside the road, no bus stop required) and returned to the Park, this time to Sand Beach...

This definitely wasn't a day for swim trunks!

We did ditch our shoes & socks and wade out into the surf a ways, and the fact that our legs went numb instantly made it a less painful experience. LOL

So after our sissified mini-version of a Polar Bear Plunge, we turned our attention to the more comfortable activity of kite flying. The location and conditions were perfect, and we sure didn't bring our kite all the way from Wyoming to leave it unfurled and unflown! :-)

Since the wind was off the water and therefore at my back, you can see how the hills & trees come right down to the beach. So pretty! You can also see my beloved Artisan Gear hemp Omni bag (the version sans cow's skin, of course) which converts from a shoulder strap purse to a backpack for hands-free shopping and kite-flying! This is my second one over several years and my mom's bought two as well. But I digress... so back to the subject at hand! :-)

I couldn't get BW and the kite and the water in one photo
w/out them looking like Lilliputian versions of themselves!

He wasn't wearing his hood on purpose - wasn't that cold -
the wind blew it there & he was too busy kite-flying to fix it!
(I like how his jacket and shorts match the sand and rocks!)

After wading, strolling and combing the beach, flying the kite and just sitting on the sand enjoying the sun and surf, we felt we'd pretty much exhausted the possibilities at Sand Beach for that day. So we walked to the Ocean Path with the intention of hiking to Thunder Hole (even though it was low tide so it wouldn't be much of an experience) and then on to Otter Cliff.

This was a scenic spot with an inlet similar to but less dramatic than Thunder Hole's - kind of a cheap Thunder Hole knockoff (lol) - but with Sand Beach in the background and those handsome rock cliffs, we felt it worthy of a photo op...

And as it turned out, it was a good thing we took advantage of it. For sadly, even the most perfect day must eventually come to an end, and when we took advantage of our photo op pause to look at the Island Explorer schedule we realized ours was about to! We ran up to the road and and managed to flag down the last bus back to Bar Harbor that day! (That nearly resulted in an interesting little adventure!) :-)

After such an active and ambitious day (perhaps a bit overly ambitious, given our near miss-of-the-last-bus!), we were hungry! When we'd first planned this trip we'd been eagerly anticipating dining at Eden Restaurant in Bar Harbor, which had been closed last year but was supposed to reopen in a new and larger location this spring. Unfortunately, we learned shortly before our trip that they would be closed this year as well, reopening in 2011. So instead we went to the newly opened Tamarind on Bar Harbor's Village Green. (Remember in my Acadia Part 1 post I'd told you to remember Tamarind and Charlotte the fun bus driver because they'd be back later? Later is now.) :-)

Tamarind, which used to be a natural foods store for many years then was closed last year, had reopened just three weeks earlier and was now half restaurant, half natural foods store. Though Ron the friendly owner is vegan, Tamarind - unlike Eden - is sadly not. But it's got lots of vegan options on the menu and in the deli case, and everything on the menu was easily veganized (their online menu bears little resemblance to the menu on the blackboard over their counter!) The staff was delightfully friendly, the natural foods section was large and well-stocked, and they had lots of fresh baked goods (including a large variety of bagels). Char-grilled Pizza and Grilled Panini sandwiches seem to be their specialties, so I got the former and BW the latter, both without the vegan cheese. They were both SO DELICIOUS that I nearly had a repeat of the dessert debacle at The Green Elephant, too busy stuffing my face to remember to take a photo! Luckily, I remembered this time - and as you can see, barely a moment too soon! :-)

Remains of the Day
(or at least of the day's dinner, just before we polished it off!)
It may not look like much, but it was intensely flavorful
(the sauce on both was just awesome!) and delicious!

Full, tired and happy, we caught the bus back to our motel with plans to return to Tamarind for breakfast the next day.

(A night of sweet Acadian and Tamarind dreams passes...)

Good morning! :-) On our last day on Mount Desert Island, we caught the bus once again to the Village Green, ate a simple breakfast of Scottish oats with agave nectar at Tamarind and got lunch from the deli for later on the road.

Afterward we decided to wander just a short distance from the Green down a side street to the Village Burying Ground. But before we got across the street we heard someone holler, "Hey, Wyoming!" and turned to see Charlotte our fun bus driver madly waving to us from the line of buses! We couldn't believe she recognized us, never mind remember where we were from! So we met up on the corner and she asked us how we'd enjoyed Acadia and what all we'd been doing... and then blew us away again by asking us if we'd had a chance to eat at Tamarind! (That woman has an amazing memory!) After we told her about our experience there we said our bon voyages and resumed our walk to the cemetery, marveling along the way over The Amazing Charlotte and her superhuman powers of total recall!

Anyway, here is a photo of Bar Harbor's historic (pre-1790 and containing many unknown and unmarked graves) Village Burying Ground, along with a pretty neighboring Episcopal church and its carillon, and a large monument to the town's Union war dead...

There were, as you might imagine, several interesting graves but it was an unremarkable tombstone marking the grave of a man named Sparrow Nickerson that I found most memorable. I loved his name, and in a graveyard full of sailors and sea captains it brought to mind Captain Jack Sparrow, of course! And Jack Sparrow came up later in our trip. (When we get to that point, I'll try to remember to tell you about it!)

We enjoyed a final stroll around the Village Green and then caught the next bus back to our motel for the last time. And who should be our bus driver? Why, none other than The Amazing Charlotte, of course! :-) (Bar Harbor, we decided, might just be a little bit magical!)

After we checked out of our sweet room at Highbrook, we hit the road again, sad we couldn't have spent a lot more time in Acadia, but anticipating the new sights and experiences ahead. Our first stop was for a picnic lunch just outside Ellsworth at Woodlawn Museum...

We didn't even know about Woodlawn Museum and its 180 acres of beautiful gardens, park and walking trails (which we sadly didn't have time to partake of)... we were just looking for a place to stop and have a picnic, spied this place and pulled in. The staff very kindly let us use one of their picnic tables and enjoy the pretty setting and view. Aren't serendipitous finds like that sometimes the best? :-)

I must say, we had a picnic spread befitting our elegant surroundings! Most of our goodies this time (with the exception of our constant friends the
Raye's Mustard and Ryvita crackers from way back in Bangor!) were from Bar Harbor's A&B Naturals and Hannaford's (a grocery store chain with a good selection of organic produce), and quinoa salad, edamame tofu salad, and curried tofu from Tamarind's deli.

I'm telling you, this vacationing stuff is hungry work! :-)

Coming up next... The Good Life Center & Four Seasons Farm (though I might interrupt this regularly scheduled vacation broadcast for a hay hauling special feature presentation!) ;-)


  1. You sure were eating good on this trip! Tamarind sounds delightful and I wish we had something like that here.

    Lake Michigan is where we have done our kite flying and your pictures really look like our beaches! The water is also very frigid, yet some people still swim in it. Craziness!

    I love how Charlotte kept coming back into your lives here & there. Magical indeed!

  2. I second that all the food looks good! Char-grilled pizza sounds amazing...and your serendipitous picnic sounds like a feast.

    Great photos...that beach looks so inviting; too bad is was too cold for a swim.

    I'm sure Charlotte has a wonderful memory, but I'm also sure that you are probably memorable people too!

  3. Molly - We did eat incredibly well on our vacation - only had the one "fail!" I can think of (the breakfast in Brunswick). We love shopping at natural food stores and grocery stores when we travel (going to grocery stores was always an adventure on our two trips to Europe!), so putting our picnics together was especially fun, and a great way to save time and money. And it made our dining out experiences that much more special! (I wish I had a piece of Tamarind's vegan pizza right now, and it's not even 8 am!)

    Got any photos of your Lake Michigan kite-flying exploits? :-) Craziness indeed! Call me a weenie, but I just don't like immersing myself in freezing cold water!

    Charlotte was a very fun bonus to our Bar Harbor experience!

    Rose - I'd never heard of char-grilled pizza, but I'm smitten now! At least with Tamarind's vegan version of it! It was just fantastic! And our picnic was an embarrassment of riches. :-)

    The beach was very inviting. Later in our trip it got hot and muggy - maybe the cold water would have been more tempting then!

    You're too cute. :-) I'm not sure how memorable we are, but the fact we were from Wyoming seemed to be memorable to a several people. We often heard, "I've never met anyone from Wyoming before!" We were surprised to hear it in Bar Harbor, though, where people come from all over the world! A guy working in one of the stores asked a lot of questions about our weather out here. Anyway, Charlotte was definitely a phenom!

  4. It's true...come to think of it...I've never met anyone from Wyoming before either. You Wyoming-ites (?) Wyomingians (?) are pretty exotic.

    I remember when I went to Boston in the mid-80's and told people I was from Seattle...they didn't have a clue where it was...of course, that's not the case anymore.

  5. I do have some kite flying photos! Only two of them, but here they are-


  6. Rose - "Wyomingites" is the correct term, but I like "Wyomingians" better! Sounds like a Tolkien critter, especially if you pronounce it with a soft "g" (as in "gee willikers!") :-)

    I guess we're exotic... there were fewer than half a million residents in the entire state in the 2000 census, most of whom don't get out much!

    I can't believe all those Bostonians didn't know where Seattle was! Good grief, what did it take to finally put it on the map? Starbuck's? Frasier? Did the Red Sox never play the Mariners or the Celtics never play the Sonics? Do they not teach geography is school anymore? (Can you tell you hit a nerve? LOL)

    Molly - I enjoyed your kite photos and left a couple of comments - where did you get your fun and pretty kite? Do you fly it much? Thanks for sharing the link to your pics! :-)

  7. I think you've nailed it...must have been a combination of Frasier, and Starbucks, possibly MicroSoft, oh, and don't forget Sleepless in Seattle...that may have been the real culprit.

  8. Duh, of course! I'd completely forgotten about "Sleepless in Seattle!" Still, it's absurd that people weren't already aware of the existence of a major city in their own country till a TV show, movie, software company and/or cappucino vendor came along to clue them in! Sheesh.

  9. Laurie- to answer your questions, I cannot remember for the life of me where we got the kite and I think that it met it's end that day..... although it could be in our garage. I guess I should look! lol :)

    Oh! The captcha to post this comment totally looks like a weird version of Wyoming- 'wyzoamaz' :)

  10. Molly - So, didja find it? :-)

    That Captcha word seems to be implying that Wyo is Amazing! (It can be, for good or ill!)

  11. Alas, I did not. It must have gotten ripped at some point. :(

  12. I loved all the photos and the food sounds amazing - especially the pizza! The feast you had for lunch by the museum looked amazing but my heart is just fluttering thinking that if I had been there, I would have had to make a choice between eating and a museum - on vacation those are my two favorite things to do and i would have been hard pressed to choose.
    In a way, I'm glad to have read the Charlotte story only today, AFTER yesterday's UPS store guy story. Talk about two extremes of total recall and NO recall. That made me appreciate Charlotte all the more!!

  13. Molly - That's too bad - but an excellent excuse to buy yourselves a spiffy new one! :-)

    Jo - Oh, I can STILL taste that awesome pizza! Wish I had their sauce recipe... and grilling it was a stroke of genius. YUM!

    If you'd been with us (which I wish you had!), you could have partaken of our Woodlawn feast and the museum. If those are your favorite vacation things, it would have given us more reason to linger a while longer, and while you were museuming (word © laloofah - lol), we could have strolled the property's trails!

    What an excellent contrast your mind came up with! Charlotte and the UPS Store owner could not have been more different indeed! (For the rest of you who weren't able to eavesdrop on that phone conversation: BW and I were selling a vehicle, so we had to get its title notarized one morning last week. No other notary public was open that early so we went to the local UPS Store, where BW goes almost daily to drop off outgoing air parcels. In addition, he was on his way to work so was wearing his UPS uniform. The UPS Store owner looked at BW, whom he sees almost daily, and said, "So do you work for UPS?" DUH. Then after notarizing our signatures and studying our driver's licenses to ensure they matched, he asked me, "So are you buying the car from him?" (indicating BW). Given that we have the same last name, DOUBLE DUH. As Jo astutely pointed out, UPS Store guy = Zero attention span, zero recall, Charlotte the Amazing Bus Driver = Total attention span, total recall (and an IQ a couple hundred points higher!) And riding Charlotte's bus was free... we had to pay $4 for the privilege of being notarized by a dumbass.

  14. I'm so glad you'd be so accomodating about my museuming (love your new creation!). It was a clever compromise to enjoy the grounds while I learned probably useless but often interesting museum facts!


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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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