Visit Maine Extravaganza Part 2: Boothbay and Bar Harbor

The next morning on my trip sponsored by Visit Maine included a sunrise on Mt. Battie. There was cloud cover which muted the pinks and purples. The marine layer slowly rising from the water and uncovering the city of Camden first, then island upon island was stunning to watch. It was here that I tested out my recovering knee by running up to the summit, and it was definitely the right place to do this. Thank you, Mt. Battie for this! It gave me such unfettered joy and gratitude.

I’ve mentioned that I was in search of the perfect lobster roll. I wanted one that used the freshest rolls, the creamiest creamery butter, the sweetest lobster meat. I got this and more. WOW!

Shannon’s Unshelled is a little shack with a big bang, and they served up phenomenal fare. I started with the bread scallops. When you think of breaded and fried foods, you might think of heavy fare that requires napping afterwards. Well these were the lightest, tastiest, most delicate breaded scallops ever. All there was left to do was to squeeze a few drops of lemon over them and voila! They were so light they left room for the blessed lobster roll. Light, airy bread with a smear of butter. Sweet and tender lobster meat.

There’s nothing like skimming the surface of choppy bay, river, and ocean water on a boat. The briny air hits your face just so and the rocking of the vessel leaves you feeling a bit untethered but adventurous. Since we weren’t able to see whales this particular day because of high winds, the captain and crew of Cap’n Fish’s Cruises took on a maritime adventure anyway! We hung around the bay, into the Saco River, and the Atlantic as far as it wasn’t too choppy. The sky was an iridescent blue and the air was nippy. We saw three very different, beautifully restored lighthouses. There were eagles soaring above us and then flying to their nests in nearby trees on the shores of the islands peppering the bay. We saw a sealpeek its head out of the water, and some seabirds (I forget what kind they were) drying off their wings so they could fly seamlessly again. We heard histories of the various islands, and were enlightened by the crew’s knowledge of reading water conditions and colors. On our way back we squeezed through a small channel and waved at the bridge operator as we passed under his booth.

The three-hour tour was spectacular. My hair was windblown and suddenly my tummy growled as I ambled last off the boat. There was a pizza shop nearby that sold individual slices, so I grabbed two, gobbled them down and headed to my last stop on my Visit Maine adventure, Bar Harbor.

It was a gorgeous drive from Boothbay to Bar Harbor, especially with the fall colors at their most vibrant. As I’ve never been this far up in Maine before, everything was spectacular, the little Maine-proud shops peppered throughout, the buoys hanging from everywhere, and various lobster offers here, and blueberry offers there.

Moqueca

I was a little late on arrival, but the wonderful folks at Havana sat me after only a five-minute wait. The server was so cheerful and excited about the food that night, it made me excited! The first item that came out was a gorgeously plated amuse bouche–local cucumber and salmon with truffle aioli. Next up was an ancho chile soup topped with avocado cream. And then the piece de resistance (there are a lot of these this trip!) was a twist on my favorite Brazilian dish, moqueca. I usually make it with snapper or tilapia, but this one featured, YOU GUESSED IT, Lobster! It was creamy, it was fragrant with the coconut milk that was its sauce. It was atop the fluffiest, butteriest rice. Wow!

I waddled back to my car and made my way to the Terramor Outdoor Resort where I was surprised to find GLAMPING TENTS. I was so worried I would have to sleep in my car because of the surprise thunderstorm with cloud to ground lightning that descended upon us on Mount Desert Island, but was pleased to find a fully stocked canvas mansion complete with king sized bed, quilts, lighting, a bathroom with hot water and a pour-over coffee station. They won.

I had the best night of sleep I’d had in ages, which was good because it was another alpine start for me. I headed to Acadia to catch what would be the most spectacular sunrise I have ever experienced in my life. You may think this is hyperbole, but it isn’t.

Acadia. My heart belongs to thee, I’m sure.

After the sunrise, I headed back to Terramor for a continental breakfast and a little rest in bed, before a day of exploring. This was a pretty busy weekend so I wasn’t able to go to Jordan Pond for the famous popovers, but I did get on m

y bike and ride the carriage roads. What an absolute treat. The weather was perfect, the colors were even more perfect. Witch Pond glittered and sparkled. It reflected a perfectly blue sky with a scant cloud here and there. The roads were an appropriate challenge for my recovering knee, and it was here that I did my longest ride since my surgery. It was such a gift. Such a treat to

my heart.

I took my time and stopped frequently to capture a tree here, and pond there. When my legs were tired, I rode back to the visitor center parking lot and drove off to find my hotel which was right in town.

The Acadia Hotel is a boutique spot with friendly service, cute rooms, coffee all day (very important to me!), two hot tubs, and bikes to rent. I settled in for a couple of minutes and visited a local spot from some free wine! Then it was time to explore Bar Harbor. The shops are so cute! I spent more that I should have at the Bar Harbor Tea Company-mostly on all varieties of Blueberry teas (with green tea, with rose, black tea, earl grey…) and the Christmas tea blend, which makes y

ou want to make snow angels and sing songs from A Charlie Brown Christmas.  There were jellies and jams to buy, maple bacon aioli and artisan crackers. I stopped at the Native Arts Gallery and picked up some books on Abenaki history. The shop owner gifted me a book he’d been saving on Lakota Music. My heart warmed, I walked back to the hotel for a little nap before dinner.

Lobster Tacos anyone? That’s exactly what I had at Testas (now closed for the season), foll

owed by a Blueberry Creme Brulee and accompanied Blueberry Cidah and Blueberry Lemonade with actual tiny, sweet Maine Blueberries.

Back at my room, I started to pack up, and ready myself for one more early morning in Acadia.

I caught another sunrise, this time near Sand Beach, and then made my way on the Ocean Path to Otter Cliff. The colors of the sky left us without words. The sound of the beach hitting the cliffs was thund

erous! I passed Thunder Hole (I was too early for high tide when you can hear the thundering of the water crashing through a hole in the cliffs) but it was still a sight. I continued walking and gasping at the beauty until I reached Otter Cliff, the end of my journey. It did not disappoint. These massive cliffs are majestic reminders of the erosive power of the sea. WOW.

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After I soaked in the sun and the brine, I headed back to my car one and a half miles away, picked up my stuff at the hotel, and headed home–satisfied and heart full. I loved every second of my time in Maine and am so thankful to have worked with Visit Maine to cross this grand adventure off my bucket list. I can’t recommend Maine enough!

 

 

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