We've been here only about six hours, and Bar Harbor, Maine, is already exceeding expectations. But let me back up ...
Although we had planned to leave Friday around 5 -- p.m., Kate :) -- work and painting and procrastinated packing conspired to keep us in Pinehurst until about 8:30. That meant we made it only as far as Ashland, Va. (just north of Richmond), Friday night, but it was a good start that made yesterday and today a lot more enjoyable.
We slept in a little yesterday morning, then had breakfast courtesy of our hotel at the attached Perkins restaurant, and headed out around 10 a.m. The drive was basically long and boring because we mostly stuck to Interstate 95 in the interest of time. We stopped at an REI in College Park, Md., had lunch around Philadelphia, got gas and a snack in New York and ate a late dinner somewhere close to Boston. We decided to spend the night in Portsmouth, N.H., but when we got there we thought the hotels were overpriced, so we crossed the bridge into a small town in Maine (Kittney?). There the hotels weren't any nicer, but they cost half as much.
This morning we decided to take coastal U.S. 1 the rest of the way to Bar Harbor, which was a great decision. We went through a steady stream of mostly really cute seaside towns. If we'd stopped at every thrift store, flea market or yard sale I wanted to, we wouldn't be here yet. We got to Bar Harbor at 4 and this little place we're staying is better than advertised. It is adorable! Here's our cabin:
It's just as small as it looks -- one room that fits a bed, a dresser and a minifridge, plus a closet/bathroom combo. But it's so cozy and we have a great view of the ocean. After checking out the grounds we headed into town, a couple of miles away, and bought stuff to eat breakfast in our room.
We actually ended up buying a really cheap coffeemaker since there isn't one in the room and morning coffee in our pajamas is a key part of our vision for this trip. Normally I would feel guilty buying a coffeemaker when we have one at home that we could have brought, but Melissa and Thomas and the kids, who have been living with Thomas' parents since their house sold, are staying at our house while we're gone and I know Melissa is making good use of our coffeepot. Plus, this one will come in handy when we have Bible study (or any large group) at our house -- we can make two pots at once, or one pot of regular and one of decaf.
Anyway, we came back to the room, unpacked and got a little fantasy football fix (Matt and I are matched up against each other this week; he's winning). Then we put on some more layers -- it's chilly here in the evening! Too bad I forgot my fleece -- and went back to town for a great, inexpensive dinner at a pub called the Thirsty Whale. I was having a most unusual craving for a BLT and it was fantastic.
After dinner we walked around the streets and through some shops. The whole town is almost eerily idyllic. It kind of felt like we were on a movie set. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is in the winter, covered with snow.
When we got back to the cabins we walked down to the water and lay flat on our backs in some lawn chairs. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say I have never seen such a beautiful sky. I know I've never seen so many stars, and it was incredibly clear -- also incredibly dark -- also incredibly quiet. The kind of quiet that makes you feel like you need to whisper, which I did.
Now we're back in the room and Matt's watching football and I, clearly, am blogging. Tomorrow (after coffee and bagels) we're going to go to Acadia National Park, two miles away. We hope to make good use of our bikes, which is one reason we drove instead of flying, and our hiking shoes. The weather's perfect for it.
Wow, this is really long. Thank you for letting me ramble!
P.S. Our cell phones work in town, but not in the cabin. I'll try to check messages a couple of times a day, but email's definitely going to be the most reliable way to get in touch with us this week.