When I originally started this blog, I had intended it to be about running, fitness AND traveling! Because I want to run a race in every state, I wanted to write about my adventures in those states. I have since gotten off track, but I would like to share with you all a little bit about my most recent travels!
Maine in a Nutshell:
If I had to describe Maine in one word I would choose: Beautiful! If I was allowed to use more than one word: Maine is absolutely gorgeous and incredible! The landscape is breathtaking even when it’s cloudy and foggy. The colors are fantastic: 50 shades of GREEN, would be what a book on Maine would be called. There are millions of reflective bodies of water: bordering the land, in the land, running through the land! It’s oh so wonderful! The buildings are rich with history and grace that make them beautiful all in their own. Like it says on their license plates: Maine really is the vacationland! (Disclaimer: I still would never trade my Colorado for anything. Maine and Colorado are two different types of pretty; incomparable in my opinion, and I would choose Colorado, hands down, without thought).
I spent about a week on vacation, the last two days of my vacation were driving through New Hampshire and Vermont. I really didn’t get to see much of New Hampshire through the rain. It looked pretty similar to Maine, which is still wonderful. I did drive through the White Mountain National Park and had heard it was very pretty; there was signs for waterfall hikes that I would like to check out in the future.
On Saturday, May 18th, I flew into Portland, Maine. My flight was…fine…I think. I slept for most of it since it was a 6am flight from Denver. I arrived, got my rental car and drove off into the sunset. Ok, not really, but you get the idea. It all went pretty smooth. The first weekend, I did the Sugarloaf 15K. Once I was finished with that race, I made my way back to a town called Freeport, which is just north of Portland. Along the way, I passed through historic looking towns, admiring the buildings until I randomly found a restaurant I wanted to stop and eat at. I made a good choice eating at the Sunset Grille in the town of Belgrade Lakes; I couldn’t point to it on a map, even if you asked me too. I had my first taste of the sea food in Maine and indulged in a Crab Roll. MMMMMmmm..
That night, I was taken on a boat ride in the bay AND I got to drive the boat!
The following day was the last day of freedom before I was required by the bride; I was the maid of honor after all. So I took my last free day to take my rental car up northeast to Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island (often pronounced Dessert). I was told this was the place to see and I will agree with that statement. It was unbelievably pretty…and that’s saying something because it was raining, cloudy and foggy the whole day. I really want to go back and see this place when it’s sunny and bright out!
Acadia National Park is a three and half hour drive from Portland. I would assume the drive is just as pretty as the rest of the state, but it rained the entire way, so I couldn’t see much out the windows (are you getting the picture that there was a lot of rain on my trip??). I drove up and around, through Bangor (please reserve your jokes) and into the park. The lady at the visitor’s center was super helpful, said she was sorry it was rainy, but pointed me in a good tour route. I figure this map on the left with the numbers was the best way to show you around Acadia national Park. I think what I liked best about the whole island was that people actually lived there – It was just amazingly pretty, and just seemed like a wonderful, story book place to live. I’d live there too, if I could.
2. After quickly jumping out of my car to take a pic of the harbor, I drove down to the south most point of the Island to check out the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. I’ve always liked lighthouses….well, I’ve always liked pictures of light houses, since I had never seen one in person. I think they’re really cool. So, I finally got to check one out up close and personal. (I did get closer than what this picture shows).
3. Next on my stop was Echo Lake. Normally, the lake is open for swimming and playing on the beach, but this day, I was the only one brave enough to venture out into the mist. I could totally picture having a fun beach day here, very cosy area.
4. If you follow around on the map, I next stopped at the Sand Beach, another place people usually have fun in the sun with the ocean as their pool. No one was taking a dip in the water today, but the views were still gorgeous. There was a cute couple watching me take selfies on the beach and offered to take my picture in exchange for me taking their’s.
5. If you guys ever go to Acadia, you have to stop by Thunder Hole. This place was recommended by two friends of mine that grew up in the state. With a low tide, the water comes rushing into a pocket formed by the rocks and creates a loud, thundering noise (hence the name). Just beware, this is the touristy spot, so it was pretty crowded. A nice paved path leads right down to the “hole” and there was a ton of people, even on this cloudy day. I’m more the type of person that likes to stay off the beaten path were there’s less travelers.
6. Otter point. This is a a 110 ft cliff on a little peninsula off the island. Supposedly, it’s to be one of the best views of the park. Check this webpage out to see what it looks like on a good day.
7. Next on my journey was Jordan Pond. The fog elicted some pretty cool pictures of this area. It gave it a creepy, spooky feel, but I really liked it. Must be all the scary movies I watch. The forest had fog dripping in and out and the pond looked like something out of the Lord of the Rings. I think there’s some trails that run around this area, but I chose not to venture too far being by myself and because of the fog.
8. Something fun to do in the future would be to take the carriage ride they have here. It runs from the Jordon Pond House (which I didn’t go in, but they have a little restaurant) and loops up through to forest to this area called the Bubble Pond. This was a cute little pond with picnic tables to lunch at and a classy bridge that the carriage goes over. It’s called bubble pond because you’re supposed to be able to see the two Bubble Mountains, North and South Bubble. I was told that was a really good area to hike around, but I elected not to stop at the mountains because I knew I wouldn’t see anything.
9. Ah, Cadilliac Mountains! Breath taking views of the surrounding island and ocean! Oh wait. I can’t see anything. Cadilliac Mountain 1500 feet above sea level and is the FIRST place in the United States to see the sunrise (from Oct. 7th to March 6th, of course, ya know the whole tilted axis of the earth thing) and you’re supposed to be able to see everything all around from the ocean, mainland, the City nearby… This is a picture to show you what I was SUPPOSED to be looking at and what I ACTUALLY saw. Oh well, at least the drive up and down the mountain was fun!!
10. The drive up and down brought curvy, fast roads that left some fun views of the island (once out of the fog) and the rock with waterfalls along side the road. After leaving the mountain, I decided to head “home.” If I had more time or had company, I would have probably stopped to eat in the sea side town of Bar Harbor which is supposed to have good restaurants and shops.
On my way back, I took the long way home, closer to the coast, to check out some light houses:
The rest of the week pretty much all involved wedding stuff. I got my first look at Peak’s Island on Tuesday when the bride to be had to take some stuff over and the couple had their last meeting with the wedding planners. Pretty classy that my friends were getting married on an island. It was beautiful venue! We followed up with sushi at local joint called Sushi Sappuro. MMMMMMmmm……. it was good!
Wednesday commenced the bachelorette party festivities. Before meeting up with the rest of the ladies, my friend Steph and her fiance took me to see the most photographed light house.
We started the bachelorette party off with a Lucky Catch lobster cruise! It was a blast!! I highly recommend doing something like this if you ever get the chance. Basically, we had a private tour on the Lucky Catch Boat and they took us out in the harbor, off the coast of Portland, to pull up lobster traps, check to see if there was any good lobsters to keep and then re-bait the traps. I know what you’re thinking…A lobster catch at a bachelorette party??! The bride loves the show the “Deadliest Catch” and we thought she would love to do something like this. Sure enough, she had a blast, as did the rest of us.
We cleaned up from the lobster smell and headed out for dinner at a restuarant called the White Cap Grill. Very delicious! And then we hit the town! I made a scavenger hunt of things we had to find, take pictures of or do. Everyone seemed to enjoy crossing things off the list. I
wont shouldn’t show you any of those pictures….there MAY have been drinking, a lot of drinking, involved…maybe….
The next morning was a rough one. From that morning on out I felt like I was on a boat. At first, I thought it was just the hangover. But actually, this vertigo feeling lasted for about a month after my vacation as well. Has that ever happened to anyone??? I think it was from all the traveling…from being in a car, literally on boats, up and down elevators, planes, running….. It gave me prolonged vertigo. I actually had it a little when running my marathon, but I didn’t write about it, cause I knew it would be confusing, and it didn’t bother me too much during the race…maybe because I was concentrating on, ya know, running the race.
Anyway, that morning, we drug our butts out of bed for the bridal brunch. I forget where we had breakfast at, but it was delicious as well. In fact, I didn’t have one bad meal while I was out there!
After delicious nom noms, the rest of the ladies went to have their toes or nails painted or some kind of girly stuff like that. I went on a little walk about around Portland. I had some coffee at a local coffee joint, looked at some of the old buildings and
shopped wished I could buy things at the local stores.
Being the day before the wedding, we all needed to get to the island at some point. I decided to catch an early Ferry to Peak’s Island. I happened to get on the ferry with the men of the bridal party and final got to meet the groomsmen. Once over there, I quickly changed, plugged in my ear phones and laced up my tennis shoes. I FINALLY was able to get a run in; i.e. it finally wasn’t actively raining. Oh, it was foggy and misty, but it didn’t rain until the end of my run.
Peak’s Island has a road that goes all the way around, making it about 3.5 miles around. I wont talk about the run too much, I would like to do a seperate blog post – it was definiely one of my most favorite runs I have ever been on; like something out of the special “Rave Run” section of Runner’s World.
I’m definitely jealous of the Islands habitants. Meanwhile, the ladies got back from their girly outings and we all met up for the Rehersal and Dinner. Here, it was truely time for me to demonstrate my maid of honor duties. To be truthful, I was super nervous…I’m not very good at stuff like this. I’m not very girly, I rarely even wear dresses, and I’m not the biggest fan of weddings (don’t ask – I’m not against marriage by any means, but I just don’t like weddings). However, it’s a very huge honor to be asked to be someone’s maid of honor. I felt bad becasue I wasn’t able to help much living in a different state and not having much time due to school and work. Oh well, it is what it is, right?
Most of us turned in early that night, but being a night owl, I stayed up and chatted with some of the other wedding party people. I eventually went to bed. The next morning was…..great….! Yeah! I can tell you I learned a lot about girly things. Did you know there’s a spray that once you’re done with your makeup, you spray your face to make your makeup stay longer? It’s true. Weird, huh?
All the ladies crowded into the “spa” while we got ready. It was a loooooong process. Shesh! I was
one of the THE first lady ready. So I just helped out where I was needed, checked if the bride needed anything, and took pictures of my glammed up self.
Finally it was time! Funny thing about weddings; so much time and preparation for such a short event.
It unfortunately rained during the ceremony, so it was moved inside; but it was still very elegant. Dinner was served under the tent with beautiful chinese lanterns draping down the ceiling. Once we finished eating, we all danced away the night! Sorta. We had to be done by a certain time to catch the last ferry back to Portland. Now, THAT was a sight to see! Everyone in fancy dresses hauling luggage down the hill, in the rain, boarding the ferry. We caught a shuttle back to the hotel and then hit the town! YES, in our bridesmaid dress and the bride in her gown! I thought it was brilliant and fun. When else am I going to wear that dress!? I paid for it (most of it) I might as well get the most out of it! We hit up a few local pubs and then finished at a bar with dancing.
We felt pretty special – the couple hired photographers from their town, so basically, they were ours for the weekend; it was like we had our own poporatzi while we walked from bar to bar. Probably the only time I’ll ever feel that important!
The next morning, feeling like I was on a boat still with my vertigo, I woke up pretty early and made my journey to Vermont…and you pretty much know the story from there. (If you don’t, you can read it here, here and here).