Falling Waters in Bar Harbor
Also featured on The Huffington Post
In February, with his birthday money still saved from December, my husband began searching the internet for a weekend getaway spot for our anniversary in May. (I am SO fortunate that that is what he chooses to do with his own gifts or football winnings.)
Bar Harbor, one of our favorite places, seemed a good choice.
We talk about possibly retiring to Bar Harbor – him a park ranger at Acadia, me, the owner of an adorable café/bookshop where “the author is on the premises.” Sherman’s might enjoy a bit of a facelift.
How I’d love to own a little bookshop (if such a place can stay relevant) on the order of Meg Ryan’s in You’ve Got Mail -- window boxes bursting with colorful flowers and deep green ivy, best sellers and Maine-authored books in an extensive sidewalk window space with glass panes like the shops Harry Potter visits in Diagon Alley, earth tone colors, upscale and comfy furniture, a children’s reading nook, and a whimsical wooden sign.
The winters Downeast are long…..Bar Harbor or Seal Harbor are rather far away…..not sure if those dreams will ever be realized, but going for weekends and dreaming is half the fun.
Ahead of our weekend, I bought Frank Mr. Rockefeller’s Roads from Downeast Books to teach us and make us appreciate the Acadia National Park carriage roads even more.
“The building of the carriage-road system was a remarkable odyssey
covering more than thirty years, and it commanded the unwavering commitment of its two central figures…George B. Dorr and JDR Jr.
Their persistence carried the process past a great many unforeseen obstacles to result in this natural sanctuary of more than thirty thousand acres with an extensive trail system and fifty-seven miles
of carriage roads.
Today, Acadia is the second most popular national park in the National Park System (after Yellowstone).
It is the only park in the United States that exists entirely as the result of the generosity of private citizens.
All the land in the park was acquired privately and later donated, one-third of it by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.”*
The upcoming ten-odd days heading into Memorial Day weekend that year rained. My planters on the deck risked being washed out, and I hated to think I threw $150 down the drain, so to speak.
Frank is a routine kind of guy and checking each day the 14-day forecast heading into our weekend really weighed him down. “No worries,” I smiled. “We’ll be fine. We cannot control the weather. Let’s let it go.”
And you know what, Plan B is sometimes a welcome and enlightening avenue.
If it was sunny, we’d have sat beside the pool at Harborside Hotel all Saturday afternoon.
Instead, with map in hand, we drove around the entire island in the pouring rain. We’ve never done that on our travels there and we saw so much!
“The Bubbles” makes me laugh every time I say it. How can anyone not want to go to Bubble Pond? Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor are definitely our favorites. The views – breathtaking, exemplary of all that is imagined of Maine.
Instead of biking the carriage trails on Saturday, we got a couples massage in the spa, something Frank has never done….and he was actually nervous! What fun.
We laughed, sipped ice water with cucumber (which made Frank make a face), and ran through puddles in our flip flops across the courtyard back to our hotel, with wood fireplace blazing…..end of May.
We snuggled close walking under a shared umbrella along the shore path in front of the Bar Harbor Inn & Spa. At 51, we wore sensible shoes and 3 layers of jackets – which happens to make all the difference. The weather isn’t bad when you dress for it.
We sat in our hot tub on the deck, looking at Bar Island…and sometimes the fog. We had an afternoon cocktail from the picnic basket I packed ahead, ate delicious food at local restaurants, and relaxed. It was a welcome break in our routine.
Frank and I, for being together so very long, are completely in sync with our travel – we like the same type of restaurants and food; the same sorts of hotels; and trips that comprise nature and exercise first and foremost. There’s quiet and conversation, rest and exercise, and lots of photos.
An anniversary in the rain and forty-eight degrees….nearly in June….in beautiful Maine on the coast – you know what…..it doesn’t get better.
*Roberts, Ann Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller’s Roads. Downeast: Maine, 2012. P. 81