Growing up in Louisiana, the Fall season was my favorite.. probably because it was my Mother’s favorite. The weather got cooler after the brutal summers, the leaves turned pretty and my Mother loved to rake the leaves and I would run and jump in them. Then we would pile them all back up, burn them and have a weenie and marshmallow roast. Fun times and I have great memories of it.
Living here in South Florida, we don’t get real changes of season. We have hot.. and sweltering hot with a large side of humidity. I hate South Florida weather. Between the weather and recent life changes, I haven’t felt much like writing.. much less anything else. My husband recognized that the walls were closing in on me and did one of the sweetest and most loving things he could do for me. He took me away from it all. To Maine.. a place where I have wanted to visit ever since becoming an adult. In anticipation of the cooler temps, I got excited but apparently, we took the warm weather with us. Thankfully it wasn’t overbearingly hot except for one day and I ended up going and buying a couple of short sleeved blouses to wear when it was too warm. Oh well.. shopping is always a nice way to lift your spirits too, right? We took along some traveling companions to bookmark a few places that we stopped along the way. You will meet SpudBob and TaterHaven on arrival in Boston below.
We flew into Boston and rented a car. It was unbelievable how long the lines were to rent a car there, even with a reservation but then we realized that it was a holiday weekend! DOH.. no wonder everybody was out and about. We assumed that it would be much better since school was back in session and the summer rush was over but apparently this was the last hurrah before settling in for winter.
We found a Starbucks immediately after procuring the car and headed out for Maine. We were staying just outside the Portland area the first night and needed coffee for the drive. Since we are MAJOR coffee drinkers, we brought our own espresso maker, packed it well and checked it as luggage for travel. Thankfully, it arrived ok but we were depending on the local Bux to get us through until we made it to the hotel that night.
Armed with coffee, we headed out for Maine. We decided that since we had plenty of daylight left, we would take the shortest route to go up I-95 which turns into the Maine Turnpike once you cross state lines. Prior to getting into the Portland area, we knew we had wanted to see the Cape Elizabeth area as we had read good things about it. We made a detour and found The Two Lights Lighthouse near Two Lights State Park and some really beautiful homes that surrounded it. I can’t imagine how amazing that has to be to look out your front window and see those craggy rocks and the waves crashing on them.. hearing the dull sounds of the fog signal when the seas are rough and watching the light spin around at the top of the tower. That first day in Cape Elizabeth, the temps were quite cool so we didn’t get a chance to stand down at the waterside too much but we had just enough time to take a couple of pictures, enjoy the view and drive onward. As we were leaving the lighthouse area, we drove around the park just a bit and stopped to take a few more pictures. It was there.. in that place, that I had a most profound moment of clarity and wave of calm to start filling me. I can say nothing more than as the tears flowed, it was truly a spiritual moment. I plan to share more of this experience in another post but it deserves it’s own space. When it’s done, i’ll come back and edit this post to add a link but it will most likely be my next entry.
After leaving Cape Elizabeth, we drove toward Portland. I wish we had gotten there just a bit sooner because they were having a street festival in the middle of town and it would have made some interesting photograph opportunities but I wouldn’t have traded our time in Cape Elizabeth for ANYTHING. It was there that the healing started and I will be forever grateful. We drove to the other side of Portland to the Brunswick area and stayed the night. Small town, comfortable room.. set up the coffee pot and made coffee for the next day (and a little for the moment as well!). Got things together for the next day, took a shower and crashed early as we were heading out to Bar Harbor the next day.
Up early so we could get on the road and pray for a little daylight once we made it to Bar Harbor but it seems we found ourselves stopping here and there along the way and taking pictures. One of the detours we HAD to make was in Camden, Maine. What an amazing place. I had done research on Camden years ago when I was contemplating a trip there and fell in love with the pictures. The reality of it did NOT disappoint. It was amazing. We spent a few hours strolling around the area, had lunch and took several pictures. If it weren’t so cold there in the winter, I do believe I could live there. The quaintness of the town, the harbor, the pace of life.. it was all appealing. Truly a peaceful place and thankfully, my mind was absorbing that peace and storing it in my heart. More healing as we went along.
We got into Bar Harbor late and found our hotel. Unpacked the car as we were staying here for two days. Very nice hotel.. everyone is so friendly here! Yes, they depend on tourism as the Acadia National Park is here but the friendliness seems so genuine. Even when we had to stop in at the local Wally World to pick up a few things for the room that we hadn’t packed, they were so helpful that we wondered if we had actually went into another world, not just another state. Trust me when I tell you, Florida is sorely lacking when it comes to the people being hospitable. I loved that part about Maine.. it reminded me of when I lived in Louisiana.
That night, we went downtown and drove around the town of Bar Harbor.. exploring the night life and visiting the area around the harbor. Quaint shops, friendly droves of people, melt-in-your-mouth home made fudge that threatened to put me into a carb coma. Early the next morning, we got up and went for a drive through scenic Acadia. The rolling “hills” weren’t nearly so frightening as when we went to Yosemite last year. I was white knuckled all the way through those mountains fearing we would go sailing over the edge of the mountain and deep into the ravine. In Maine, it was much less intimidating and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride through the park.. stopping to take pictures along the way. Nature has a way of reminding you just how small your problems are in the grand scheme of things and it was calming to my spirit to be surrounded by beauty and the love of my husband. Obviously, he knew exactly what I had needed to mend my broken heart.
Food is never a bad place to mend the belly either and boy did we eat good while we were there. Of course, you can’t go to Maine and not eat the LOBSTAH so eat lobstah we did!! Every night in fact. The freshest, best prepared lobster i’ve ever had. We drooled as we smelled it cooking, drooled some more as we saw other people’s plates pass by in front of as we were waiting, grunted and moaned while we were eating it and then sat back with a big sigh and a greasy smile when we were done. Dee-licous! In fact, I can almost imagine the taste of it now. Fortunately, we went just in time because the lobster pounds close for the winter season and don’t open back up until they’ve had a good thaw in the spring. In fact, some of them were already closed but we managed to find some of them still open for business and cooking mighty fine on the cheap!
On our last day in Bar Harbor, we puttered around and then drove back down to Portland to spend the night again. On our way down, we happened upon a few of TaterHaven and SpudBob’s cuzzins and stopped to sit a spell with them. They were of the mindset to just hang out and didn’t talk much so we didn’t stay long and headed on toward Portland.
When we got there, a political rally was in full swing and tent city was set up to “Occupy Maine”. I’m not a political person so to try and explain it, i’d only show you just how ignorant I am when it comes to those sorts of things.. so, better left as is. We explored the area and took some pictures, met some folks at the local fire department and had a leisurely evening with yet another of the finest lobsters you could introduce to your belly. Made an early night in the hotel and then got up the next day headed back to Boston. Since we arrived in the evening, we found a nice restaurant to eat in outside the city limits and decided that one more time was not being too greedy to have a lobster dinner. Boston lobster was good.. but not as good as in Maine. Hmmmm.. wonder why?
On our last day in Boston, we had to catch our flight back mid afternoon so we got up early and headed out to see a few sights around town. There was precious few things that we really HAD to see there because to me, a city is a city for the most part. Other than landmarks that are synonymous with the area, one building looks pretty similar to the next. I will say though.. many of the houses in downtown Boston were quite charming. Little row houses with pretty front stoops, all decorated so pretty for fall. Lovely and inviting in the Beacon Hill area. We did go to the Boston Commons.. went to the Cheers bar while in Beacon Hill and saw Fenway Park as we drove by it. Bob visited a couple of fire stations so that he could get a feel for the people there and got him a couple of souvenir tee-shirts. My favorite part of Boston was in the Public Gardens. Beautifully manicured lawns, well laid out pathways for strolling, huge weeping willow trees and mounted police. Nestled back in one corner were my most favorite part of all. The bronze duck statues in honor of the children’s book by Robert McClosky, Make Way for the Ducklings. I had a chance to feel them come alive from the story book right under my hands. It was a wonderful way to end the trip. We waved goodbye to Boston and winged our way back to Palm Beach.
Tired but with a renewed spirit, we flew back home and were greeted by the face of a friend and a house full of furries that were very excited to see us! We sat and talked for a while about our trip and then found solace in the bed. As fun as it was.. home didn’t feel nearly so bad to come back to as it did when I left it a week before.
The following day, I went to pick up the twins. The twin coffee pots that had been at the coffee doctor while we were gone out of town. They had been tickled, pampered, given a nice soak and made to feel like new again. Who knew there were spas for coffee machines just like for people? They were also eager to get home and SpudBob and TaterHaven gave them a test run to be sure all was in working order when we got them home. Since all was well, they are packed away for when the time comes that necessity brings them out again. Man.. there truly is no place like home.