Three mornings in Maine

So, more on the Maine trip….I just got back on Tuesday from a trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia with my 13-year-old. This was his Christmas gift (and I guess his Mommy Day!). We flew up on Saturday to Bangor, and rented a car and drove out to Mount Desert Island.

It was a good time — we did a lot but not an overwhelming amount. I was able to read Off the Clock! This was fun to re-read, which I did in preparation for my book club discussion, but the intro is also set in Bar Harbor, so that was cool.

My son was an excellent travel companion and so it was a very different experience than my first time to Maine (when he was 23 months old). On Saturday we got in to our hotel (Yellow House Inn – very cute and nice location), took a short nap, then explored town and the shore path (in the rain) and drove out to Thurston’s lobster pound. It’s fun to eat right over the water seeing the boats that probably brought in your catch! We then went back to Bar Harbor where we found Big Dipper ice cream, which had actual non-dairy peanut butter and chocolate “ice cream” (frozen dessert, I guess). I was in heaven!

On Sunday we got up on time to catch a lobster tour boat. It was cold but we bundled up (and brought a blanket on loan from the hotel). We got to see seals on Egg Island, and they showed us how they hauled up the lobster traps. The waves were pretty choppy but we survived.

After lunch (lobster rolls) we went to Acadia and saw Thunder Hole and the other sights along Ocean Path. Then we hiked part of the Jordan Pond loop, and drove up Cadillac Mountain at our appointed time (requires reservations). The mountain top went in and out of clouds but we could still catch glimpses of the view below. Then it was down to Beal’s in Southwest Harbor, another lobster pound right on the water (and very popular, apparently — we waited in line for a bit, but that’s not a problem when you’re only traveling with one older kid!). We repeated the ice cream stop and sat on the rocking chairs on the front porch of our hotel for a while.

On Monday we drove into Acadia and hiked the two Bubbles near Jordan Pond – first the North Bubble, then the South Bubble (the one with the famous Bubble Rock – we took the required pictures). Then we decided to hike down to Jordan Pond itself down the back side of the mountain. This was quite the rock scramble — losing many hundreds of feet of elevation in just a short trail. Our legs were both feeling it — and then we had to hike back up the same way.

After that, we felt we had earned ice cream for lunch. We went back to Big Dipper, but alas, they had sold out of the chocolate peanut butter (I guess I had personally increased the town’s consumption rate of that one…). So I got a different flavor, and we went back to the hotel room for a very short rest. Then it was back to Acadia to hike Mt. Gorham.

This is not a hard hike in the sense that I did it twelve years ago with a 4-year-old, a 23-month-old (albeit in a backpack on my husband’s back) and while I was 7.5 months pregnant. But, after the morning’s rock scramble, my son and I were both in pretty rough shape. Nonetheless, we persevered, and made it to the top, where we sat looking out for a long time.

We were kind of lobster’ed out at that point, so we ate dinner at a pub in Bar Harbor that had roof top seating. It had finally stopped raining so we got actual sunshine while we were up there. We sat on the porch for a while again, then spent the rest of the evening watching Iron Chef (the original Japanese version with subtitles — we have plans to go to Japan together eventually!).

On Tuesday I slept until 8 (after going to bed at 10:45 – whoa) and then after breakfast we went to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. We scrambled over the rocks and took pictures, then made a quick stop at Echo Lake before heading back toward the airport, with just one more stop to eat at Governor’s in Ellsworth (they’ll be selling lobster rolls for $9.64 on June 28th if anyone happens to be in town).

I was glad I got a lot of sleep that last night as then the next one was quite short before my 5 a.m. trip into NYC on Wednesday. I crashed at 9:30 p.m. last night and slept until 7:30 — so a lot of ups and downs on the sleep total front.

Anyway, it was a fun start to summer. It was not easy to squeeze this in amid everything else — we have another family trip coming up shortly but we really had a great time. One-on-one trips with older kids can be pretty cool, so I will likely do more of them as I can.

In other news: I was a guest on Cal Newport’s Deep Questions this week. He and I tackled some listener questions on a wide range of topics. Please give it a listen!

My article on the “Other Childcare Crisis (That No One Talks About)” appeared in the print issue of Verily this spring. I don’t believe there’s a link, but if you see a copy on news stands, you might pick it up. I talk about how even if you create lots more childcare slots (which would be a good thing!) that doesn’t change the fact that kids get sick a lot in daycare and can’t go, and someone has to stay home with them, leading to a lot of absence among parents and, if statistics are accurate, moms are way more likely to cover those absences than fathers. In other words, landing a spot in a high quality daycare close to your house does not actually solve your childcare issues. I wish it did.

10 thoughts on “Three mornings in Maine

  1. What a great trip! Many memories for you and 13 y/o. I can’t envision ever getting lobstered out, though.
    In fitting all of this in and then tackling a trip to NYC the next day, you are definitely a woman after my own heart. We returned from a 6 week trip to Europe 36 hours ago and are heading to NYC for a concert despite a bit of jet lag and the discovery of a malfunctioning washer and dryer on our return home…..As a wise soul once said, seize the day!

  2. What fun! We did a family 2 week Vermont/ New Hampshire/ Maine road trip 2 summers ago now and it was wonderful. We had the best time! So beautiful. I was there as a child but hadn’t been back since.

    Loved hearing you on Deep Questions! Between you and SHU, you’re really representing BOBW on that show lately!! 😉 AWESOME!

    1. @Grateful Kae- the BOBW empire is everywhere! Yep, Maine and New England are really beautiful – especially in summer and fall. A great place to visit.

    1. @Maggie – not cheap – I think they were generally $25-30 various places. Which makes that $9.64 special coming up quite a big deal – they may have lines out the door!

  3. So fun! I love the relationship you have with your son, it’s really inspirational how close you are!
    I am looking forward to a trip with my son next week, we’ve got grand ice cream (dairy free for me as well) plans.

    1. @Coree – it was fun! And I’m hoping the kids will keep feeling that way about me…. Good luck on your trip!

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