Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 150 - Bar Harbor, Maine/Staying at a Bed and Breakfast

I have never been to Maine. After my recent trip to Ireland, I promised Rachael I would take her on a trip to one of the locations she has always wanted to visit, Acadia National Park, which rests on the southern coast of Maine near a small coastal community named Bar Harbor. As a result, we booked our flights, packed our bags, and took to the air this morning to have a week of new experiences in an unfamiliar place. Although I knew the trip would be one to remember, I never expected I would encounter amazing people, staggering beauty, and endless adventure from day one, but Maine, and all the people that call her home, had other thoughts in mind.

Entering Bar Harbor
With that in mind, I will state outright I will have very limited time to write while Rachael and I take in everything Bar Harbor and Acadia have to offer. With hiking, biking, climbing, sailing, fishing, and any number of other experiences at our fingertips, our days will undoubtedly be full of adventure. Although I know my lack of time to write will likely result in some of the details getting left out of my stories fromt his trip, I will leave it up to the pictures to do most of the talking while we make the most of the experiences we encounter along the way. That way Rachael and I can make the most of every minute we are in this wonderful place, which is infinitely better than carving out the extraordinary amount of time it would take to try to describe the events we take on. This is going to be an awesome week; of that, I'm sure.

Rachael and I arrived in Maine around 1:00 pm today and immediately hit the road to get to Bar Harbor. Upon arriving, we located the place we would be staying during our trip, The Manor House Inn, which is a Bed and Breakfast located just off the docks in downtown Bar Harbor. As if visiting an entirely new part of the country wasn't enough of an "I have never..." event for the day, tonight will also be the first time I stay in a Bed and Breakfast. While I will be the first to admit I am not that much of a "breakfast guy", the idea of staying in one of Bar Harbor's historic seaside homes is more than enough reason to stay, and based on our first impression of the place I think we made a wise decision.

The Manor House Inn

Our house

Upon finding our way to the Manor House Inn, a few members of the staff greeted us with a warmth and openness that made feel welcomed from our first moments on the property. Within moments of arriving, we were given a tour of the Manor House before we were guided to our room, which was located in a beautiful backyard house nestled between the forest and some lush gardens. The interior our room offered cozy quarters, but we had more than enough room to make the place feel comfortable during our visit. Additionally, the added touches of a spacious bathroom, a massive bed, and a gas fireplace made our room feel like home relatively quickly, which let Rachael and I focus on exploring the city as the afternoon moved toward evening.

Our room

After dropping off our bags and getting acquainted with our room, Rachael and took the streets by foot to see what the city of Bar Harbor had to offer. While it was clear the city catered to tourists visiting nearby Acadia National Park, at no point did the town feel as though it was lacking authenticity. In fact, our first walk downtown made it clear Bar Harbor was a functioning harbor town in the face of its tourist appeal. Fisherman, restaurants, and retailers living off the sea were in abundance as we rolled through town, with plenty of kitschy tourist shops sprinkled among them. 

Bar Harbor
...and again!

Our path through town eventually took us to a local microbrewery, Bar Harbor Brewing Company, located a few blocks from downtown in Bar Harbor. As Wisconsinites, making the local microbrewery our first stop in town made sense. So, Rachael and I went in for a quick sampling of the brewery's various offerings. Although I found their ales to be a little light on flavor, a sample of the brewery's Cadillac Mountain Stout made me feel at home. It was rich with coffee and dark chocolate flavors, and despite its high alcohol content, it didn't pack a punch in aftertaste. It was simply smooth and delicious, which made me feel it the best way possible to start our first experience in Bar Harbor.


BEER.


After sampling the brews at the Bar Harbor Brewing Company, Rachael and I decided it was time to grab a long overdue meal after our day of travel. A few doors down from the brewery we found a small pub called Leary's Landing, an establishment that sports the unique claim it is the closest pub to Ireland in the United States. Intrigued, I convinced Rachael to let me take a peak inside, which resulted in us sitting down for a round of drinks and a full meal. To start things out right, Rachael and I quickly decided we would have a seafood dinner paired with some pub fries to complement our choice of Irish beers. Although our selections seemed a good choice on paper, Rachael and I were floored by the quantity of food we received with our order. Rachael's plate of mussels was enough to feed two, and my lobster roll was overflowing with delicious red and white chunks of meat. In addition, the pub fries covered the surface of an entire dinner plate and were laden with toppings. With work to do, we dove into our meals and ate until we were stuffed to the brim.

This will work!

The inside of Leary's Landing

Our spread

After our dinner, Rachael and I found our way back to the Bed and Breakfast and settled in for the night. With plans to hike the tallest mountain on the east coast of the United States on the docket for tomorrow, we both knew a good night's rest was in order. As we prepared for bed tonight, Rachael and I talked about our first day in Bar Harbor. We both agreed that the first impression of this place set some pretty high expectations for the rest of the week, and we had yet to tackle any of our big plans. That stated, if the coming days bring us experiences anything like those we had today, I know we are in for an amazing trip. There's no doubt we will do everything in our power to make the most of it... even if Congress says Acadia National Park is off limits for the time being. Here's to new adventures!

2 comments:

  1. This already makes me so happy :-D Hope you're loving it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Caleb,

    My name is Jocelyn and I am with Dwellable. I am looking for fun and authentic blogs about Bar Harbor and yours happened to catch my eye. If you’re open to it, shoot me an e-mail at jocelyn(at)dwellable(dot)com.

    Hope to hear from you soon!
    - Jocelyn

    ReplyDelete