Last weekend, Allison and I took a trip to Maine. We spent Friday night in Portland, Saturday in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, and then drove back to Portland on Sunday.
I loved it. We picked an excellent time of year to visit. Friday was rainy, but Saturday and Sunday were sunny and beautiful, with temperatures in the low 60's. Perfect weather for a day at Acadia among the spruce and fir trees next to the ocean. The park wasn't too crowded, and the wildness was palpable. Even though the coast of Maine has been settled longer than central Wisconsin, nature feels much less tame there than it does here. Falls colors weren't at their peak, but well on the way. We hiked the Ocean Path from Otter Point to Sand Beach, part of the Jordan Pond Shore trail, around the summit of Cadillac Mountain, and caught a beautiful, chilly, blustery sunset at the Blue Hill Overlook. We even saw a bald eagle.
The shops and scenery in Portland were charming, and even on Friday we didn't let the rain stop us from exploring. We poked in and out of stores - there's a lot of pottery in Portland - and took a monumentally gusty walk in the rain along Casco Bay. On Sunday morning we found the Maine Historical Society, and I paid a fascinating visit to the Tate House Museum before I left on Sunday afternoon. I now know what I want to do when I retire ... I was born for docenthood.
On every step of the trip, sometimes by accident, Allison and I dined well. A restaurant with hanging herbs in the small dining room, a chowder house, Jordan Pond House in Acadia, a funky cafe in Bar Harbor, S.O.S. for brunch in South Portland, drinks at a majestic bar that used to be a church. And everywhere - stores, restaurants, hotels, museums, the park - people were incredibly friendly and helpful. Maine knows how to make an excellent impression.