Coffee Talk: Maine Vacation Edition

It’s hard to believe our Maine vacation is already nearing its end. Isn’t it odd how you look forward to something for so long and then suddenly it’s over?

While I’ll be glad to be home and get back into my routine, I’ll miss the soothing sound of the lake water lapping up on the shore, the call of the loons, the brilliant sunsets, and the lazy days with no sense of time.

I thought I’d share some pictures of our vacation and more about what we’ve been up to. I’ve been asked for more information about what there is to do in this area so I plan to put together a travel guide at some point, but this post is more of a journal of this trip.

We arrived last Monday and wasted no time going to our favorite local restaurant — Union River Lobster Pot in Ellsworth, Maine. The girls had boiled lobsters, and I had Lazy Lobster — basically a whole boiled lobster out of its shell, swimming in butter and sherry. #yum

After dinner, Paul took the girls out for their first boat ride of the season. They weren’t excited at all. (Ha!)

They also spent some time puttering around outside, and my husband takes any opportunity to practice his photography.

It’s been rather chilly during most of our stay so they haven’t done as much swimming as usual, but they like wading by the shore and climbing on the rocks.

The next day was July 4th and we stayed at camp all day. (Here in Maine, they call their lake homes camps, but this place is far from camping! It is a modern 4-season home with a complete kitchen, 2 full bathrooms, and 5 bedrooms — some just fit a twin bed, but they offer a decent amount of privacy for a larger family to share the space.)

Also, just so you can visualize, the two walls of the main living area are floor-to-ceiling windows with an unobstructed view of the lake. After my grandfather bought this place over 20 years ago, he gutted it and restructured the inside so it’s more of a modern-day open floor plan, and he put in the walls of windows. That’s my favorite part about the house. It’s not a huge place, but it is roomy and comfortable inside.

We took the girls out early on the morning of the 4th before the lake got crowded for a ride in the band wagon.

That night we made a lobster dinner here at camp. My girls love to help my mom cook lobsters and set the table with her lobster plates and napkins.

Then we had flag cake for dessert. I think that’s an American requirement these days, judging by the amount of these cakes I saw in my Facebook feed!

Later on we stood outside on the dock and watched the fireworks. There were amateur displays going off all around the lake for about an hour, and it was pretty cool. My husband took some amazing pictures.

One of our favorite day trips when we’re in this part of Maine is to visit Castine, and that’s what we did on Wednesday.

Castine, Maine is one of the oldest New England towns on record and home to the Maine Maritime Academy. Fun fact: it’s also home to the oldest continuously-operating post office in the United States. In addition to that, Castine boasts a couple of charming inns, several nice dining options, an abundance of gorgeous historic homes and churches, and a picturesque lighthouse. You can read more about Castine here.

The best part about it is, it’s off the beaten path so it never gets crowded. It’s almost like our little secret.

The Castine Historical Society, Wilson Museum, and Fort Madison are all worth doing once; but we prefer wandering around downtown, taking in the New England architecture and eating outside overlooking the Penobscot River.

We have our routine down pat. We usually start out by eating lunch — which always involves lobster and a cold beer or glass of white wine — at Dennet’s Wharf (recently under new ownership and renamed The Wharf.) Reviews are mixed at this point, but we were willing to take a chance and it was fine. The atmosphere more than makes up for any lack in the service department.

After lunch, we like to walk through town, wandering in and out of shops, and we always grab an ice cream cone at the variety store on the corner.

Then we usually walk or drive the mile out to see Dyce Head Light — one of Maine’s many lighthouses. You can climb down a narrow footpath to a rocky cliff overlooking the ocean. It’s a beautiful spot to sit and soak in the scenery.

The next few days were pretty uneventful. We hung out by the lake, read books, played games, baked a bunch of fruit pies (I’ve lost count), worked puzzles, and napped. Haha!

Yesterday my mom and I took the girls to town to visit my grandfather, and my dad and Paul drove out to Schoodic Point to take pictures.

Would you believe this man is 100 years old? I did no editing to this picture. (And yes, that’s an iPhone in his pocket. He calls it his apple. He likes to look at pictures and that’s about all he does with it, but he takes it with him wherever he goes.)

Schoodic Point is one of the lesser traveled spots in Acadia National Park. It’s located at the southern tip of Schoodic Peninsula in Winter Harbor, Maine.

In years past, we’ve brought our bikes and biked the 5-mile loop around the peninsula, but you can also drive down to the tip and park in the public lot and then walk out onto the rocks for amazing views of the ocean and Cadillac Mountain in the distance.

When the tide is coming in, it creates a magnificent scene with the ocean surf crashing against the cliffs, creating huge sprays like you see on postcards. You can read more about it here.

Paul got some great shots and even took one of himself so there is some proof of his existence on this vacation. Unfortunately he arrived just after high tide, so he didn’t get to see the water splashing up on the rocks, but it’s still a stunning view.

When you bike or drive around the loop, you get some gorgeous scenes like this one. It feels very off-the-beaten-path even though you’re just a few miles from the over-crowded Bar Harbor.

We tend to stay away from Mount Desert Island at this time of year because it has become so popular, but there’s a lot to see and do there, and when I work up a travel guide, I’ll include all of that as well.

That’s about it for our vacation this year. Sometimes we do more sightseeing, but this year we’ve tried to take it easy and lay low. It’s been nice and relaxing.

Today we’ll go to church and take my grandfather to lunch, and then we plan to enjoy what time we have left swimming and boating on the lake. It’s supposed to be warmer today so we want to take advantage of that!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a blessed Sunday!