Posts Tagged ‘acadia national park’

Ha!  That’s what they think…

Well, we went in for a hike today, and with 74F and no rain, it was the perfect day for it.

The local paper covered the story….

Pictures below are from our trip up to Great Head today!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


What an awesome week!  This will be another one of those multi-part posts, as there is just too much fun to share!

This years’ 10 week stint in Bar Harbor started on August 15, and it was a busy three day double ship weekend… Uncle Billy and Co. headed up to spend the weekend with me, and we had a great time.  So many pictures… best way to share the fun!!


Saturday, August 17, was awesome… we finally had the opportunity to take our biplane ride!  After watching Richard and his father take their trip, I was soooo excited to go myself!  Nervous, as I didn’t truly know what to expect.. we climbed into the plane, snapped and tightened our seatbelts, and put on those headsets, just like you see in the movies!   We had a 20 minute or so ride ahead of us…  and it was so amazing to see the island and the harbor from the air!  It’s amazing to compare all of the different perspectives.. from the end of the dock, to the bridge of a cruise ship, to a bird’s eye view!  We flew over Bar Harbor, Winter Harbor, Prospect Harbor, multiple lighthouses, Frenchman’s Bay, and Acadia National Park.  We could see Cadillac Mountain and Eagle Lake… it was just amazing!  I think my jaw was on the floor most of the trip.. so incredible…


Saturday night, we headed out to the Great Maine Lumberjack Show.   Dad and I have been multiple times in years past, and it’s always lots of fun.  Timber Tina, who owns the show, was in the show that night, and it was as funny as always.  About halfway through, the kids get a chance to go up on the stage and try their hand at the crosscut saw!  Hannah seemed to really enjoyed it, and was awarded a certificate of participation for her efforts. 

As usual, this last month has been fairly hectic and I am slacking again on sharing with the world the most recent excitement in our lives.

The Vaughan’s came to Bar Harbor!  Richard spent a whole week, count ’em… 7 WHOLE DAYS!  In the past, he has only had the opportunity to come up for the weekend, and we attempt to cram a month’s worth of catching up in some very short hours.  This time…. it was awesome!  My in-laws were also able to join us for a week’s worth of adventures… and seeing that it was over 4th of July holiday.. it was an booming week of fun!

Richard arrived from North Carolina.. where he had spent the weekend training at a church the company had just recently installed some equipment in.  It was a nice surprise.. as he arrived about 5 hours earlier than we had originally planned.  His parents were driving up from Florida, and made several stops along the way, with family and friends, and arrived early afternoon on Monday.

Our first night, we headed over to Stewman’s Lobster Pound,, for dinner.  My father-in-law dug into a full downeast lobster experience… clam chowder, lobster, mussels, corn, potatoes and blueberry pie!


Richard’s Downeast Lobster Experience

With rain expected for Tuesday, we headed into Acadia National Park.. I don’t care what the weather is like, the Park is beautiful every time.  We hit Park Loop Road and saw all the highlights: Sieur de Monts Spring, the Abbe Museum, Park Loop Road, Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, Bass Harbor Head Light, Sea Wall… the Jesup Path was amazing… Richard remembered walking it on one of his first visits to Bar Harbor… we headed back out to find it, and some wildlife along the way.

The next morning may have been the highlight of the whole trip… at least, for the boys.  As a Father’s Day gift, the boys hopped into an open cockpit biplane,, and took off for about 18 minutes of exhilarating fun!

We headed back into Acadia National Park with a box lunch in hand… and to Otter Cliffs, which is one of my new favorite locations.

And then we headed up to South Bubble and Balance Rock… one of my absolute favorite hikes!  It is sooooo gorgeous once you get up to the top, and the hike up isn’t so bad either.  Keeping in mind that it had been raining in Bar Harbor for what felt like days on end, it was quite a wet hike up, but totally worth the view from the top.

We rounded out the evening with a trip up to the top of Cadillac Mountain, and watched the sunset from the Blue Hill Overlook – it was spectacular!

July 4th!  One of my absolute favorite days in Bar Harbor…. simply because it is celebrated small town style.  What that means specifically…. good ole’ fashioned pancake breakfasts, a parade with more than 1,000 participants, lobstah races in the baseball fields, arts and crafts market, lobstah meals, ice cream, pies and other yummy desserts for sale, to raise money for local non-profits and other local groups.  We headed to Cherrystones for breakfast, and front row seats of the parade, it is always so much fun to see what the floats will look like every year!  After, we headed down to the ball park.. it was sooooo hot that day, and a Sno-Cone was in order!  While waiting for the fireworks over the Harbor later that evening, we headed to Pirate’s Cove for a little competitive putt-putt,  I lost.  Good news?  I got a free ice cream across the street at Udder Heaven,!  The fireworks were awesome… best I have seen in 5 years, check it out here!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Friday was back to work, and the in-laws were leaving the island.  What a fun week!

SO… after what feels like months of planning… Uncle Billy’s Super Secret 50th Birthday Bash went off without a hitch!  (well, maybe just some small hitches…)

Alex flew up on Tuesday night before the party, and we had some great plans…  Wednesday was a late morning sleeping in, and lots of rain, we took a drive thru Acadia National Park and bummed around town.

Thursday was an exciting day!  #46 on my bucket list was accomplished… ROCK CLIMBING!!  I have been driving by the Atlantic Climbing School for the last five seasons in Bar Harbor, just waiting on the opportunity (and someone who is willing) to go climbing!  It was absolutely exhilarating and exhausting..

Everyone else started to come into town on Friday…. I went off to work, and Alex went up to the airport to collect Mom.  Everyone else was driving in… arriving between 6:00 and 6:30pm.  My stomach had butterflies.. so excited!!!   The timing was close… Uncle Billy was under the impression he was coming up to the spend the weekend with Dad and I.. Aunt Heidi was in on the BIG secret…. everyone had met at Rupununi’s,, on the back deck… and hid away, waiting for Uncle Billy’s grand entrance!  You can watch the grand entrance by clicking on this link.  It was so awesome that everyone came together to celebrate Billy’s 50th birthday!  Later that night, we headed down to Cottage St. Pub, a hole in the wall in town, but a fabulous little pub!

Saturday morning came early…. plans had been altered many times over the weeks leading up to the Birthday Bash Weekend, but ultimately, we headed out on the 12noon Whale Watch with Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company,  This was when the most major of the hitches occurred…. apparently, the Voltz’s are subject to motion sickness… quite a few of the folks on board experienced sickness… but, overall, I think we saw 9 whales, 2 lighthouses, seals, puffins, seagulls, otters, and it was very cool!  Aunt Debbie was contracted to provide some Team Voltz shirts, which we all wore while on the cruise!

And Saturday night was THE Big Event.  Hosted at CherrySTONES Restaurant,, and the amazing cake was made by Morning Glory Bakery,, the one of the highlights had to the gag gifts… no real/regular gifts were allowed, and everyone came thru!  Hilarious items such as a huge universal remote control, a bed pan, an old wind bag, hemorrhoid cream, a 50-count bag of marbles, and other hilarious items added to the laughter.

…which turned out to be a beautiful day for a drive through Acadia National Park!  The cabin fever was starting to get to me….

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The summer cruise ship season began Sunday when the 720-foot Veendam pulled into Frenchman Bay and unloaded a throng of passengers who shopped, ate and went sightseeing in town and Acadia National Park.

The Veendam was the first of 135 scheduled cruise ship visits scheduled for the 2013 season. Even with the usual amount of cancellations, that number will shatter the previous record of 108 visits in 2012.

Cruise ships have become a fixture in Bar Harbor since the early ’90s, when only two dozen called per year. In the fiscal year beginning July 1, the town will receive more than a half-million dollars in cruise ship fees, said Harbormaster Charlie Phippen. And businesses in Bar Harbor and surrounding towns will rake in untold dollars from disembarked passengers.

“The cruise ships, on a good day, can mean a [sales] increase of 40 percent,” said Matt Hochman, owner of the Opera House Internet Cafe and Trailhead Cafe, both on Cottage Street.

On Sunday, the Veendam’s passengers lined the streets and filled Agamont Park. Naralle King of Australia went shopping with two other women. She said the ship’s crew had told her Bar Harbor was “a quaint little town.”

“I was imagining a little town like Cabot Cove, in ‘Murder, She Wrote,’” King said.

Veendam offered passengers a $99 excursion through Acadia National Park, promising “one of the most scenic drives on the east coast” along the 27-mile Park Loop Road. But thanks to federal sequestration, portions of the park — including most of the Park Loop Road and the road to the summit of Cadillac Mountain — are inaccessible to motorists and tour buses.

The park will not be completely open until May 19. Before then, the Veendam and its sister ship, Maasdam, will each visit once.

Passengers who had signed up for tours through the park in advance were warned about the closure via email a month ago and given the option to cancel their excursion, said Greg Gordon, vice president of shore excursions in North America and the Caribbean for Intercruises, Veendam’s agent and tour provider.

“We still have tours into the park,” Gordon said Sunday. “We’ve visited Jordan Pond House and Thunder Hole. The response has been positive from the guests.”

But Gary Keenan, a Veendam passenger from Scottsdale, Ariz., said he opted out of visiting Acadia when he found out he wouldn’t see the top of Cadillac.

“We went online and found out the park was closed. That affected our decision,” he said.

Other passengers could not seem to care less about whether the park was open. Joy Roxas of California stopped in Agamont Park to shoot pictures of the Porcupine Islands.

“They didn’t say anything about the park,” she said of the ship’s crew. “They said lobster is really good here, and they’re known for their lighthouses.”

“We love it. I wish I could live here,” she said.

In many ways, Bar Harbor is still preparing for its busy tourist season. Some businesses aren’t yet open, but those that were reaped the rewards on Sunday.

“I put one more person on staff during cruise ship days,” said Desiree Bousquet, co-owner of Epi’s Pizza. She said that the restaurant had to prepare more “tourist foods” those days.

“We sell a lot more chowder. Lobster rolls too, and blueberry pie,” she said.

Britt Hulbert, owner of Jekyll and Hyde, said she’s opened her doors earlier each year to accommodate cruise ships that start appearing earlier and call even as late as November.

“We open in May now. In the past we opened in June,” she said. “It’s not just the cruise ships, but they do lengthen the season, especially in the fall.”

The only other city in Maine that sees significant cruise ship traffic is Portland. While Bar Harbor has seen growth in recent years, Portland has had fewer ships come each year for the past four. The city is scheduled to have 58 visits this year, and tallied 59 in 2012, 65 in 2011 and 71 in 2010.

But despite fewer ships calling, more passengers arrive in Portland each year, said Nicole Clegg, the city’s spokeswoman. This year, the city expects more than 71,000 passengers, who will each spend between $80 and $110, according to a study cited by Clegg.

“It speaks to booking bigger ships, which carry more passengers,” she said. “That’s a reflection on the industry. A lot of cruise lines are building bigger boats with greater capacity.”

The city’s new Ocean Gateway terminal means even large ships can dock. In Bar Harbor, ships must weigh anchor in Frenchman Bay and ferry passengers to the town pier.

Clegg said Portland is trying to convince cruise lines to stop in Portland before heading to Bar Harbor.

“Bar Harbor has Acadia National Park, but there’s no port facility,” Clegg said. “What we market is that we have amenities like water, electricity, things that ships are concerned about. … So we can give them that kind of stop before they tender in Bar Harbor.”

And because those aboard can simply walk off the ship and into downtown Portland, Clegg said the city is a popular stop with cruise ship crews: “It’s very easy for them to come and go. There’s a convenience factor that we can market.”



A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Portland is the only other Maine city to receive cruise ships. While Portland and Bar Harbor receive the majority of cruise traffic, smaller ports such as those in Rockland, Belfast and Eastport also receive a handful of ships each year.

what a great weekend… and it definitely went too fast!

Richard flew into Bangor late on Wednesday night, and Brisbee and I collected him from the airport… we spent the next three days packing as much into just as little time.  We headed to Two Cats for breakfast, walked around town for a little shopping, into Acadia National Park to see Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, and then out to Ellsworth for some more shopping!

Friday, the Holland America Veendam was in town, and Richard and I went for lunch on board, and headed out for dinner with Mike and Vera at the Town Hill Bistro that night.

On Saturday, we hung out at my apartment in the morning, and then decided to head to Bangor to spend some (more) time shopping before Richards flight!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.