sunset at Coddington Wharf, Newport
After walking the entire length of the ‘easy’ portions of the Cliff walk, we popped in to Chanler Inn’s beautiful Spiced Pear restaurant for refreshing drinks and Newport ambiance.
After saying farewell to our lovely hotel room, we picked up our rental car and headed up to Mont Royal Park to enjoy the view of the city. We headed to St. Joseph’s Oratory right near the park because it was something I had read about. We had a long drive ahead of us, so I figured we would just swing by and see it, but it turned out to be a ginormous church at the top of a hill, with a really big parking lot – it looked like a pretty big deal, so we found parking and walked up lots of stairs … totally worth it. Really really beautiful.
Back in the car for one last necessity before hitting the road: fresh bagels. Mission accomplished, and we headed south but we didn’t get very far before we found out about a massive detour: the big bridge over the big river was closed, and our internet access was spotty at best. We thought we might have to swim across the St. Lawrence, but we managed to figure it out, and before long, we were at the border and on to the gorgeous green mountains of Vermont (that are actually rather blue).
Another necessary stop was the Ben and Jerry’s factory in upstate Vermont. Fun tour, delicious ice cream, homage to the flavor graveyard, and back on the road as the sun began to set. A few hours later, we finally saw the Boston skyline … home at last!
Our first port was Bar Harbor, Maine: still well within driving distance of home! Brian and I have fallen in love with Portland, Ogunquit and Boothbay Harbor together, so it was fun to add another Maine must-see to our list!
I knew we were going to land a little ways out of Bar Harbor, then take a tender (basically one of the life boats) over to the pier, but I hadn’t realized until we were on the tender that our ship hadn’t just docked at a larger pier: it had just plain stopped, and it was anchored right in the middle of Frenchman’s Bay!
We had signed up for an excursion … the best of land and sea … so we got right onto a shuttle bus which took us through the town of Bar Harbor, up in to Acadia National Park, and right up to Cadillac Mountain, the largest mountain on the east coast. We only had 20 minutes at the top, but since the weather was gorgeous and the sky was crystal clear, we enjoyed some incredible views of Frenchman’s Bay (we could see our ship!) and all of the many little islands nearby.
Back down through Acadia, off the bus, and straight on to the Margaret Todd, a 4-masted schooner with gorgeous red and orange sails. We took a very pleasant loop around Frenchmen’s Bay, including right around our ship, so we got a great view of it, as well as Cadillac Mountain, the many islands and the hundreds of thousands of lobster traps!
Back on land, we had two hours before we had to be back on the boat, so we headed down Main Street. Bar Harbor looks like so many lovely New England towns (and lots of Maine tourmaline jewelry!). We stopped in a two places we had heard about: the Abbe Museum and St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church, which had lots of different styles of really beautiful stained glass, including several Tiffany windows.
Several hours later, back on the ship, I enjoyed another gorgeous sunset, and it was especially cool to see the sun set on the horizon (with Cadillac Mountain still in view in the distance) knowing that the sun’s job wasn’t done for the day … a few hours later, after a delicious dinner, we got see the sun, the earth and the moon all line up nicely for a supermoon lunar eclipse! We’re told this was a pretty rare and amazing astronomical phenomenon, and on the 13th deck of the ship, we felt like we had front row seats for an incredibly beautiful eclipse. The sky was crystal clear, and of course, it was incredibly windy on the upper decks as we cruised along the coast of Maine towards Nova Scotia.
This was one of our incredibly rare free summer weekends, so we made the most of it with a day trip to Ogunquit with Brendan and Courtney. Ogunquit has an incredibly beautiful stretch of coastline, and it was so interesting to see how different it looks on a summer beach day in low tide compared to when we visited back in late December. We made it back to Boston in time to catch a beautiful Charlestown sunset!
I’ve eaten about a million tuna melts, but never a crab melt … until a few days ago. Turns out, it’s delicious. Three days in Maine, three crab melts. This one was the best: crab meat slaw, melted havarti and avocado at Robert’s Maine Grill right by the Kittery Outlets.
I had set my alarm so that I could get up nice and early to see the sunrise again — this time even earlier so I could walk to a spot along the Marginal Way that I had picked out the day before for optimal sunrise viewing — but my alarm didn’t go off! Instead Brian somehow woke me up just in time, and after bundling up (it was 20 degrees), I headed up to my spot … completely worth it. Absolutely, incredibly, fabulously gorgeous sunrise.
I woke up early to see the sunrise, and I was rewarded with some absolutely gorgeous colors. After breakfast, we took a nice long walk to on end of the Marginal Way, right near where we stayed in 2007. It was a clear day, and the ocean was a gorgeous shade of blue, so we took a lot of pictures of waves and rocks.
We absolutely loved our stay at the Beachmere Inn in Ogunquit, Maine. It’s a handful of buildings right along the coast with lots of porches and balconies for looking out at the ocean, a cozy little room for breakfast, a patio with a fire pit, and a kick-ass Christmas tree made out of lobster traps.
Since we had such an incredible view of the ocean, I wanted to see the sunrise. I set my alarm, woke up, saw that the sky and the ocean were the exact same shade of completely gray, and went back to bed. We headed down to Kittery, Maine for the outlet stores (seriously killer post-Christmas deals), had a late lunch, then headed back to the Beachmere Inn for an afternoon walk along the Marginal Way. We saw pretty much the same thing we saw yesterday … waves crashing on rocks … but since the light was a bit different, and it was still spectacularly beautiful, we took a bunch of pictures.
I needed to spend a few days curled up with a book somewhere extremely beautiful, so we booked three nights at the Beachmere Inn. The Beachmere is one of the few places in Ogunquit, Maine that is actually open in December. Oqunquit is a tourist town, filled with shops, galleries, restaurants, a gazillion inns, and an extraordinarily beautiful stretch of coastline.
In October 2007, right around the time I started dating this handsome fella who is now my husband, I spent a weekend in Ogunquit with my family. My first ever photoblog post was from that weekend. I have been wanting to show Brian this beautiful place, so even though December is not the most ideal time to go to Maine, we spent three days taking pictures of waves crashing on rocks, and it was perfect.
We arrived around 3pm, dumped our bags and headed straight to the Marginal Way, the walk-way along the coast, just a few steps from our room. It was supposed to be overcast the next few days, and I was hoping for a colorful sunset. Here are our photos from that evening.
We stopped for a delicious lunch in Portsmouth, NH on our way up to Maine.
We wanted to see some colorful New Hampshire leaves, and it had been too long since we’d seen Sara and Eric, so we made some last-minute plans and drove to Keene, NH. We had an incredible brunch at the Stage Restaurant, wandered around for a bit, then headed over to Mt. Pitcher and walked to the top for some incredible views!