Monday, July 15, 2013

Family Vacation Part III: Getting to Maine and Bar Harbor

We left NY early and headed out on our seven hour trip to Bar Harbor Maine on July 6th. We had many back roads to travel and for several hours we had to travel south to go north. (If that doesn't just make you crazy). We made it to Vermont fairly quickly and also found fairly quickly that there are no restrooms on these back winding roads. We stopped several times with no luck. Even the Maine visitor center was locked up and most gas stations had no bathrooms for non-purchasers. Despite the bathroom blunders, it is absolutely beautiful country. Winding hills, small sleepy towns, green mountain ranges. I simply enjoyed watching along the road the entire trip.

First stop upon entering Vermont, and this visitor center did not open until after 9am. No restroom here.

Some of the pictures of the mountains along the way.
Second try on a bathroom break was in Killington VT. I personally have never skied at Killington, but it is a very popular resort.
The kids and my husband, who was struggling with a full bladder, refused to pose in this cut out bear at gas station #3 without a public toilet.
This waterwheel was so peaceful, I just had to get a shot.
We drove to the New Hampshire boarder and I never saw a welcome sign and we didn't stop at any visitor center, or anywhere else in New Hampshire on the way to Maine, so I have no pictures. Crossing New Hampshire was only about an hour and a half. Once in Maine however, we were Welcomed by some fun sites, like Smokey the Bear, several Moose statues and I was thrilled to see Moose Crossing signs beginning to spring up along our ride.
It was approximately 71/2 hours from Bubbe's to Ellsworth Maine where our Hotel was waiting for us. We got there around 3pm and after checking in and exploring our temporary home, the boys were ready to jump in the pool and hot tub.
We stayed at The Colonial Inn about 30 minutes outside of Acadia. This somewhat outdated hotel is centrally located to several stores, area attractions, and eateries. I choose it because of the price as well as the indoor pool. I always try and stay cheep and with a pool for the boys. The hotel was a great deal and although it was far from anyone's opinion of luxury, it was clean, comfortable and suited our needs for the duration of our time in the area. The boys immediately went swimming and I hit the hot tub. The pool and hot tub was one of the vacation highlights.
 After a little swim, we headed into Bar Harbor to explore and have some dinner. Ben, who has been here with his mother suggested this restaurant.

We talked about lobster, but only Ben got any. He had lobster fettuccini. Mark had the all you can eat BBQ. I had a signature Maine Blueberry martini!
I don't usually make to many critical reviews of where I eat. For the most part I enjoy most things that I eat, especially since I try and stay safe with my burger and fries, but I was NOT impressed by this restaurant and would not recommend it. (There was one other restaurant that I did not like on this trip and I will write on that later.) It was incredibly expensive and did not taste that good. I do not eat lobster, but Ben's fettuccini did not look that appetizing, and although he wouldn't say so, he didn't eat much of it and referred to eating shrimp fettuccini as being in Heaven ..if he only had that instead. The BBQ that I tried, was not impressive either, and my boring old burger was rather unappealing as well. I am far from a critic in this arena of things, but honestly I would not return even if someone else was paying. It just wasn't all that good.
With that piece of information, we did end the evening on a positive note with a visit to Bar Harbor. Like most popular small harbor towns there is everything to do with boats, lobsters, and really expensive boutique shops that line the streets. It was quite crowded too, but enjoyable.
We walked around the main strip checking out the small shops and everyone had a good time at the Cool as A Moose store.
We tried the hanging swing, and Ben tried walking on a wire.

Being cool as a moose was fun. After a few more stores we headed down to the bay to explore the shoreline and see the boats along the waterfront.

 The boys made a wish at the fountain.
 Looking out into the bay.
 Posing as a sea captain.

 walking along the rocky shoreline.
Ben takes a dip in the water. I just love this picture.

 Some scenery as we walked back to the van.

 We had such a long enjoyable day and headed back to our hotel room for a little more swimming and a good nights rest for tomorrows adventure.
Bar Harbor is a cute little town.