Steven and I spent five glorious days in Bar Harbor, Maine in early August filled with hiking, eating, drinking and relaxing. Steve looked forward to the “Lob-stah”, of which he got plenty and I came away with a treasure trove of writing goodies. Vacations have always been an opportunity for me to collect “detail tidbits”. Away from the distracting daily grind, my writers mind is more attuned to people and my surroundings and thoughts of how to weave those details in to future characters, settings and plots.
|Just makes you smile!|
This trip’s constant turned out to be an enormous blow up white swan, strapped to the top of a Subaru. We saw it at least once a day. It was everywhere we went. It was big. It was bold. It elicited ridiculous smiles.
After a glass of wine or two on our balcony at the Holland Inn B&B, we strolled down the block for a quiet dinner at the Black Friar Inn, choosing a table in the near empty bar area. Just after we ordered, a young woman at the bar made her presence known to anyone within earshot. Throughout our “quiet” dinner, we learned of her Portuguese heritage, listened to her commentary on the Olympics, and found out that her husband was upstairs in their room with a headache. We honored him with a silent toast and the future that lay ahead for him.
Crying children have been a part of our vacations and a source of amusement to us in how they always show up since our honeymoon 30 years ago. This one, around three years old, cried as she leaned on her mother’s knee for ten minutes straight as we all sat waiting for a shuttle bus. Remarkably, her mom was able to totally ignore her, offering no consolation at all as she texted on her phone the whole time. The dynamics of their mother-daughter relationship a few years down the road will be fascinating!
One evening found us at a unique local attraction, Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show as the sun set in the woods of Trenton, Maine. It was surprisingly entertaining, with displays of wood chopping, tree climbing and ax throwing, sprinkled with a side of campy jokes, some lumberjack education and the larger than life personality of Timber Tina. The audience was split into two teams cheering for either the red or green flannel shirted team. Our red team won, which meant loud a “Yooooo-Hooooooo” shout out for us!
A trip to the Big Chicken Barn, a huge antiques and book market, netted me a couple books on writing. At an impromptu stop at another antique store down the road I scored the BIG FIND of the trip, a teapot with cozy. The search for this piece has taken years. Steve says they are probably so tough to find because the cozy is probably asbestos lined, but the childhood memories of my Nana’s pot & cozy make the asbestos risk worth it!
We spent most of our time in Acadia National Park. Hiking every day is something I could get used to very quickly. I fell in love with my walking stick, the rhythm and pace it helped me set and the tricks I learned to use it to help my ascent and descent. It made me feel almost athletic for the first time in my life!
|Saw my first tide pool here!|
Our trails ran the gamut from the flat sand bar at low tide to rocky shoreline, evergreen forests, rocky stairs and stone steps. I mused about the workers establishing those trails, the multitude of other hikers that walked the same steps that I did and what they experienced as they travelled them. Where they in awe of the clouds and fog that rolled in over the mountains around them? Did they feel the solitude of their surroundings? Did they find the tide pools as fascinating as I did and wonder at the delicate balance of life contained there?
Our last hiking day, our arrival at the summit on Champlain Mountain coincided with the clouds as they rolled across the top. A first for me to have the front roll in and engulf me. To feel the force as it approached, it’s cool whisper caress on heated skin, and the settling dampness. To close my eyes, breathe in and be a part of it. A memorable moment to say the least.
smiled to see one in particular. It was a bumper sticker we saw during our walk through a little town maybe a mile long total where we’d stopped to stroll the sidewalk and look in the shops. It reminded me of Steven and I, and of other couples I know of who do (and don’t) live their life by this motto. It has me thinking of the plot possibilities and the twists and turns of living a life where you strive to simply …. Be Excellent to Each Other.