Friday, September 7, 2018

Tour Guide - Part 2

8:17 am - Friday - September 7th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 56º F, 84% humidity, wind 6 mph out of the north......partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 67º F.

We began our first day (Thursday) with Glenn (brother-in-law) and Laureen (TLE's younger sister) by meeting them at 'Eat-A-Pita' for breakfast about 10 am.  It's been about 18 months since we have gotten together.  The last time was at our school reunion in Las Vegas in March of 2017.  We really had no plan for the day, and sometimes that is the best way to begin a day of touring.....just make it up as you go.  Well, the first part was deciding at the last minute to have breakfast at our favorite local breakfast place. From there we drove both cars up to Southwest Food Mart where we left the VW in their parking lot, and continued on with Glenn and Laureen in their rental car to spend the day exploring the highlights of Acadia National Park.  They are only here for parts of three days so there was not a lot of time!

Glenn suggested I play chauffeur, and I accepted the task.  We began our drive over towards Bar Harbor deciding to hit Cadillac Mountain first.  The other day (before Labor Day) when we were there with Charles and Bobbie we had a difficult time finding a parking spot, but this time (after Labor Day) we found a spot pretty quickly.  As always we talked continuously as we walked around the various paved trails at the summit.  The day had begun overcast, but by the time we finished breakfast the cloud cover had melted away.  Nevertheless, it was quite humid, which restricted the amazing view from the summit a tad, but it was still amazing as always.

Cadillac Mountain 'usie'

.....from there we headed over to Sand Beach.  TLE and I had yet to visit Sand Beach, so this would be the first time for all four of us.  The road to Sand Beach is a two lane, one way loop road.  This is the only place in the park that I am aware of where you must pass through a formal kiosk where you show a park pass, or your National Parks card to enter.  There are two attractions along this multi mile one way drive.....Sand Beach, and Thunder Hole.  Sand Beach was our first stop where we very easily found a parking place for our car.....

.....Sand Beach is a popular sun bathing and swimming beach.  The only other sand beach I am aware of is the small one I have written about previously.....Wonder Land......where one might sun bath, but it would be very difficult to swim due to all the rocks.  Sand Beach, as you can see from the pictures is quite large, and there were a lot of people there on Thursday.  We opted to skip Thunder Hole as the tide was all wrong, and the parking would have been impossible.....

.....TLE, of course, took her flip flops off immediately and was wading in the water.  Laureen was wear tennis shoes, and much to her dismay got hit by a small wave getting one of her shoes all wet.

From there we drove over to Jordan Pond to see if we could snag a parking spot, and were unsuccessful, so we headed over to the Asticou Inn for popovers and coffee.  As we drove it began to rain, and when we arrived at the Inn it was still raining, however, we were still able to sit outside at a table with an umbrella adequate enough to shield us from the drizzle.  We had a delightful time enjoying the cloud shrouded view of Northeast Harbor while we continued out non-stop conversation.  After our popovers we walked across the street to the Asticou Azalia Gardens to walk around before returning to Jordan Pond once again.  We were successful in snagging a parking spot on our second attempt....

Jordan Pond

Charles and Bobbie where still in the area, so we made arrangements to meet them at the Bar Harbor Inn Terrace Grill for dinner at 5:30 pm.  We arrived a little early, but went ahead and got a table knowing Charles and Bobbie would follow in about 45 minutes.  I'm glad we did as the rest of the tables were gone well before 5:30.  

Sharing a few cocktails and great conversation
at the Terrace Grill

To say the weather and ambiance were spectacular would be an understatement.....I'm not sure there are adequate words to adequately describe how truly special the evening was.  It was all for which I could have hoped and a lot more.....

Charles and Bobbie joined us shortly after 5:30 and we placed our wine and entree orders (we all ordered their grill salmon dinner!).  Just as we were finishing our dinners the sun began to set to the west of us......just beautiful!

As we paid our bills we took a few sunset pictures and then headed for our vehicles.  We said our 'until next times' to Charles and Bobbie before heading back to Southwest Harbor for the evening.  Glenn and Laureen dropped us off at the VW and we made plans to meet for breakfast again Friday morning.  Friday will be their final day here in their brief MDI visit so we will make the most of our time.

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