Friday, July 19, 2013

Boston/Bar Harbor Trip - Wrap Up

Alrighty - time to wrap up this update =)

Our last day in Bar Harbor started preeeetty early.  As I mentioned before, part of what we were excited to do on this trip was go on a whale watching tour.  Actually...I'm not even going to sugar coat was the primary reason I booked this trip.  I had done a ton of research on the area and Bar Harbor, Maine is one of the prime locations for whale watching in the country.  And this time of year was the prime time to see migrating pods and newly born calves.  So, yeah, maybe I got my hopes up a bit, but I was definitely expecting to do some whale watching while we were there =)

On Sunday, we woke up super duper early to check on the status of the excursions.  If we couldn't go whale watching, we were at least hoping to go on a lobstering trip or the nature cruise...but, as it turns out, ALL boating adventures were cancelled for the day.  Marc and I are troopers, though, so we opted to grab a hearty breakfast, go back to the b&b for a nap, then do something athletic for the day.

We ended up renting bikes and taking a biking tour of the carriage roads around Acadia National Park.
Awkward Invisalign smile...
Our trusty steeds...
This was the view for the majority of the bike ride, but at least it wasn't raining!
It actually wasn't too shabby of a day!  We biked a total of 22 miles (Marc was an excellent navigator), and then stopped by a local spot for some lunch.  The sun even poked his head out for a while!
Well deserved blueberry beer.
Lobster roll and tots - these were some of the best tots I've ever had in my life...they had to have been triple fried or something.  Super crunchy!
After that, we relaxed a little more at the b&b, got ready for dinner, and had our second lobster dinner feast =)  I was really on a lobster kick after my first experience the night before.

We turned in early that night since we had to wake up early to head back to Boston the next day.  We were able to do the "scenic" route on the way back, so naturally I wanted to stop at a beach and take some pictures.
Stopping by a beach in Maine on the way home.
 After we got back to Boston, we had dinner at a fantastic place in the North End called Nico's Ristorante.  It was a fantastic food finale to our trip =)

And that wraps up our Northeastern Summer Adventure!  I've been giving a few picture highlights along the way, but see below if you'd like to check out the full album:

Boston/Bar Harbor 2013

Hope you've had a wonderful summer!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Project Preview!

I wanted to submit a teensie weensie teaser for a project that I completed last week:
Stay tuned for the final product!  I'm pretty pumped =)

Boston/Bar Harbor Trip - Part 4

On Friday, it was time to say buh-bye to Boston and hello to Bar Harbor.  It's about a 5 hour drive if you take the boring highway route, and about 5.5 hours if you take the scenic coastal route, so you can clearly guess which one I wanted to take =) We set off on our journey and decided to stop in Portland, Maine, for lunch, since it was a pretty decent halfway point.

This is where I began to get a little doubtful that our "scenic coastal route" would be worth it.  We got to Portland and the fog was crazy insane.
Apparently there is a whole ocean back there, along with some islands and stuff...
Thankfully, the fog only affected the quality of our view and not the quality of our food.  I have another girlfriend from home who now lives in Portland (I really got a lot of quality catch-up time with friends on this trip!) and she met us for lunch at the Portland Lobster Company, and we were in seafood heaven =)  We got our first lobster rolls of trip, plus some clam chowder and lobster stew...okay and let's be honest, we had to get some gelato..before continuing our trip to Bar Harbor. 
So good!  Honestly the best clam chowder we had on the trip.
Portland is a very small town - I thought it was so cute and dainty!
We opted to just nix the scenic route and take the highway the whole way there - at this point we were exhausted and really wanted to get to our bed and breakfast and just relax for the night.

I did a ton of research for places to stay while in Bar Harbor and I'm so glad I did - we stayed at the Holbrook House and it was absolutely fantastic!  The breakfasts they served were to die for, and the house was just so cute and felt like we were visiting grandma's house =)
Our "home" for the next few days.
I love these old homes - that porch along the side is where we had breakfast every morning.
We stayed in the "Very Berry" room, which was a corner room on the second floor with it's own fireplace (each of the rooms have a name).
Welcome home!
I loved the antique furniture - so adorable.
Since the weather was yucky when we arrived, we just decided to turn in for the night and wake up early the next day to explore.

The next morning, we headed into the town to check on the status of our whale watching tour.  It turns out they had cancelled all the tours for the day due to weather, so we just walked around the town and explored a bit.
Gnarly fog.
"Beer and wine on tap"...really?
A model of the whale I was so desperately hoping to see in the wild...
The Bar Harbor Inn...surrounded by fog.
Evidently there are lots of cute little islands and stuff just beyond the fog.
After the whale watching tours were cancelled, we decided to head back to the b&b and pick up the car.  Bar Harbor is located on Mt. Desert Island and a large portion of the island is Acadia National Park.  We had planned on hiking in Acadia on our first day there, but since the weather was so dreary, we opted to just drive around the park instead.

At first, we were very hopeful that the fog had lifted for the day - we even had a few wildlife encounters on the way up!
Pretty views on the way up to the top of Cadillac Mountain.
Marc likes to throw rocks -  he actually mad it to the ocean!
A deer!  With velvet antlers!
Hey deer!
And a wild turkey - do you see him?
 But then...we got to the top of Cadillac Mountain...and the fog really set in.
Like really...
My hat blew off, so I had to hold it on.  It was super windy up there! is what we were supposed to see...

These plaques identify all the islands and stuff you're supposed to see in the background...
And this is what we did see...
Fog.  Fog is a very interesting word to type over and over again...
We made the most of it and did a few short hikes around the park.  We even went to the Jordan Pond House for lunch, which is this place known for their popovers (they were amazing!).  After lunch, we continued to drive around and then turned back to the b&b to get ready for dinner. 

That evening, we were so excited to see that the fog had lifted a bit, so we could really see the beauty of Bar Harbor.

Blue skies!  Yay!

The Bar Harbor Inn - what a difference from the previous picture!

Hi sun!  I haven't seen you for a few days!
That evening...we decided to do the "true" Maine thing and order some whole lobsters for dinner.  At the suggestion of a local, we went to this place called Stewman's Lobster Pound, and seafood feast we did have =)
Thankful for the step by step instructions on my placemat...

The tools necessary to get the job done.
Now - I have always been a little squeamish about eating "whole" shelfish.  Growing up in Georgia, we used to have crawfish boils all the time, and I just  had a difficult time with eating the whole crawfish.  I would always have my mom or dad pull them apart so I could eat the tails - I never sucked the head - even though that is considered the best part by many people.
I don't know...I just always felt there was something barbaric about dismembering a sea creatures carcass and sucking on it.  Call me crazy...
Having doubts about my abilities...
Anyway - I ended up getting over myself that night and we had an extremely enjoyable dinner =)
Hello Mr. Lobster.  You will be in my belly soon. 
On a side note - I can't tell you how excited I was to wear the bib...I actually almost forgot to take it off.  What a tourist =)

Overall - not a shabby day in Bar Harbor.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Boston/Bar Harbor Trip - Part 3

Once we decided that we were going to head to Boston for our trip, I made sure to plan around the Red Sox schedule so we could go to a game.  Marc loves baseball, so I knew that he would be secretly wishing we could go to a game while we were in town.  Obviously, I did what any good wife would do and made his wish come true =)

Now, I am self-admittedly not a baseball fan.  Please hold your least I admit it.  However, I recognize the fact that Fenway Park is a pretty cool destination and when in Rome, you go to the Colosseum, right?

Our magical gate.  We're almost there!

Marc walking into the stadium for the first time.  He was almost shaking with excitement - no joke!
Marc's birthday was right before our trip and I was so excited to present him with 2 pretty sweet tickets to the Red Sox / Blue Jays game.  I splurged a bit and got tickets along the third base line, but it wasn't until we got to the park that I realized just what a "home-run" (har har) I had hit with these seats =)

We were in the third row!  We could literally see into both dugouts.  I couldn't believe how crazy close we were!
These guys were just chillin during warm up, but look!  Only 2 rows of chairs between us and the field.

The romantic in me seriously appreciated how cool and historic this place is.
We got to the park super early so that we could walk around and really appreciate the stadium.  I was shocked at how small it was.  Behind the scenes of Fenway Park reminded me of a high school football stadium, if you can believe it.  The ceiling was super low and nothing was really ostentatious or gaudy or "big".  It's just a very humble  and "old school" stadium - very cool!
All of their vending signs were printed with classic font.  Not an electric board to be seen anywhere - I loved it!!

The Green Monstah!  I admit - I had no clue what this was...oopsie =)
There was only one thing that weirded me out - this vending machine:
Um...yeah.  Mozzarella sticks and pizza from a vending machine?  I think not, but thanks for asking.  I do appreciate that it's Kosher, though.  Good work.

Even though the weather was drizzly and dreary, the game was awesome and something I'm definitely glad we did.  We met some great people and saw a pretty great game, even saw a few homers!
Grabbing a picture "on" the Green Monster.
America's Most Beloved Ballpark - rightly so!
We wanted to grab some food after the game, so we hopped on the T and headed out to a cute little bar outside of town.  One of my high school girlfriends (heck, I've known her since middle school...maybe even elementary!) actually lives super close to Fenway Park, so we were able to meet up with her and catch up for a bit.  It was so fun!
Caitlyn!  Homeroom buddies =)
And that really wrapped up our Boston experience - quite a busy day for the Felices!  The next day, we packed up our bags, checked out of the hotel, picked up the rental car, got some Dunkin (obvi...), and started our 5 hour drive to Bar Harbor, Maine.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Boston/Bar Harbor Trip - Part 2

The next day, Marc and I decided to hit the streets of Boston and walk the Freedom Trail.  If you haven't been to Boston, the Freedom Trail is essentially a 2.5 mile walking tour that takes you through cool historical sites in the city.  It's super neat!  You walk past Paul Revere's house, the Boston Massacre site, and can see Ben Franklin's grave.  The whole trail is marked with red bricks through the city...which is extremely similar to Dorothy's Yellow Brick Road (a reference I made several times, much to Marc's frustration).

I have a strange obsession with old things (particularly old cemeteries...I'm a weirdo), so this is obviously something I wanted to do while we were in town, especially since we only had a half day of "free time".   After a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts, we were off!  (don't judge...there aren't any DD's in Denver!)

The trail starts in the Boston Commons and eventually takes you to the notorious "North End".  The North End is the "little Italy" of Boston, and they turn out some fantastic food in this part of town =)
No trip to Boston is complete without a stop by Mike's Pastry shop in the North End.  You gotta get a cannoli!
The North End also includes the home of Paul Revere, and the Old North Church, where the lanterns were hung to announce the British army movement during the American Revolution.
Old North Church - where the famous lanterns were hung.
"One if by land, two if by sea".
The Freedom Trail basically ends at the Bunker Hill memorial and you can actually climb to the top of it - 294 stairs!  I have to admit, this didn't seem that difficult to me at first, but I was definitely huffin' and puffin' by the time we reached the top.

However, the big killer was the way down.  Our calves were screaming, but it was fun and totally worth it...we needed to burn off our cannoli =)
Our legs were literally shaking uncontrollably while we took this picture.
About to head down the stairs...make sure you watch your head!
If the weather was clearer, I'm sure the views would have been crazy awesome!
We did it!  Now I can eat another cannoli, right?
After we finished the Freedom Trail, we decided to rent a couple of bikes from Boston's bike share system and ride towards Harvard for lunch.  I honestly didn't realize how far away Harvard was from where we were...and considering we had just destroyed our legs at Bunker Hill, we were both pretty motivated to get to our next meal and beer quickly.

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the highlight of our Boston experience - the Red Sox game!
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