1. You can take advantage of the beauty of the island (without the crowds)
This past weekend I took some time on Sunday to enjoy the weather and take a hike on the Carriage Trails. May is Maine’s sweet spot-all the joys of good, sunny weather without the hassle of the traffic that tourists bring in the summer. The temperature was perfect (around 60 degrees) and a little cloudy, so it wasn’t too hot for walking. Although we did see some early vacationers and other Mainers enjoying the day, it wasn’t nearly as busy as it will be next month.
I guess good restaurants can be found anywhere, but I definitely have a few favorites in Maine. Some of my Bar Harbor picks include:
Are you looking for innovative flavors of homemade ice cream? Try MDI Ice Cream. There are two different locations in Bar Harbor, and both have their own style and charm. When I used to eat ice cream, I tried their Lavender, which sounds like a strange ice cream choice, but turned out to be lovely. Now I stick to sorbet, but I’m never disappointed by the selections (Blueberry Basil comes to mind from last summer).
A&B Naturals This is not a restaurant (it’s more of a health food store) but it does include sandwiches to go, soup, a variety of baked goods, and a full juice and smoothie bar. That’s where I go to order The Green Machine-a concoction made from fruit juices, pureed fruit, greens, and cacao nibs. It may sound like a strange combination, but it’s the best way I’ve found to cure a chocolate craving while getting some fruits and veggies.
A friend introduced me to this bakery on our Sunday Bar Harbor visit, and I’m very happy she did. I shared a cookie and a brownie with my mom, but I could have also gone for a beautifully frosted cupcake or a bagel (had it been earlier in the day). They also have wi-fi and the perfect environment to set up camp with a laptop, tea, and a muffin and blog for several hours. I made a mental note to find the next free day in my schedule so I could come back and stay for a while.
-Soon to be Favorites:
I have never been here before, but have heard wonderful things. Ever since I became vegetarian, I have been on the lookout for restaurants that specialize in meat free meals. In Maine, these can be scarce. They are only open seasonally, so I plan to eat here at least once this summer.
3. Wildlife in your backyard…literally.
Among the most common are:
This one was spotted on our Carriage Trail Hike:
-Turkeys They are cute when they are little, but can be a little annoying when they parade around the yard and gobble as adults.
-Deer Yesterday, I saw four deer (but, alas, no pictures!) The first three were a mom and her two fawns. They gracefully lept to the side of the driveway to let me go by. We stared at each other for a while (the mom and I) and I tried to telepathically tell her “don’t worry, I won’t hurt you.” The fourth one almost jumped in front of my car on the way home. It startled both of us.
-Fox Fun to see once in a while, but not so fun if you have cats. Katniss is Queen of the Domestic Frontier (an indoor cat) and I still get nervous when I see one in the yard.
4. A bad season makes you appreciate the good ones even more
Not that winter is torture for me, but it can be a long 5 months or so. When the initial newness of a snowy morning wears off (after a couple weeks of waking up early to clean the car off) the lack of sunlight can get to me. But, the long months of short days make me appreciate spring and summer so much more. Unlike tourists who can use their time as they wish, I have to work during the summer, so I make sure to take advantage of the weather on my days off or even on my lunch breaks. I’ve lived here all my life, so I know the drill by now. I know that spring always comes after winter, but it still feels like a gift. For some reason, I feel like I’ve “earned” the perfect summer weather because I’ve suffered through the tough times, too.
5. Driving home to views like this:
(Full disclosure: this is not the view that I see when I drive home, but I did spend a great deal of time here in my younger years. In fact, I read the last third of the final Harry Potter book in that chair.)
Mainers: What is your favorite part about living here?
Maine visitors: What are you looking forward to experiencing in Maine this summer?
- Bar Harbor Blooming (bangordailynews.com)