Life

I left my heart in Maine

Brian and I just took an amazing trip up north to Maine. It’s quite a hike from Maryland (actually, we left from our best friends’ beach house in Delaware), so we planned accordingly, stopping for an afternoon in Boston. From Boston, we visited Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park for three days. Then we headed south to Portland.

The trip was wonderful for so many reason — B and I don’t do a ton of vacations, so being away for 10 days straight was a godsend for me. No work, no responsibilities (our moms watched the pup!) — just relaxing fun.

Like I said, we started our trip at the beach — Fenwick Island, DE., to be specific. It’s one of favorite places on this planet: Great friends, great views, great food, great fun. Oh, and did I mention it’s where we met? Coincidentally, we were at Fenwick on our 11 year anniversary! I don’t feel old enough to have been with someone for 11 years. Holy cow.

The beach was great fun as always (and maybe too much fun one night…). We were sad to leave, but happy to visit a slew of new places. We drove from Delaware to Boston. Neither of us had ever been to Boston, so it was neat exploring a new city. I loved it, especially the Boston Common. We took advantage of our sweet hotel location and walked everywhere we needed to go, including the aquarium! Awesome aquarium, but not as good as Baltimore’s. Just sayin’. (There’s no Maryland bias there….)

From Boston we made the trek to Bar Harbor. Sigh. Bar Harbor. One of my new favorite places. We were only there for 2.5 days, but I am in love. Bar Harbor is a quaint town on Mount Desert Island and neighbors Acadia National Park. Everything here is beautiful. The homes, the water, the beaches, the mountains, the towns. It’s one of the dog-friendliest places I’ve ever been, too, and next time we go we are definitely bringing Remmy.

What did we do in Acadia? Hike, hike, hike and more hiking. We hiked in the pouring rain, we hiked in the fog, and, on our last day, we hiked in the sunshine. We hiked so many different trails: the Ocean Trail, Sand Beach, Gorham Mountain, Acadia Mountain and the Beehive. The Beehive was our favorite. In fact, we did it twice.

It was an insane trail — you had to climb to the top of the mountain using iron rungs coming out of rocks! I am very afraid of heights, so this hike was both physically and mentally challenging for me. But it was also so darn neat that when we were talked about our final hike I knew the best choice was the Beehive again. If you look in the gallery above you can see Brian on the rungs, the view from the top, some birch trees we saw along the way and the mountain from below.

That day we hiked three different trails for a total of 28,383 steps. Wowza. My feet hurt just thinking about it.

The views from the other trails were just as stunning. Really, even in pouring rain, Bar Harbor/Acadia is just beautiful. When we weren’t hiking, we explored the town, ate lots of food and went to an improv show (Improv Acadia is hilarious). We had such a lovely time (except when our whale watch was cancelled. You’ll see the sad faces we made when we heard the news).

My favorite photos from Bar Harbor are these next two. Me and the hubby, happy as clams on a cloudy day standing on the sand bar that Bar Harbor is named for.

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And this incredible panoramic view from the top of Cadillac Mountain.

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If you ever have the chance to visit Bar Harbor, DO IT! Seriously. And take me with you. … please?!

We left Bar Harbor for Portland — a charming city with rockin’ food. If you ever find yourself in Portland, you must go to Taco Escobar and Duck Fat. Holy delicious.

Portland was adorable and my kind of city. It was small, hipster-y, not terribly busy and on a beautiful bay. We took advantage of the water and did a whale watch tour (Odyssey Whale Watch) and a sunset wine sail (Wine Wise). I loved both, especially the sail. I’d never been on a sailboat before and it was amazing. Plus I got to drink five glasses of wine. That’s a win. I also really enjoyed the whale watch — we saw a couple of Minke whales and one sleeping Finback whale — but Brian doesn’t feel so hot once a boat reaches the ocean. Poor guy… I was at the front of the boat loving life and he was sitting on the side during the 4-hour tour trying not to be sick.

Here are a few more shots from the water that were too beautiful to collage:

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Seriously, so beautiful.Portland_Schooner

The other really cool thing we did in Portland was tour Allagash Brewery. The tour was an hour long and totally free. We got to taste four of their beers and see how everything is made, bottled, stored, etc. It was so neat — and I don’t like beer!

We headed back home this past Sunday and while it is nice to sleep in my own bed, I am sad to be back. I really do feel like I left a part of my heart in Maine. Between the hiking, water activities, amazing views and cool summer weather — it’s hard to say what my favorite part of Maine is. All I know is that we will definitely be going back to Acadia in the future.

Now that your read about, skimmed through or briefly glanced as my awesome vacation…. I leave you with this — the perfect photo to sum up our trip:

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My thumb in the lens because my arms aren’t long enough to take an “usie,” me cheesin’ it because I love boats and hiking and vacation and love and yay, and Brian pretending like he’s not having a good time to keep up his “I hate fun” appearances and looking annoyed that I’m taking yet another picture. It’s perfect.

A huge “thank you” to Julie and Rachel for their insider knowledge of Bar Harbor and Portland. You guys rock.

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Christmas, Craft Projects, Gift Idea, Holiday, Pallet Projects

Mini Anchor Sign

One of my really good friends love to sail and is soon to be sailing a boat in the Caribbean with her hubby — what a neat vacation idea!

I wanted to make her something for Christmas so I grabbed a leftover piece of pallet wood and brought it inside to make a sign with an anchor on it.

Pallet wood is really…. splintery. So I sanded and sanded and sanded. And when I thought I was finished, I wasn’t, so I sanded some more.

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When the wood was smooth enough to work with, I sketched an anchor onto it. It wasn’t pretty, but it was good enough.

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Nice anchor, huh? I didn’t care about the terrible sketch because I filled the entire thing with gray and black paint. Then, I wrote her last name on the sign.

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With the sign painted, I needed to drill holes big enough to pass a small rope through, so I busted out the drill and created two holes at the top.

Then, I used a water-based stain to color the wood. I’ve never used water-based stain before, but I like it a lot. The wood soaks it up right away and there is a huge variety of colors to choose from. The color I picked for the sign was Minwax’s Driftwood stain.

I only used one coat for the small sign, then I let it dry overnight.

Then next day I touched up some of the paint, mainly the black lines, and added rope and an anchor button so my friend could hang her sign.

Here’s the finished product:
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I gave her the sign yesterday and she really liked it. Yay!
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