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:

Portland_Grumpster

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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Garden, Life

Tomato Tally

My buddy Amy suggested I keep a running tally of how many tomatoes I get from my garden this year. Being the garden-lover I am, how could I pass up such a fun idea?

Yesterday’s haul at 8:30 p.m. proved very fruitful, no garden pun intended. And I know we missed a bunch of pickins because it was getting dark. As of last night, the tomato tally is up to 33. Not bad! I am hoping to get enough to make a batch of salsa this upcoming weekend… that means that I need to stop giving them away and eating them, which is the hard part. I still have a few onions left from my garden and my jalapeño peppers are growing like weeds. If I have enough tomatoes, I should be able to make salsa almost purely from my garden 🙂

Veggies

In this picture you’ll see a green zucchini, a yellow squash, an oddly shaped cucumber, a handful of cherry tomatoes, three purple heirloom tomatoes, a few Roma tomatoes, a few early girl tomatoes and one yellow heirloom tomato. That are so pretty. There are also two banana peppers, which I do not remember planting. I wonder if labels got mixed up at Home Depot or something…. I planted tabasco peppers (those aren’t growing, darn), red bell peppers, green bell peppers, cayenne peppers and jalapeño peppers. Somehow the bananas snuck in there. They won’t go to waste.

Speaking of nature (good transition, yes?), Brian and I hiked the Billy Goat trail between the C&O Canal and Potomac River.

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It was the best hike we’ve ever been on and I can’t recommend it enough. If you are anywhere near Great Falls National Park, you have to hike this trail.

Great Falls

Other than hiking, I spent the weekend winning a round of mini golf….

Putput

(Go me! I never win at mini golf!)

Golf… hanging out with our neighbors…. (yes, our dogs are strange)

Dogs in tub

… and visiting with my cousins. Oh, and I helped paint my friend’s basement. Quite the tiring and eventful weekend.

Hope you all had great weekends!

Life

A wonderful anniversary

Our one-year wedding anniversary was yesterday and was truly wonderful. The hubby and I waited for 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 17 to roll in to exchange our gifts — we were so excited to share what we made for one another.

I got Brian a set of computer books, made him a digital scrapbook of our honeymoon, made him bookmarks for his new books, and made him a Ravens tray. He made me a dozen paper flowers (**heart melts**) and got me A NAIL GUN!!! BEST. HUSBAND. EVER.

Look at these  beautiful flowers… I seriously think they are my favorite gift ever. My husband is the most amazing crafter alive. So impressed.

 

And then there is my nail gun. Yes, for our first wedding anniversary I got a nail gun. Yes, that is EXACTLY what I asked for. And Brian said he wouldn’t buy me one. I thought I was getting jewelry. Ha! So much better. SOOOOO excited to use this.

 

To celebrate our anniversary we had a yummy breakfast — french toast and sausage… mmmm, what a treat on a Monday morning! Then we looked outside and saw a purple flamingo waiting for us near  our mailbox. This same flamingo, which is dressed as a groom, appeared at Brian’s mom’s house the night before the wedding. A bride flamingo appeared at my mom’s house. So cute.

 

Then, we packed a lunch and headed out to Frederick, Md. to hike Sugar Loaf Mountain. It was a gorgeous day for hiking and the mountain was so pretty.

Check out this crazy car in the parking lot!
And look at this crazy castle house we saw on our drive! Holy cow.

The hike was great. We had a lot of fun.

 

To end our anniversary, we headed to Aida Wine Bar in Columbia to celebrate. I had the most delicious steak ever. EVER.

And of course, we had champagne out of our wedding flutes 🙂 I love champagne.

What a wonderful day with my wonderful hubby.