Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Ahhh, Maine! I'm not really sure where to begin (so many photos!), so I'll just start with Day 1. Actually, I'll start before Day 1...
A trip to Maine (specifically Acadia National Park) has been on our U.S. travel bucket list for years. It always looked so idyllic and unspoiled and the pictures of the Maine coast looked breathtaking and perfect for a water lover (me) and a mountain/forest lover (Larry). Also, my Nana spent part of her childhood in Maine and my great-aunt is from Portland, so I felt a family connection, too. Anyway, year after year when Larry and I would decide on a vacation destination, we'd say "Chicago or Maine?", "Colorado or Maine?", etc and for some reason we never chose Maine...until 2014, when we decided to book a full week at a cabin on Mount Desert Island. Larry was feeling super stressed at his job and it seemed like the perfect place to go to relax.
I think this was the first vacation that Larry and I have taken in our 11+ year relationship that we actually booked several months in advance. (We're last minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants people, usually! See How to Plan a Wedding in Ten Days...) And it was the only trip we booked in 2014 that was for pure pleasure - in retrospect, if we had known we'd be doing so much business travel, we wouldn't have ended up taking a personal vacation. But the trip to Maine was already paid for before we knew we'd be going to Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico for business trips in the latter half of the year.
We booked the trip for the week after Labor Day in September and it was perfect! Great weather, not crowded at all, and we saved a ton of money on accommodations since it was after the summer season, but before leaf-peeping season. I found the cabin (called Sans Souci Camp, which translates to "Without Worries") through Bar Harbor Acadia Cottage Rentals, and I have to say, I totally nailed this one.
We arrived in Maine after a mere 80 minute flight from DC (No connections! No delays! No lost luggage! Such a treat after our 36 hours of travel time returning from Wyoming a few weeks before!) and drove from the Bangor Airport to Mount Desert Island, where we stopped in Bar Harbor for lunch and provisions (beer) before heading to our cabin on the western half of the island. Our jaws were on the ground as soon as we parked the car, walked down the path and glimpsed Sans Souci Camp through the evergreens. The cabin was nestled on a private peninsula overlooking the north end of Echo Lake and the whole place smelled like a Christmas tree farm and felt enchanted. Idyllic, indeed.
Maine is probably the only place I've ever been that looked exactly like I imagined it. And even though this was my first time setting foot in the the state, I was smacked with nostalgia as I walked down the pine needle-laden path. It smelled exactly like a pillow filled with pine needles that my Nana had when I was a child. It never occurred to me that she had this pillow to remind her of her own childhood. I later learned that these pillows are called Balsam Pillows and they are a Maine thing. Of course I bought one to remind me of Maine...and my Nana.
Anyway, the setting of Sans Souci Camp really was idyllic. And then we walked inside...
This is my dream cabin - it was cabiny and cozy with mid-century modern touches.
Outside was equally awesome:
And check out the view across Echo Lake:
We took our beers down to the rocks overlooking the lake for happy hour, and then had a simple snack dinner in the cabin while listening to the rain on the roof as a thunderstorm rolled through. Perfection.