Tuesday, May 5, 2015

maine | sans souci camp

Maine 2014
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.
Maine 2014
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 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
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.
Maine 2014
Anyway, the setting of Sans Souci Camp really was idyllic. And then we walked inside...
Maine 2014
This is my dream cabin - it was cabiny and cozy with mid-century modern touches.
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Outside was equally awesome:
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
And check out the view across Echo Lake:
Maine 2014
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.
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Maine 2014
Sweet dreams.

9 comments:

little green field book said...

You are totally pulling away from me now with the backlogged travel posts catch-up!

So many photos, so little time.

This cabin totally looks like a place I would have chosen. I'll have to do a trip switch -- where I just copy your trip to Maine exactly so I don't have to plan anything -- one of these days.

Jennifer said...

Maine is on my "list!" What a beautiful cabin. What do you do with your dogs when you travel? I'm planning a few road/camping trips to do with them- I always hate leaving them behind!

Jen

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Jen - you would love it here! So quiet and peaceful. (Definitely go in the "off" season - we went after the summer crowds had left but before the leaf peeping season and it was great.)

We found a great dog sitter a few years ago and it has allowed us to travel again - before we found her, it was really frustrating to find someone to watch two big dogs, so we didn't get to travel as much. She has an acre fenced yard, a dog door, and two Great Danes, so I don't feel bad about leaving them behind anymore because they looooooove it there! Vacation for us, vacation for them!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Veronika - I feel like my blog is making it appear that I travel allllllllll the time, but I really have lost the desire to photograph/blog about every day stuff, so travel posts it is! (I also feel like it's becoming the vacation slideshow that no one else wants to watch!)

Karen Travels said...

I can't wait to real all about this! I am staying in Vermont for a week in June, but an overnight trip to Maine will also happen. I wish I could stay longer . . . I will have to decide what I definitely NEED to see and what will have to wait.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Karen - I'm so glad you're getting to travel! That trip sounds great and should be very picturesque and relaxing! Vermont is definitely on my list, too.

little green field book said...

Is it weird that I *like* vacation slide shows? Plus, hello, have you seen my blog? All I do is reminisce about the old days...with a million photos...

What I hate is when people do a photo dump, don't bother to rotate or label their photos, then expect me to be interested.

But blogs/posts on travels with carefully selected photos + stories -- those I love.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

That is why I adore YOUR blog, Veronika!

Jade Graham said...

It is also a great time to have a family adventure. It could be a vacation in Palawan or Boracay. חבילות נופש לברצלונה