Sunday, July 31, 2011

The best lobster roll on MDI

In the years that we’ve been visiting Mount Desert Island in Maine, I’ve had my share of lobster rolls. Some were pretty good and some were not, but it wasn’t until I found what I consider to be the Holy Grail of lobster rolls that I knew how good this sandwich could really be.

True story: The first time I ordered two of these and they told me the price, I cancelled the order. My husband, who prefers to wait in the car, told me to go back inside and order the damn things. We were on vacation, and it’s not like we’re going to have them again this trip. I’m glad I did because they were delicious. But at $15 per roll (they’re now up to $17), it’s a very pricey lunch.

Let’s head to Northeast Harbor for what I believe to be the best lobster roll on Mount Desert Island.


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It’s beautiful here at the harbor. But it’s a little too hoity-toity for me. However, we’re here for the lobster rolls at the Colonel’s Restaurant & Bakery on Main Street. And I’ve just spent an entire morning hiking at the national park and dang-it, I am hungry.


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As you can see, they don’t use the traditional grilled hot dog roll but rather a grilled round roll. We had ours on wheat. But it’s what inside that matters, and the Colonel’s simple blend of mayonnaise and herbs is pure perfection.


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And the crispy and zesty fries that go with it are out-of-this-world good.

I kept popping one after the other into my mouth as we headed to our favorite picnic spot on Sargent Drive which runs along nearby Somes Harbor. Luckily I had enough fries left to grab this photo.


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The original Colonel’s, along with a couple of surrounding buildings, was destroyed in a fire in 2008. The new Colonel’s includes 1-bedroom suites above the restaurant.

And their baked goods are heavenly.

Colonel’s, Northeast Harbor


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While waiting for our lunch to be prepared, I always like to stroll along Main Street and look at the shops. The art galleries, in particular, are my favorite. My husband and George usually elect to stay in the car and wait.

On another note, we bought lobster roll for dinner one evening over in Winter Harbor, bringing it back to eat on the deck of the cottage. The lobster roll from Harbor Girl Emporium Café was pretty decent, but my heart still belongs to the Colonel.


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Here is a fantastic recipe for lobster rolls from Rebecca Charles, owner of the Pearl Oyster Bar in NYC and author of Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine. (I love this book).

I also love sarsaparilla. I just thought you needed to know that.

Pearl Oyster Bar – Lobster Roll Recipe

Until tomorrow, then . . .

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Along the Great Head Trail

One of our favorite trails to hike at Acadia National Park is the Great Head Trail. This trail is a beautiful and brisk jaunt along the easternmost edge of the island and offers breathtaking vistas of the water as well as an old ruin. There are two ways to get to the trailhead. You can either park at Sand Beach and pick up the trail at the eastern edge of the beach or you can do what we always do, which is to enter the back way.

If you go, take the Park Loop Road and make a left immediately before the park entrance, where the toll booths are located. Then make your first right and head to the parking lot on the left. Hike up to the trailhead, where you will come to the sign you see below and go left.

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I brought the little camcorder with us on this hike and this is one of the first views you will be rewarded with.


When it’s bright outside, you can’t see a thing in the viewfinder, so I had no idea what I was filming and how straight I was holding the little camera.

The hike is under 2 miles so it really doesn’t take very long. A little further up the trail, you will come to a crossroad. It doesn’t matter which way you go because it’s a loop. We did something different this time and headed up the rocks you see below, which is probably what contributed to the screaming of my knees that night.

It was a painful night.

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If you look closely, you’ll see George and my husband. You might also see trail markers of blue painted at intervals on the rock.

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At the top, you have a great view of The Beehive. My husband has goaded me for years to climb The Beehive with him, but I have steadfastly refused. I refused because I know my limitations. And I refuse to succumb to peer pressure.

Besides, I know several people who have hiked this trail, and each has told me it was really hairy.

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You soon come to Sand Beach and the panoramic beauty of it all.

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We took a little break on the cliff that overlooks the beach. George loves this trail.

Interesting fact: Part of the 1999 movie, Cider House Rules was filmed at Sand Beach.

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Now the trail heads east a bit more, hugging the perimeter. That’s when you come to the one little dicey bit.

Well, for me, it’s dicey because of my *&(^$%** knees. My husband and the dog clambered right up it like they were kids. Which one of them is.

I took a short video before I started up.


It’s really not all that bad. And if you don’t have bad knees, it’s rather fun.

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And there’s a wonderful ring to help pull you up that I’m sure my husband didn’t even need.

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I used it, though.

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At the top, we always take another break to enjoy the scenery. In the center of the photo above, you can see my husband and the dog. But just behind him lies a jumble of stone.

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This is all that is left of the tower built by JP Morgan for his daughter, Louisa Saterlee. Given to her, along with Sand Beach as a wedding gift, the tower had a tea room, a salon, and an observatory.

It was lost in the Fire of 1947 which destroyed over 17,000 acres on Mount Desert Island and left the town of Bar Harbor in ruin.

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You can still see the stone floor of the tower. It’s in such a magnificent location. All of the land that was owned by the Saterlees was donated to the park.

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And then we follow the blue trail markers back down. I highly recommend this trail if you are ever to visit this magnificent park.

Next up ~ the best lobstah roll on the island.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have met some wonderful people since I began this thing called blogging nearly four years ago. And when I say met, I mean that they are mostly through the internet.

But I have actually met some people for real, and during our vacation last week to Maine, I made plans to meet up with blogging friend, Lili from Fearless Nesting. Lili blogs from Sorrento, Maine and since she was only 15 minutes from our vacation rental, I knew it was imperative that we meet.


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Lili and her husband Henri live in Sorrento . . .


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. . . in a beautiful home along the coast. There are gardens and a long path down to the shore where along the way you’ll find swings that Henri made which hang from very high branches. I wish now that I’d taken a photo of one to show you.

I want to go back now just to swing in one of them.


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Henri took a photo of me with Lili and after I saw it, I thought “what the hell was I wearing?” That morning, my husband and I went hiking over at Schoodic Point. I texted Lili afterward and asked her if we could meet later that morning and I remember saying something like I was going to head back to the cottage and change and then come right over.

Well, I didn’t feel like changing and had I used my noggin’, I would have remembered that photos will probably be taken and I should wear something decent.

But no, that’s not me.


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So here we are with Lili looking very chic and me wearing my lovely knock-about clothes. Ah, but it’s all good.

I’m not really a fashionista anyway.


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Lili and Henri.

We all went to lunch and had great chowdah and later in the week, I came back and Lili and I went for a drive and took some photos at the harbor in Sorrento.


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All of the little skiffs seem to have names. I pronounced the one on the right incorrectly, thinking it sounded like tiddley winks.


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And there was even a boat named for me.


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It’s great meeting someone I’ve been in touch with for quite awhile now and who is, in real life, just like she seems on the internet. So sweet.


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I couldn’t help posting this last photo of a young lobsterman who passed us while we were standing on the dock as he was heading down to his skiff.

: : :

Have a great Thursday, all . . .

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We missed you, Mike!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A little break

We interrupt the regularly scheduled vacation photos from Maine to bring you something yummy. The tomatoes in our garden are coming on strong and I felt the urge to highlight them here. Every couple of days, I take a big basket of them to school to share with my co-workers.

They seem to love them.

My husband cooked on the grill tonight and I hung out in the kiddie pool for an hour after work. I will tell you that the scent coming from that grill was getting me all worked up. My husband served roasted chicken, and potatoes and vegetables in a zesty sauce. My contribution was a caprese salad.  Someday I’m going to do a balsamic reduction to pour over it.

But not today.

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It was divine. In fact, the entire meal was delicious.

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I just felt compelled to tell you that.

It’s probably due to the fact that for the past several nights we’ve had tomato sandwiches for dinner. Don’t get me wrong – I love tomato sandwiches and consider them one of the best things about summer.

But dinner on the grill . . . swoon.

: : :

I’m still processing photos of Maine, and couldn’t let a day go by without posting at least one.

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I took this while walking along the carriage road at Eagle Lake. If you’ve never heard about the carriage roads of Acadia National Park, feel free to check them out here:

A Brief History of the Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park

They’re absolutely unique. Some day I’m going to take a carriage ride from the stable there. I say it every year but never have anyone to go with. Maybe next year.

: : :

Watching the news tonight, my heart broke for the families who are suffering in the famine in the Horn of Africa, especially the little children that are dying from malnutrition. Thank God for all of the agencies that are offering aid, and for Doctors Without Borders. If you would like to help, please visit the link below for a list of charitable organizations. A donation of as little as $10 goes a long way.

Famine in the Horn of Africa: How to help

And on that note, I bid you farewell. Until next time then, my friends . . .

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Our vacation rental in Maine

I’m writing this post in rather a hurry, because it’s Tuesday morning,  I’ve got to get to work and I woke up and realized I hadn’t written a post last night. I wanted to share some photos with you, showing the vacation rental cottage where we stayed in Maine last week.

The house is located on Paul Bunyan Road, just north of the seaside town of Corea and I found it on


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It looks beautiful here, all nestled in the trees along the shore.


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This is the view from the driveway of the back of the house and the entry door. The grounds have been beautifully landscaped.


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Looking from the other side of the house, this area is used by the family for outdoor meals. The kitchen is to the right and just around the corner on the left is an area that houses a grill and a lobster steamer. The building on the left isn’t available to renters (yet) and houses an extra apartment upstairs, I believe.


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A bit of a disappointment, I guess, was how close the neighbors were. To my back, through the woods, was another house. We could hear and see them and all the work they were having done on their home. But it really wasn’t a big deal. (To me).

Here’s the link for photos inside. You aren’t going to believe this, but I didn’t get any inside photos. I like to take them as soon as we arrive, when the house is not full of our things, but it didn’t work out that way this time.

Oceanfront Chalet on Schoodic Peninsula


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Standing on the staircase, looking into the living room and the incredible view out the windows here.


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I loved this view!


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It’s difficult to see here, but just to the left of the trees is the Petit Manan Lighthouse. Next year, I swear – I am going on a lighthouse tour from the water.


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I tried to get a little closer here. But take note of all the lobster buoys. I hope I spelled that correctly. There are so many!


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Our view from the porch having our morning coffee. Absolutely blissful.

I also took a short video below, at the water’s edge.



And here is someone playing with his new Scary Bird. He loved jumping from the porch to retrieve the little sucker.

Over and over and over and . . .


Bottom line: We probably would not stay here again, because of the close proximity of the neighbors and the fact that there was really nowhere to walk the dog. Although the road is fairly quiet, and I thought it would be a good place for a walk, some of the cars were absolutely flying down it, so we nixed that plan quickly.

Well, better get to work. Hope everything is spelled correctly and that the grammar is correct here. Have a beautiful day, all . . .

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our adventure begins

I can honestly admit that after arriving home from vacation, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment. I’ve got so much to accomplish within the next couple of weeks, and today I actually had to make a list of it all. I’m still going through all the mail in my inbox and have so many photos to share with you but no idea of where to begin. So I decided to just start at the beginning.

It’s a very good place to start.

(name that tune)

In a few posts from now, you’ll probably be crying uncle for all the Maine pics, but here we go.

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I took off work last Friday so that we could leave a day early. Our plan was to get up to Maine and stay somewhere along the southern coast. Then Saturday, we would take a leisurely drive along the Coastal Highway, since we couldn’t get into the rental until mid-afternoon. We planned on visiting the park and some other places.

I get bored sometimes on the road, so I pick up the camera. This is the New York City skyline at dawn last Friday.

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We left the house at 3:30, solely to avoid traffic on the Jersey Turnpike and the dreaded George Washington Bridge, which we crossed at dawn. There was a single car ahead of us in the toll line.

Mission accomplished.

We were beginning to get tired after getting into Maine and began looking for a hotel room shortly after 1 pm. Unfortunately, every place we stopped either did not accept pets or was completely booked. I got on the phone and made some calls, finding out from another motel that there was one along the road that might have openings, AND they accepted pets.

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When we pulled up, we nearly kept going because the place had the look of a dive written all over it. But we were so tired of driving at that point, having slept so little the night before that we took the room after having a look.

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The Pioneer Motel had seen better days but our room was clean and the bed seemed comfortable when we sat on it. Actually, the king-sized bed was the biggest surprise and now has the distinction of being one of the most comfortable in any hotel/motel room/rental cottage that I’ve slept in. The sheets were actually wonderful. The motel, just north of Wiscasset along Rte. 1, never filled up that night and we watched from our porch as cars pulled in, took one look and left.

Early the next morning, we hit the road north.

My husband’s idea of early and mine are not the same, but it’s easier to just go with the flow sometimes. We were on the road at 5:30.

Are you really surprised?

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All in all, it was a pleasant ride and the little towns along the coast are lovely. I believe this may be Belfast.

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I know we’re getting close when we can see the bridge at Bucksport.

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It was a perfectly beautiful summer day and the radio played a forgotten song.

(name that tune)

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And then, we were heading up Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park. I shot this from the car window - that’s Eagle Lake.

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We were on the top of the mountain by 8:30 am. That’s the town of Bar Harbor in the photo above and you can really see the golf course well.

I brought the video camera along with us on vacation, and took this 30 second clip. The drive looks like it’s happening faster than it actually is, but we were only doing about 20 mph.


Sorry if that made you nervous.

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We had the most delicious coffee at the camp store on the top of the mountain and my husband bought himself a new cap. He also bought George two stuffed toys – one a Peregrine Falcon (not a Paraguay Falcon) and the other a Snowy Owl.

George’s old Scary Bird lost its voice a while ago.

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Afterward, we headed down to Bar Harbor and parked at Geddy’s next to our car’s twin from Maine. The color of our car is ‘sunset orange pearl’, only available in 2003-2005 I believe; the orange color was changed after that.

My husband wanted me to get a photo for posterity’s sake.

Speaking of photos, one of my husband’s pastimes is visiting camera cams from places we’ve been. His favorite is the one at Geddy’s on Bar Harbor where you actually get to move the camera.

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The camera is there on that pink building, just at the left edge of it. Here, let me circle it for you.

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Check it out, if you like.

Geddy’s Harbor Cam

Our adventure continues tomorrow. Until then . . .

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