What Happens in Maine…

…doesn’t always stay in Maine. In this case, I brought back a cold.

Not just any cold, but a miserable head cold complete with sore throat, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes—I can’t remember the last time I felt so sick. It started a week ago Monday night while we were in Freeport. By the time we returned to our lake house outside of Bar Harbor on Tuesday, I was going downhill fast. By Wednesday, we decided to cut our vacation short and head home.

Thankfully, we squeezed a lot into the time we were there. We spent two days in Bar Harbor, a day in Freeport, and enjoyed the serenity of the lake house. We ate at a lot of great places (lobster and seafood!), met some wonderful people, took a 2.5 hour nature cruise with views of seals, porpoises, the Egg Rock lighthouse, elaborate mansions, cliff faces and islands. In addition, I did a ton of shopping. So although the trip was cut short, we still had an awesome time.

The house was amazing, with a soaring two-story coffered wood ceiling and two rows of trapezoid windows plus two sets of French doors overlooking the lake. We loved relaxing each evening on the deck and watching the sun set. Peaceful—and very remote.

A dirt lane with trees on either side

A mile drive on dirt and gravel to reach the house

The property sat back from the main route several miles. We took a country road four miles back off the main drag, then turned onto a dirt lane where we drove another mile through woods before arriving at the house. My phone cut out before we even turned onto the country road. Not having cell signals or a land line (and no one around) was kind of freaky but the setting was so peaceful, it was easy to overlook.

First day in Bar Harbor

The next day we hit Bar Harbor, which was a 45 minute drive away. A great place, but it was PACKED with people. We spent two days walking the town. It’s loaded with all manner of eclectic shops and eateries, and is located on the water. Each day a cruise ship arrived and water-taxied passengers into town. We heard a lot of English accents in the shops. When afternoon rolled around, we grabbed a beer in a brew pub. I’m more of a wine drinker, but even I thought it was good. I couldn’t fit my glass in the selfie I snapped (at left).

Author, Mae Clair, standing beside a full-size statue of a knight

Shopping in Freeport

We spent an entire day in Freeport, where a highlight was visiting the L.L. Bean Flagship Store. This thing is humongous. It’s the anchor store of the L.L. Bean Campus, which includes separate stores for hunting and fishing, bike, boat and ski, a home store, and a discovery park. We only ever made it into the Flagship store, and I’m not sure we even made it through the whole thing. I bought two sweater coats and DH bought two down vests. The really interesting thing about this store is that it’s open 24/7, 364 days a year. The only day the store closes is Christmas. Other than that, you can shop any time or any hour.

At the British Goods store (on left), I had to stop for a shot with a friend.

Close up of slender nail

The culprit

Later, during the trip we discovered our left rear tire was leaking. We’d chosen to use a rental car rather than put mileage on one of our vehicles given it was a 11.5 hour trip one way, and while in Maine we planned to do a lot of driving. Freeport was a 2.5 hour trip from the lake house where we stayed. We did book an overnight for that, but given the location of the house, everything we did was at least a half hour to fifty minutes away. Turns out we picked up a nail somewhere, which meant finding a garage to remove it and plug the hole. We tried three before we finally found one who could take care of the problem. The guy was a man of very few words (I think he probably spoke a little over a dozen the entire time we were there), but he was a lifesaver. No way could we have driven 11.5 hours home with a tire leaking air.

Chatting with Millie

Among the people we met, Millie in Freeport really stands out. DH and I were relaxing after dinner with a drink at the outdoor fire pit, when Millie came out and joined us. We spent the entire evening chatting with her. She was an older woman, traveling from Massachusetts with her husband (he had already headed up to their room), and a sheer pleasure to chat with. We connected with so many enjoyable people on the trip, all of who will remain part of our memories. Despite having to head home early, we squeezed a lot into the time we were there, and look forward to returning at a later date.

We were expecting autumn temperatures, with most all of the clothing we packed suited for mid 60s weather. Fortunately, we each packed some lighter items as well, as the days were unseasonably warm in the mid to upper 80s. We did get to see an array of beautiful fall foliage, but the peak color comes later this month. No moose sightings, but several moose crossing signs. I tried to snap a picture of one from the highway but it came out as a brown and yellow blur.

No cryptids either, but the surroundings were inspiring. I dreamed up an extensive character list and plot for a story which I’ve decided to make my upcoming NaNo project. I can’t wait to get started!

In closing, I’ll leave you with some photos taken while in Bar Harbor. It’s definitely a cool place to visit! Starting next week, my Wednesday Weirdness posts will begin. I hope you’ll join me for a weekly dose of strangeness!


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52 thoughts on “What Happens in Maine…

  1. Ooh, it sounds and looks like a lovely trip, Mae. So sorry you ended up full of cold. It’s that time of year … DH and I have been suffering for over two weeks now, and it’s no fun. It sucks that it had to hit on your vacay. Hope you feel better soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think colds are hanging on longer and longer these days. Or maybe that’s just because I’m getting older, LOL. In any event, I’m glad the cold hit middle of the week rather than the beginning. Here’s hoping you and your hubby feel better soon, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Priscilla. I’m still sniffling and sneezing but feel so much better than I did. I thought it was ironic that such a skinny little nail could cause such damage!
      Maine was definitely gorgeous, especially Bar Harbor, and we hope to go back again!


  2. We visited Bar Harbor on our honeymoon a zillion years ago and still remember it fondly. My Florida daughter and her husband just went there two weeks ago for a long vacation. Allegiant has cheap flights from St. Pete’s to Bar Harbor, so it was an easy trip for them. She loved it as much as we had. Glad you spent some time there. It’s special.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the next time we go, we will probably fly into Bangor and then get a rental car. Either that or drive halfway and stay overnight in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. My husband wanted to drive it, and while it was interesting to do once, I’m not sure I’d be up for it again.

      How neat that you had your honeymoon in Bar Harbor!

      I hope your daughter and her husband had a great vacation there. We met two couples from the Tampa area while we were there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The drive was beautiful, Michele, especially once we hit Maine. Many of the trees had changed, and made the drive so scenic. Bar Harbor itself is so picturesque, but I was shocked how crowded it was. Of course, with cruise ships in the harbor each day that really accounted for where the bulk of the crowds came from.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those ocean views are stunning! Same with the lake house (made me think of Eclipse Lake :)), though I wouldn’t like the no phone service thing. Glad you had a great time- lovely to see pics of you and DH!
    Feel better soon {{hugs}}

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jacquie. We really loved the lake house (too bad we didn’t have Koya running around, LOL). It was just so nice every evening to go back and relax on the deck. After the first day of realizing we had no cell and were pretty much cut off, I kind of got used to it—as long as I didn’t dwell on the idea, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry, you came home under the weather, but what a fabulous trip!!! I have always wanted to visit New England in the fall. It’s on my bucket list. Thank you for sharing the highlights of your journey, Mae! Feel better soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jan. And I do highly recommend New England in the fall. I was actually disappointed it was as warm as it was. I would have preferred crisp autumn temps to go with the surroundings, but it was still a great trip—cold and all! 🙂


  5. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the images and learning so much about Maine, Mae. The setting was so utterly peaceful. I can’t wait to meet the new characters your wonderful imagination has come up with! I’m so sorry that you needed to cut your vacation short. I hope you’re on the mend now, my friend. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Still fighting this nasty cold, Soooz, but it is so much better than it was. And I’m so thankful we got to enjoy the time we did. Maine was truly beautiful and we do plan to go back again. The scenery is incredible!
      And I can’t wait to dive into NaNo and let my new characters run wild, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s been years since I participated in NaNo. It may well be just the way to kick start some characters I’ve been experimenting with. (Insert wicked cackle) 😜 I’m so glad your beginning to recover from that nasty cold. 💕

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can hear that wicked cackle all the way over here, LOL.
        If you do decide to participate (I hope you do, just for the fun of it), LMK, or look for me on the site so we can buddy up. I’m MythMaven on the site. I haven’t done this in years either so we can blunder through together! 🙂


    • I’m really excited about the story idea I dreamed up, Robbie. I can’t wait to tackle it. And the trip was awesome despite the cold. I hope you and your boys feel better soon. My cold is still hanging on, but at least the worst of it is behind me!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved Bar Harbor when I lived on the east coast, Mae. What a fun place to visit and Eat! Honestly, I think you lucked out overall with the temps. Better than cold wind and rain at the other extreme. Sorry to hear about the cold though. Rest up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I’d take the abnormally warm temps over wind and rain any day. This was my first time visiting the area and I really fell in love with it.
      My cold is on the mend (yay!). Next time, I’m going to take disinfectant wipes with me, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gorgeous photos, Mae… Sad to hear that you both came down with cold and had to shorten your vacation. The lake and lake house sound like the perfect place to get away from it all. Hope you are both on the mend and that you’ll come back again to celebrate more of Maine! ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • We definitely plan on returning, Bette. We didn’t get to do everything we had planned, but what we did see and enjoy was fabulous. Maine is truly a beautiful state—especially when autumn colors are in bloom!


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  9. The house does sound fantastic, even if the way you got there looks a little like something out of ‘Wrong Turn’, but oh dear, I’m sorry you had to suffer a cold. It would have been down to all those English people because, as you know, we specialize in colds. Some even say we invented them. Hope you’re recovered now, Mae, we need you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Yes, Bar Harbor was awash in British accents when we were there (I admit I loved eavesdropping). As Americans, we can just sit and listen to you lot talk for hours 🙂

      I am much better now, thank you. At this time of year, we Yanks tend to rummage up a decent cold or two as well, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Man, getting sick sucks anyway, but to be sick when you’re on vacation just adds a whole ‘nother level of feeling crappy. Hope you’ve recovered. And wow, what a great location for a vacation! Love the pics, and can’t wait to see what you cook up for your NaNo novel 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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