Leaf Peeper Season and Jordan Pond House Friends

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Jordan Pond House

Flag of United States  , Maine
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Working on the East Coast for the summer was an idea I had been tossing around since I started the road trip.   Every now and again while we drove across America I would check out online postings (coolworks.com)  for jobs in New England.  Eventually, Pat and I  found a job in Acadia National Park at the Jordan Pond House.   We had our phone interview while floating the Saco River in Maine.   About a week later we had a job!
     I knew nothing of the Jordan Pond House Restaurant but apparently in Acadia National Park it's a big deal.   People have been coming to this restaurant as part of family tradition since 1870.   The restaurant is famous for tea and popovers on the lawn.  When I first got there I had no idea what a popover was.   I wasn't alone and had to explain what a popover was at least ten times a day to my tables.  My explanation went as follows," It's like Yorkshire pudding served with jam and butter"....if I then encountered a blank stare I would follow up with, " It's like a fresh baked dinner roll." 
      I know it does not sound that exciting but they really were delicious.  People traveled for hours just to dine here.  On a sunny days the outside tables were packed with an hour wait. This was due to the incredible view of Jordan Pond surrounded by lush green mountains.  The best tables had a view of The Bubbles - the hills you can see across the pond.  These little hills are named after a French explorers girlfriend's chest and they truly do resemble blouse bunnies.
      After working in Las Vegas - this restaurant was a breath of fresh air.  The clientele  for the most part was always very happy.   The beautiful scenery, the hiking trails and carriage paths combined with hot popovers and fresh squeezed lemonade made for satisfied customers.  I loved the fact that I was able to work outside instead of being cooped up in a stuffy restaurant, even the staff were happy. Sure we had 'server rage' from time to time, but in general it was very positive place to work.
     Many of my co-workers were from Serbia and Macedonia with a smattering from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.   These guys were the work horses of  Acadia.  They logged insane hours sometimes working 40 days straight or more. They made all the Americans workers look weak!   
      Maine is famous for lobster so as a waiter it was an easy sell.  Lobster isn't cheap and that's why waiting tables here was very lucrative.   Despite recording setting gas prices and a national recession, tourism numbers were at an all time high in Acadia. Maybe old money is unaffected or the dense population of the east coast had something to do with it.... I will never know!
    When not working, hiking or camping, most  people could be found in the town of Bar Harbor.   This little town had a little bit of everything: bars, movie theaters, restaurants and tons of shops selling blueberries and lobster.  Many of the photos I've posted were taken in random bars around town.
    Between the dorm, Seal Harbor Apartments and the Bar Harbor Apartments, there was always a party going on.  'Work hard, party harder,' is the normal mantra of a resort job.   As you can see from the pictures we had all sorts of random get togethers.  House parties, costume parties, dorm parties, Serbian singing parties...the list goes on.   
    Toward the end of the year the leaves change colors.  This is called Leaf Peeper season.   People travel from far and wide just to check out the colors.  This is the time Chelise came out to see me and she was just in time to see the colors.  
    It was great summer in Maine and I'm glad I found a good company to work for!  
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