Holiday in the lobster & fog country - Maine!

Trip Start Jun 27, 2013
Trip End Jun 30, 2013

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Where I stayed
The Holiday House Inn Scarborough
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Maine
Saturday, June 29, 2013

Article in cooperation with Mom Christa

Wednesday, 26.6.2013:
In the evening I was waiting for Peter in the lobby of the Sheraton hotel in Boston. Then – after  approximately 3 months – I have seen him again – juhu -  with 2 big back bags and yellow shorts! That's how you enter Sheraton!
When I proposed to go for a lobster dinner in Boston, Peter just asked “You know we’re going to Maine? To you know what Maine is about? LOBSTER‼!”

We decided to go to the Boston Hard Rock Cafe and enjoyed dinner there. After leaving, we noticed a noise comparable to fire work – and yes there was a fire work, but unfortunately it was fogy. For us the first firework in a fog, in Europe they would have cancelled it under such weather conditions!

Thursday , 27.6.2013:
Next day – last visit to the conference centre! Then we rented the car – Peter organized that perfectly – a super SUV (practical tip: hotwire rulez!)! And we went on the highway to Portland, looking forward to an exciting whale watching tour – for both of us the first time! It was a rather big boat, weather not too bad, just a little big fogy. And after 1 ˝ hour we approached the whale area and the captain carefully watched the surface of the sea, so did everybody else. Suddenly quite close to the boat we have seen a water fountain and then the back of a Finback whale – a huge animal! Captain: „we were looking for the whale, but he found us!“ Finally we have seen 4 Finback whales – so it was a successful tour. They are big! Arriving back to the harbor we were frozen a bit, but happy to have seen whales, the only thing I was  missing was the tail of a whale out of the water, but I was told that only another kind of whales are showing their tails at the end of the breaving process, the Blue Whale – so the next time!

For dinner we had – guess   lobster and a very good wine, especially created for enjoying together with lobster!

Friday, 28.6.2013:
Next morning it was raining cats & dogs. In this regard, Maine is like Britain, best described by the British Friend of Asterix: It is only fogy when it doesn’t rain. So that day we had rain. Peter checked the Internet how far we would have to drive in order to see the sun – but no chance ;-(. So we tried to do the best, but in the end... run or sunshine, who cares? (Peter’s note ^^). Shopping in Freeport, walking in the rain through a very nice village, … We stopped at Fort Knox – but unfortunately there is no gold there! It is another Fort Knox – and we walked around the ruins of the Fort. Driving over a long bridge, we finally arriving in Acadia National Park, Northeast Harbor. We checked in in a nice hotel in the middle of nowhere. But we were hungry, so back into the car and started driving – through the middle of nowhere – it was dark, through the wood, only trees and I thought – we never will find the way back! But we arrived in Bar Harbor, found a very nice restaurant – and guess what we ordered – lobster :) and Peter perfectly found afterwards the way back home to the hotel – I was surprised. Celebrating this day with a bottle of wine in our room and played UNO. At 6pm (Austrian midnight time) we sent a Happy birthday SMS to our 2 birthdays – Andreas and Herbert.
You have to know... Bar Harbor is a very particular town. Imagine a very nice fisher village, quiet and original. First, delete the aspects quiet and original. Then empty all houses, put souvenir shops in there. Add some overpriced restaurants. Resorts, Heli-place as well as fancy tour-ships. Forget about the fisher village. Then you have Bar Harbor.

Saturday, 29.6.2013
We wanted to explore Acadia National Park! It was not so easy to entre, because our car went on strike exactly at the entrance door! Was the reason the nice girl at the control point? Behind us already a bus, several cars, … but Peter managed to convince the car to continue. Reason being – you have to put neutral, hit the break AND close the window in order to start the car. Not really the thing that happens when you drive up to a booth with a nice girl inside :). Peter: I guess you are curious... and I'm sorry (myself!) that we don't have a picture of her :D. Driving along the coast – impressive views  - guess what - in the fog. No chance to lay in the sun on the beach – it was raining, so we walked together in light rain along the coast – and had long discussions about everything.

We were driving up the Cadillac Mountain, the summit – 465 m – is the highest  point in Hancock Country, but – guess what - there was  only fog on the top, so we decided to drive back. Suddenly sun was coming through the fog and for few minutes we had the chance to see something from the landscape, a beautiful view over the coast and some of the hundreds of islands.

Arriving again in Bar harbor we decided to make a tour with the boat for „Catching the lobster“. Peter and me in the middle of a Japanese tourist group  (imagine George Clooney saying – What else?). I thought Japanese are used to the sea, but … half of the people got seasick – and they even forgot to take pictures (the other half took enough pics anyway). But we enjoyed the tour in the rough water, stormy weather, we had a life lobsters (me with open claws!) in our hands and learnt a lot about their life and also their way into the kitchen.
Three Lobster Facts:
  • In lobster country Maine, fishers are only allowed to catch “legal size lobster”. This are lobster shorter than 5’’ and a complicated rule for minimum size. Check here if you want to know details.
  • Lobster’s don’t feel the heat when they are put into the water
  • There are soft and hard shell lobsters. Soft shell can’t be transported and have therefore a far lower market value – resulting in very affordable restaurant prices in Maine, still delicious!
Back to land we drove to Bass Harbor lighthouse. We tried to watch the sunset, but – guess what - it was fogy.

Looking for a nice place to eat we found a very specific place. An old Polish couple, running a self-service store and a small restaurant – they offered us chowder, lobster and salad. As they had no license for wine, we only could order water, but they had no problem taking our own bottle which we bought few hours before in a wineshop (were the owner also had Austrian wine!). We enjoyed our rustical dinner with our wine in plastic cups! It was a blend designated to be drunk with lobster – called the Big Claw.

Sunday, 30.6.2013
After a good breakfast to again were driving to Bar Harbor – because we again wanted to buy a bottle of wine (the Big Claw) for Peter´s friend in Washington. For the first time we were able to walk in the sunshine through this touristic village – and had some icecream – lobster icecream, no it is not a joke – it was lobster icecream, but to be honest – one try is enough.

Then we started the way back to Boston, stopped in Augusta – the capital town of Acadia. It was pretty much dead, seems like most capital cities are abandoned on Sundays (had a similar experience in Hartford, CT). Next stop was Len Libby (a chocolate factory– visiting the chocolate mousse – the world´s only life-size chocolate mousse – 1.700 pounds of finest milk chocolate. We also got a nice sampling collection of pralines, everything from sea salt over blueberry (Maine’s 2nd famous product) to... simply everything).

The last stop before Boston we had at the Portland lighthouse – the most famous view in Maine, which is surrounded by a large park. At a snack bar we ordered (no restaurants in this area) lobster rolls – the best in town! And enjoyed our lobster roll – which was really good - together in stormy weather (guess what... this time no rain and no fog!) with the view to the lighthouse and finalized our lunch with fine chocolate from Len Libby!!!
Next stop – Boston airport! After enjoying 4 wonderful days together, I took the flight to Vienna and Peter the bus from Boston to Washington, being prepared to start his next tour through the US – but this is another story,... or stories!!!!!

In summary, we had a great time and Maine is about two things: Lobster and fog.

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Karen on

There are 7,100 islands in the Philippines and I'm not exaggerating. I don't get it though why I have to put it in here.

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