Tag Archives: Acadia

Good Eats!

September 9, 2014
Here’s a quick little post about some tasty viddles in the Bar Harbor, ME area…

On our drive to Schoodic Point in Maine (a gorgeous spot on the ocean where we were able to have a picnic lunch on the rocks and see porpoises swimming by) we passed a smoked fish shop on the road that loops to the point called Grindstone Neck of Maine  that looked worth checking into. We walked in and the man behind the counter (turns out he is the owner’s son) apologized for the low inventory explaining that they were in the process of smoking more and restocking. No worries though – there were still some great choices to be had. He talked to us about the history of this family owned business and of his belief in ‘slow food’. We purchased some thinly sliced smoked salmon, a creamy salmon spread and something especially tasty…Salmon Candy.

Sorry, we ate them all before I remembered to take a photo

Sorry, we ate them all before I remembered to take a photo

This salmon candy is great and I have never had anything like it. He said, however, that it is common in Alaska. It comes in long strips and they are much firmer than a cheesestick but more tender and easy to bite into than beef jerkey. He said that it is smoked once and then covered with a sweet “sauce” and smoked again which gives it a great sweet/salty taste. In their ziplock pouch, they made great, portable snacks on our next day out. If you want to try them, they do ship and if you’re in the Northeast Sept 12-28th, they will be selling their wares at the Big E in the Maine pavilion (though I don’t know for sure if they’ll have the Salmon Candy there).

Then, that night for dinner, we stopped at Mainely Meat BBQ  – also the home of the Atlantic Brewing Company. Unfortunately we arrived too late for the brewery tour where they show the process of making their beers, blueberry soda and root beer but we had plenty of time for a good BBQ dinner. I had a pulled pork sandwich (one of my favorite sandwich choices – a taste I acquired while living in Atlanta), a really tasty blueberry ale (one of their classic brews) and the MOST delicious side of baked beans I have ever had.

This is Rob's dinner but you can see the beans there over on the side

This is Rob’s dinner but you can see the beans there over on the side

Now I am not one to usually rave about baked beans – I mean, I like them, but I wouldn’t usually go out of my way to comment on them. But these beans…they were scrumptious. They were complex in their flavoring, smoky with a bit of a kick (you could see jalapeño peppers sprinkled in there) but there was something else I couldn’t really identify and our waitress would only say that they were made with a secret blend of spices. I could have eaten a big ‘ole bowl of them. I said as much to our waitress and she laughed and said she didn’t think that was such a great idea. Can’t imagine why. 🙂

Let me just say that if you are going to Acadia, a stop at Grindstone Neck of Maine and Mainely Meat BBQ will definitely be worth it!

Four Foto Friday – Acadia NP

Well, it sure feels good to finally be on the road, and Acadia National Park in Maine was a great first destination. The initial long drive in the the RV was quite a thrill (I’ll be writing a separate post about that) and our five days in Acadia were filled biking, hiking, boating, and exploring the gorgeous natural surroundings. It’s really hard to narrow them down to just four (I’m also working on setting up a photo gallery on our website), but here are some photo highlights:

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Jordan Pond: Our first day was spent exploring the interior of the Mount Desert Island, which contains many picturesque, glacially-carved lakes and ponds. We biked along the carriage roads, which were built by John D. Rockefeller nearly one hundred years ago, and crisscrossed the forested hills. This shot was taken at the Jordan Pond House, where some of our readers recommended that we stop to enjoy the traditional afternoon tea and popovers (great suggestion… mmmm!).

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Oceanside and Gorham Mountain Hikes:  Day two was classic Acadia – hikes along the rocky shoreline with spectacular views of Bar Harbor and Frenchman’s Bay. The Oceanside trail took us to Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs, two must-sees. Gorham Mountain was a steep climb, but afforded great scenery at the top. In this photo, the boys are recording their observations as part of their Junior Ranger program. Teacher Jen is taking advantage of this “school work” and grabbing a quick nap.

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Boat Tour: Day three and four were down along the coast: first at the less travalled Schoodic Pennisula (which can be seen in the background of this photo) and then on a Maine lobster boat tour which took us around the bay. We learned the ins and outs of lobstering and caught several glimpses of the area’s wildlife: porpoises, harbor seals, sea birds, and even a bald eagle. This pic shows one of the seals frolicking in the surf, a rare event to see at mid-day, according to our guide.

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Yummy Lobstas: No trip to Maine would be complete without a lobster dinner. Here we are on the wharf in Bar Harbor enjoying the scrumptious crustacean. Food was definitely a highlight on this trip, which also had us sampling such “Downeast” staples as steammed mussels, fried clams, blueberry lemonade, whoopie pies, BBQ, and craft beer. A delicious way to refuel after some very active days.

We left Acadia on Wednesday and are now camped just north of Boston. Yesterday we toured the bewitching town of Salem and today we’re headed to Gloucester, Marblehead, and Rockport. The boys are with their aunt and uncle, so Jen and I have the “run of the house”… all 35 feet! We’ll reconnect with them next Monday on Boston’s Freedom Trail. Hope you’ll stay tuned!

Exploring Nature in Acadia

DSC_0087We did many activities in Acadia, which is a national park in Maine. We stayed there for one week but two days were definitely the best.

One of my favorite things that we did in Acadia was going to Sand Beach. Sand Beach is a small beach that we swam in and also hiked around. First we did the walk and went off the path to look at the tide pools. The tide pools were packed with sea creatures: barnacles, mussels, and snails. After we were done with the tide pools we continued on the walk to Thunder Hole, which is a hole in the rocks that if a big enough wave hits it, it makes a sound like thunder and the water sprays up. Next we climbed Gorham Mountain which was about a 2 mile climb and took us to the summit of a steep mountain were you could see sparkling lakes and rolling forests. Next we went down the mountain and went to sand beach where the water felt refreshingly cold (about 50 degrees Fahrenheit). We used our skim boards and relaxed on the beach after the long hike. To end this great day, we went to the Jordan Pond House to eat popovers which are like the a big a cream puff without any cream and you put jam and butter on them. It was a sweet and smooth end to the day.

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My other favorite day was Wednesday when we did a lobster boat tour. First we went and looked in stores around the port. Normally I don’t like to shop but these stores had some hilarious shirts. The shirts that they had in these shop were incredibly funny which said things like “Confidence: The felling you get before you fully understand your situation”. Even though I didn’t buy any I took many pictures. After this we went on a lobster boat tour on the calm ocean where we saw the captain bring up the huge lobsters in the cages. Each cage was large and had about 10-15 lobsters in it and he brought up 3 cages. The tour guide said the average fisherman brings up 200-300 cages a day. We also held the lobsters. They felt hard on the top and on the bottom soft and squishy. After we were done holding them we threw the small ones off the boat into the water rushing past us. One of my favorite parts of the tour was getting to stand at the very front of the boat where I could feel each wave jarring the boat as we past over it.  The tour guide showed us a book of lobsters that were vivid blue and half black on one side, half orange on the other. She said that one blue lobster can cost up to $10,000! On the ship they also had other animals that we got to touch and hold. My favorite was the sea cucumber. It felt slimy like a snail and like there was nothing in it. When I held it, it squirted water everywhere. Some other animals that we saw were porpoises that swam close and happily jumped in the water. Then we arrived at an island where we saw seals laying on the rocks warming themselves in the sun and playing in the water near the rocks. Overall I loved learning about lobsters, riding on the boat, and seeing the ocean animals.

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