Bar Harbor, Maine
So for the first week of the trip, I had multiple Danny Elfman moments. Once we arrived in Maine, everything changed. So in honor of this next segment I would like to note my inspiration is coming from the bands of Temper Trap, LCD Soundsystem, Kings of Leon, Beach Fossils (of course) and Atlas Genius. That is my playlist as I am looking back at our pictures and remembering our amazing week in Maine.
Our main reason for choosing Maine as our destination was to see how the people of New England coastal towns lived. I have always been intrigued by the architecture, food and frankly the philosophy of their way of life.
Like I said in my previous post, we figured out our groove by the end of the first week. We arrived in Bar Harbor at the beginning of the second week…on schedule. Already it was as if it was “meant to be” with arriving on time, finding the best KOA campground around which boasted of ocean views, nice roomy CLEAN hot showers (nice change), a laundromat, a playground, a field of black-eyed-susans, apple trees – ripe for picking, a little store and a Lobster Man! Awe yeah!!! We ate fresh Maine lobster caught that day by a local lobster man who lives at the KOA with his family in season. He makes a damn good lobster. And from the taste of his fresh catch, I imagine he makes a damn good living.
Greggy found his groove working from the RV and we found our groove playing at the playground, doing laundry and doing some school work by day. In the evening, on the second night, we drove downtown for our first dining out experience since being in the RV.
Being downtown was like being in a picture book about Maine. Everything was beautiful, everyone was nice, there were local restaurants overflowing with natives and the colors were in high-definition. I was so busy looking at all the buildings with the cedar shake sidings, the gables, batten doors, the beautiful leaded glass windows, rock detailing, chimney’s (definitely something you don’t see everyday in southern Florida), the steep roof lines and oodles of flowers perfectly placed on front lawns.
That night we ate at a local Seafood Restaurant. Of course we had the local fare and let me say it absolutely did not disappoint. We sat outside in the front of the restaurant in an enclosed deck-like area complete with candles and music. We did a little people watching and the kids were behaving. My heart skipped a beat. It was a wonderful night of good food and good conversation with Greg and the kids quietly playing at the table. WOW. Maine…it’s good for the family.
By the third day we felt like locals. Everyone was waving at us and coming over to talk about how “cute” and “sweet” our children are…I felt proud and frankly lost myself in the moment. I said, “thank you” and kept thinking all day how nice it was for a stranger to tell me my kids weren’t total assholes! Not that anyone would ever tell me that, they would probably just give me dirty looks, but seriously, it was really nice to have someone notice how nice my kids are. Once again I found myself on Pride Avenue…ok let’s take that right back onto Reality BLVD. there momma!
It was the last day in Bar Harbor and Phoebe decided to take her first nap in almost 2 years. We never want to wake a sleeping person if we don’t have to, so Abby, Cecilia and I took off for a walk. We ended up at the entrance to the KOA, where there were some amazingly colorful trees with little apples growing on the branches. We started collecting leaves in upstate New York and there were so many beautiful ones to choose from. For 2 hours, we had an apple and black-eyed Susan picking, leaf selection and chasing each other around party.
Where Camden Deli is located…go figure. Camden Deli is home of the absolute BEST RUEBEN SANDWICH I HAVE EVER EATEN! I am not a connoisseur of meat, but I know someone who is. George McClain, I believe you would have absolutely approved! I contemplated buying one and trying to ship it to my friend, but I was worried it wouldn’t maintain its “freshness”. George and Jessica, you will have to make your own crusade. It’s worth it.
Also in Camden, we met some new friends. It was serendipitous. We parked in front of someone’s house in little neighborhood 3 blocks from downtown. Greg needed to work and the campground we had our eye’s on didn’t have the best internet service. So we parked and the girls and I walked to downtown to see what we could see. We saw some pretty impressive things for sure. We discovered an outdoor mini-ampitheatre, visited some funky downtown shops, checked out the local Camden library and stood in awe of the beauty that lined the city streets.
When we returned to the RV we met a mom, my age and her two little girls Midge and Olivia. I cannot remember the mom’s name, but she invited us into her beautiful 3 story, 100-year-old home she and her husband had been renovating. It was an incredibly open, clean and decorated with this modern Californian decor. The beautiful wood floors, white walls and unique pops of color here and there, I felt an immediate connection. And her kids names…Midge? Olivia? This woman was super cool. AND they had a pet bunny. BOOM. The deal was sealed. Needless to say, when it was time to go back to our “humble” abode Phoebe June had an absolute meltdown. She literally fell to the floor in tears saying she wanted to stay with Midge, Olivia and the bunny. Of course she did.
WE ALL DID. I peeled Phoebe off the floor and made a half-assed attempt at consoling her…but the truth is, the house was awesome, warm and had plenty of room for everyone. The people in it were ultra-nice and effortlessly cool. I waved at Greg through the second story window (we were in the calmly yet beautifully decorated playroom) to help me pull Phoebe together, I said goodbye to my new ivory skinned, red-haired (which by the way was perfectly disheveled) friend and drooled over her hunter boots wearing self for the LAST TIME and thanked her for her kindness and generosity. The girls said a tearful goodbye to their new friends Midge and Olivia and of course the bunny (whose name I also cannot remember).
We made it back to our exciting 300 square foot RV of AWESOMENESS…and headed to the campground. An awesome night of Barbecue chicken and quinoa followed and once again SMORES!!!! It was an early night for the girls…and for us too, as their was a bit of a nip in the air. “Not a nipple, but a nip” Chevy Chase/Clark Griswold Christmas Vacation.
The next day we woke up, emptied our shitter (another nod to Christmas Vacation) and headed toward Freeport when Greg was called into an emergency meeting. We made a pit stop into a lovely town by the name of …
Freeport. Home to LL Bean. Of course I didn’t want to come all this way and not visit the magical place where I purchase various things throughout the year including Greg’s shirts and the annual purchase of pajamas for the girls. It absolutely did not disappoint.
Well, not entirely.
The girls had picked out a stuffy each, as well as one set of pajamas and Cecilia needed a little bit heavier jacket. We had made our way to the checkout line and I was pulling out my (Greg’s debit card cause I lost mine) debit card to pay and realized I didn’t have the card. I go into panic mode and I am thinking to myself, “how am I going to explain this one”, when I happen to look at the cabinet behind the cashier station checkout thing, and I see what looks like my (Greg’s debit card cause I lost mine – remember?) card laying on the top. I ask if the name on the card says “Greg Spranger” and the cashier says, “Why yes it does.”. “Great” I say, ” That’s my card…well it’s my husband’s card, but it’s the card I was going to pay with.” “Great” says the lady with a confused look on her face, “but we will need to see his I.D. You cannot pay with his card.” BOOM! UGH! LL Bean, really? C’MON! cut me some slack here…your line is 15 minutes long. With 3 kids, it’s like 45 minutes to an hour-long. I shop with you all the time! Have you no sense of loyalty or pity for a person with three children and an armful of STUFF from your store??? Oh wait, what’s this? My bank card? In the bottom of my child’s umbrella stroller? It’s ok…
I GOT THIS!
I pay the LL Bean people and we hightail it outta there! I am sweating like a damn maniac. Abby and Phoebe want to take picture with an enormous boot, on wheels no less, out in front of the store. I bribe them with Starbucks kiddy hot chocolates and rush them to the RV. I felt like I had committed a crime. STRESS. Three kids, a dog full of pint-up car-riding stress and a creepy 300 square foot RV will leave you with the damnedest energy…
That night in Freeport we commit to a local Pizzeria and thank God we did. It was the defining moment in my life as a self defined “pizza connoisseur”. ANTONIES in Freeport, Maine. Even my girls who usually have half a slice and end up pushing cheese and sauce to the side to eat mushy crust, ate their entire personal pan pizza. This was our third dining experience or maybe fourth I lost track, but they were all absolutely amazing experiences. I would come back for the food alone…
Kennebunkport, Maine is next on my list of amazing Maine discoveries…join me for part 4 where I will write about heaven or Kennebunkport rather, leaving the amazing state of Maine and seeing billboard signs for the first time in a week.
Lesson # 7 If I ever have the opportunity to visit Maine again, just do it. Even if it means living in a giant capsule on wheels with 4 other people whom I love and a dog who abhors traveling. Just DO IT!