I imagine that to many people, our life looks like a constant vacation. Exploring a new city whenever we feel like it … no need to ask a boss’s permission to hit the road … and absolutely no business casual.
That said, life on the road isn’t a permanent vacation. Even as full time travelers we have to deal with “normal life” — paying bills, washing the dishes, and making the bed, just like everyone else. Setting your own schedule sometimes means working weekends. And even with a streamlined life, sometimes the comforts of home can feel like a burden.
So that’s why, after a year on the road — and a long summer of working under the hot sun, sitting in front of a computer, saving up our pennies, and minimal travel — we decided to take a vacation.
And what better place to get away from it all than Acadia National Park!
It had been a few years since we’d been to Acadia, and this time we were ready to go all-in. Our last camping trip there had been for a week, and it had flown by so quickly that no sooner had we felt relaxed than it was time to leave. So this time we splurged on two full weeks at our favorite campground in the world — Mount Desert Campground — and prepared for two weeks of R&R. I even took off two full weeks from work, emailing all my clients and telling them I’d be unreachable for two weeks. (Bless you, Maine, and your spotty cell service!)
I headed north about a week before Ryan, spending some time catching up with my family in New Hampshire. Ryan traveled to southern West Virginia to do relief work, then drove up to join me. We departed for Acadia on a rainy Saturday morning (my birthday) and we made the five-hour drive in fine spirits.
Before I get into all the things we did during our two weeks in Acadia, I need to give a shout-out to our campground, Mount Desert Campground. Two years ago Ryan brought me here on my very first camping trip (!!!) and I ended up falling in love. The sites are gorgeous — from waterfront sites to quiet wooded spots, there’s something for everyone. And at the Gathering Place you can find Wi-Fi, local baked goods and coffee in the morning, and Gifford’s ice cream at night. (Moose tracks. Blueberry. Need I say more?) The bathhouses are plentiful, airy, and always clean. It’s family-friendly and welcoming and many campers are “regulars,” including the friends we were vacationing with who have been camping there every summer for almost 30 years! It’s not cheap, but it’s very reasonable for peak season in the Bar Harbor area.
And at night, you get to experience sunsets like this one:
We expected our stay in Acadia to start off with a lazy week of sleeping in, eating blueberry things, and sitting around the campfire, but somehow that didn’t happen. My sister Michaela drove up from Massachusetts to spend a few days with us, so we jumped right into exploration. One important stop: Jordan’s Restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor.
(Because blueberry pancakes are a Bar Harbor must — and Jordan’s are the best!)
After pancakes, a walk was in order, so we took a stroll down to Bar Island. The tide was in, so we weren’t able to walk across to the island, but we did stick our feet in the very chilly water! And, after a stroll through town, we enjoyed drinks on the patio at Bar Harbor Beerworks — a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon!
We also did a couple of great hikes during our first week in Bar Harbor.
Our first hike was Gorham Mountain Trail, an easy hike with tremendous views of the Beehive, Sand Beach, and Thunder Hole.
A few days later we went back to test our mettle on the Precipice Trail — one of Acadia’s most challenging hikes.
The challenge of Precipice comes not from its length (it’s only about a mile to the top), but its steepness. The trail ascends the side of a steep cliff face, and in many spots “hiking” means clinging to the side of the rock from iron rungs and handrails. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s definitely a full-body workout, but it’s a really fun hike if you’re not afraid of heights!
Come back tomorrow for the rest of our adventures in Acadia!