John & Brenda's Excellent Tour travel blog

A ghostly schooner rounds Ocean Point with Rams Island Lighthouse in the...

Brenda enjoys lunch at Sarah's Cafe above the Sheepscot River

Blue sits outside our "Honeymoon" cottage at The Colony on Hulls Cove

Our piper on the rocks above Hulls Cove


June 28

East Boothbay Harbor is situated on State Route 96, which terminates at Ocean Point, 2 kms beyond our resort. We elected to make the short drive to check out the point and were very rewarded for doing so. The road makes a loop around the point, providing a view of Ram Island with its 1883 vintage lighthouse on one side of the road and magnificent vacation homes on the other. This morning the mist from the high humidity was nearing a full-blown fog and, as we stopped to take a picture, one of the windjammer ships from yesterday sailed by Ram Island, looking for all the world like a ghost ship of legends.

We drove from the Boothbay region to the nearby town of Wiscasset where Brenda had found a couple of interesting non-museum listings in the local tourism paper. The first of these was the Shelter Institute, an earth friendly enterprise featuring timber frame building technologies and large inventory of hand tools, amusingly sold under the "Wood Butcher" brand. They advertise classes and demonstrations, none of which were operating today. We browsed the tools and large selection of books that we knew brother-in-law Ron, along with many others of our woodworking hobbyist friends, would have loved.

We headed back into downtown Wiscasset for lunch on the deck of Sarah's Café above the Sheepscot River; one more delightful waterfront lunch. The second place Brenda had found was Morris Farms, featuring organic and manual farming tools and techniques. Our famous luck failed us again as no demonstrations were running and, in fact we were a bit early in the season for harvesting anything of consequence. They offered us use of their hiking trails around the farm but I was really feeling the 32°C heat and declined.

We returned to the resort where I took advantage of the pool for an hour while Brenda went for a short hike around Ocean Point. A couple of storm clouds moved around us and created a nice breeze that provided some relief. We used the rest of the afternoon to complete our planning and make some motel bookings for our 2-week visit with Ron and Anne-Marie in the Maritime Provinces. I was also lucky enough to make contact with Marc and Kris and caught up with the happenings in their lives.

We ended our evening by finishing our bottle of wine on the deck, enjoying the cool evening breeze and reflecting on our trip so far. Most recently, New York stands out as an amazing experience in such a short visit, our great fortune on Nantasket Beach near Boston was shining serendipity and, mostly, our joy in each other's company have all made this trip so much more than we could have hoped.

June 29

Congratulations on your retirement from TELUS, Sue Langdale!

Our morning started with a smile as Sue phoned us to share her first full day of retirement, albeit calling at 6:00 am her time. She'll soon learn the joys of sleeping in, I hope. She had had a great last day, capped of with a wonderful dinner at the Hart House with John, Shannon and Kevin along with work friends. Now we have one more full-time retiree with whom to play, clip coupons and look for senior discounts.

With fond memories, we were leaving Boothbay Harbor for Bar Harbor, a trip of about 200 kms along the slow but beautiful Highway 1. The route took us through many picturesque and historical small towns, where the highway narrowed considerably and we were able to appreciate the gorgeous old homes in our brief traffic jams. Near Bucksport, we passed over the recently opened Penobscott Narrows Bridge, a uniquely designed cable-stayed bridge featuring the traffic lanes hanging outbound from the cables...weird.

We knew Bar Harbor would be expensive due to the high season and the holiday weekend, which was reflected in the lack of anything resembling a discount in our coupon book. We looped through the downtown area and slowly worked our way back on the access road (Highway 3), finding "no vacancy" signs and extremely high rates. Brenda had remembered seeing The Colony listed in the Maine Tourist Guide and we had passed it on our way into town. It is situated just across the highway from Hull's Cove, right at the main entrance to Acadia National Park.

The Colony is a large property with several attached motel units and about 30 stand-alone "honeymoon" cottages, with kitchenettes and large living/bedrooms. We inquired at the office and the lovely Scottish-accented manager had cottage #1 available for our requested 2 nights at a discounted price of $105. We took one look and booked it. Its location 3 kms from downtown Bar Harbor and proximity to the Park entrance were perfect for us.

We got settled in to the spacious cottage and, just as we had grabbed an ice-cold beer from the cooler, Brenda spied a Scottish piper in full regalia walking by our front window toward the beach. I grabbed the camera and got a couple of cool shots as he piped away on the rocks above the shore. It was a great touch for our arrival and we could hear him play through our open window for some time after. Apparently the manager treats her homesickness for Scotland by hiring a piper for 2 hours every week, a nice touch for the guests as he wanders the acreage of the resort.

On our way back from grocery shopping, we stopped in at the Visitors Center for Acadia National Park. We went for maps and to ask about biking trails and, lo and behold, one of the Park's outstanding features is its large network of Carriage Roads used for biking and hiking. So Brenda doesn't get her fitness centre workout but now we can both get a good bit of exercise on the Carriage Roads on Saturday.

Our fortuitous, serendipitous luck continues...



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