bar harbor, 2021

Our big family vacation got off to a rough start, as we made the difficult decision to put Stitch down the weekend before we left. I would rather have “The Sex Talk” a million times over than have to sit down with my kids and tell them we’re putting a pet to sleep, but we made it through. We figured the trip would be a good distraction from our sadness, and thankfully it was.

I haven’t been to Bar Harbor since Ellie was a baby, so about 12 years. It’s a popular Maine tourist spot on Mount Desert Island, close to Acadia National Park. We thought this time of year would be less hectic than, say, July or August; there are no inbound cruise ships due to COVID, so crowds weren’t bad.

Our room at the Bluenose Inn was set on a hill with views over Frenchman’s Bay. We had this stunning landscape to take in every morning:

The kids spent a lot of time in the pools when we weren’t out and about. Gwen continues to improve her swimming skills, while Ellie prefers to bob around in the shallow end. I brought my art kit and fiddled around with my paints while keeping an eye on the swimmers.

We didn’t plan many activities, preferring to keep things low key. We drove up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia for some great views of the surrounding island:

One of the few things I scheduled in advance was a three-hour ferry ride to see some local lighthouses and wildlife. This proved to be about 2.5 hours too long for the kids’ interests, but we did see lots of terns, puffins, and harbor seals about:

We played mini golf at Pirate’s Cove and found I am still terrible at mini golf, no surprise there. The rest of the time, we wandered around Bar Harbor and shopped and ate tasty food in actual restaurants. I got a massage and wore not-sweatpants and nice blouses every day. It was a welcome return to normalcy and a nice break from…whatever it is we’ve been doing these last many months.

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