Art

Simple Pleasures—Art and Flowers on the Maine Midcoast

October 14, 2019


Our continuing travels in Maine…

After Acadia and Bar Harbor, we began a leisurely drive down the Maine coast. I had made a list of places that sounded interesting, and we decided to explore what took our fancy, deciding where to stop for the night on the fly, since we didn’t know exactly where we’d be when it was time to find a place to stay. We were between the tourist seasons of summer and “leaf peeping,” so it wasn’t too crowded. If you want to stay somewhere special or if you go during a busier time of year, it would be better to make plans ahead of time, but this worked fine for finding a place just to sleep for the night. We had a couple rooms that were just OK, but mostly every place we stayed had something nice about it, whether it was a tasty breakfast, a pretty view, or even an adorable puppy in the office.

This is Bella. No, we didn't pack her up and bring her home with us. 

Farnsworth Art Museum

One day we explored some of the art and garden attractions in Maine’s Midcoast area. This area so charmed us, we’ve even discussed retiring there! That would be quite a change for this California/Florida couple!

We started with the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. The Farnsworth focuses on American art from the 18th century to the present, with a special focus on artists who have lived and worked in Maine. These include artists like Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O’Keeffe, in addition to works by the Wyeth family: N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and James (“Jamie”) Wyeth.


Frolic, by Jamie Wyeth.

Detail from Frolic

On recommendation of some people we met at the tire repair shop—because of course we had to have a little adversity on our trip—we ate lunch at Café Miranda, an adorable little place just a few streets away from the museum. My husband had a late breakfast, but I had the “Fabulous Bowl of Meat,” which was actually…Thai lettuce wraps. And delicious.



Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Thus fortified, we meandered down to Boothbay to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. As I mentioned on Instagram, we may not have seen many colorful fall leaves, but we made up for that in displays of flowers. We saw gorgeous flowers everywhere, but, of course, the botanical gardens were exceptional.

The entrance





Vertical garden

Dahlia




The garden opened in 2007 after 16 years of planning, and is the largest botanical garden in New England. Seventeen of its 295 acres feature plants native to Maine as well as other plants suited to northern coastal conditions.

The children’s garden area was especially fun:

Look closely at the picket fence, also below



Garden resident

Arbor with gourds--you can see one at the right of the entrance

When our feet we were finished with exploring the garden, we found ourselves a hotel in East Boothbay, the Smuggler’s Cove Inn  (where we met Bella). We spotted a sign for a fish and chips special at the Carriage House restaurant on our way to the hotel, and went back there for dinner—and it was one of our best dinners of the whole trip. Everything from the pickle fried chicken wings appetizer to the homemade sauce for the fish was scrumptious. 

And so we come to the end of another full day of the Johnson & Johnson belated anniversary road trip of 2019. Thank you for letting me re-live our trip as I post these photos and memories here—I have a few more experiences to share!

Autumn

Autumn Poses a Question

October 11, 2019


“We cherish things, Japan has always known, precisely because they cannot last; it’s their frailty that adds sweetness…. Autumn poses the question we all have to live with: How to hold on to the things we love even though we know that we and they are dying. How to see the world as it is, yet find light within that truth.”


Acadia

Trip Highlights: Acadia and Bar Harbor

October 07, 2019

One of the planned highlights of our trip to New Hampshire and Maine was our time in Acadia National Park. We spent two days exploring the park, and nearby town of Bar Harbor.

We had made reservations for two nights in Bar Harbor, which was wise because Bar Harbor was bustling, even in the shoulder season between summer and “leaf peeping.” We would have spent too much time inching through traffic and finding parking. Our hotel, The Acadia, was right on the village green and we were able to walk most of the town.


Acadia covers about 38,000 acres—and we saw only a fraction of its forests, lakes, ponds, meadows and rocky coastline.

We began our visit with a trip to Hulls Cove Visitor Center, and a drive on the auto loop road up to Mt. Cadillac where you can see forever—or at least as far as Bar Harbor.

Frenchman Bay and Bar Harbor

The next morning, we began our explorations of Acadia at the Wild Gardens of Acadia, which we happened to pass on our way to the Ocean Path trail head. Intrigued, we pulled off the road to find an area of the park that displays in microcosm the different types of growing conditions in Acadia, including mixed woods, meadows, and marshes. We walked a little way down the Jessup Path, a boardwalk leading through woods and meadows to a roadside pond.

Jessup Path

Ocean Path is a 4.4 mile round trip from Sand Beach to Otter Point. The path runs right next to the loop road, but there are many places to climb away from the road to explore the rocks and take photos of the scenery. It’s an easy trail, but it was pretty crowded and if we had been visiting in the summer, traffic on the road would have been disruptive and bothersome. We entered at Sand Beach and walked to Thunder Hole, before turning around to walk back. Thunder Hole wasn’t thundering, unfortunately.


Ocean Path, Sand Beach in the distance



Thunder Hole...not thundering

We drove to Otter Point, where we saw no otters, but did see some waterfowl.


Our next stop was Jordan Pond House for lunch and their famous popovers. We sat on the lawn where we enjoyed a view of the Bubbles, and a cool breeze kept the wasps from being too annoying—they’re drawn to the strawberry preserves served with the popovers. Our waiter told us during high season, the kitchen turns out 4,000 popovers a day!


Jordan Pond House from the lawn

The Bubbles

Popover

We wrapped up our day with more exploring, shopping, and eating in Bar Harbor. And then, the next day, onward. Where did we go next? Stay tuned…




A Mellower Season

October 04, 2019

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”
—Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh





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