1. The views! Every! Where! You! Look! Gorgeousness everywhere.
2. $40 for an annual pass to Acadia National Park gives us a good reason to go back next summer.
3. Camping at Blackwoods Campground: big wooded lots, clean(ish) bathrooms, and so quiet in the middle of the night, I could hear the ocean roaring in the distance.
4. Lobster so fresh at Beal’s in Southwest Harbor, it was swimming that morning.
5. Hikes for all abilities, even a scaredy cat like me. Though I will never ever do Beehive or Precipice. Going up the metal ladders on Beech Cliffs hike was about as radical as I’m every going to get.
6. Biking on carriage roads is the bomb. It’s especially cool when your 9 year old goes whizzing by on the downhill and disappears from view for a good long time.
7. 2 Cats for breakfast. Orange juice is fresh-squeezed, and the food is delish.
8. Dive-in Theater with Diver Ed Boat Cruise. Laughed so much during this two-hour tour. It was hilarious, fun, interesting, and informative. The kids were glued to every word Diver Ed and his wife, Captain Evil, had to say. Worth every last penny.
9. Popovers at Jordan Pond House Restaurant. As good as everyone says they are. Especially if you bike to the restaurant.
10. So, so, so clean. I never wished I had a garbage bag with me to pick up the trash I found on our walks.
11. I’ll make GORP again.
12. Stars over Sand Beach. Lying on a blanket on a sandy beach nestled between rocks, gazing up at the amazing Maine summer night sky, having the constellations pointed out by a park ranger. . . so very relaxing and cool. Next time, I had better see one of the shooting stars everyone else saw, though we all got to wave to the International Space Station.
13. Swimming in Echo Lake. Warm(ish) fresh water with sandy bottom felt great after a long hike. Plus, we could look up to the mountain on one side and say, “we were up there!”
14. Maybe I’ll touch Bubble Rock next time. Or, maybe I’ll just sit way over here again.
15. The Boobles. One local told us to look for the two Bubble mountains by looking for the two that look like breasts. From then on, we called them The Boobles.
16. No internet service for the majority of our trip meant no fighting over iPads or video games, and no staring at screens. But, when we were jonesing for some Wifi, there were options, like this retro-funky coffee shop in town.
17. So many lobsters this year, the Side Street Cafe had knocked $5 off many of their most popular dishes, like this beauty:
18. Dogs everywhere!
19. “Yes You May Use Our Bathroom” signs on restaurant doors.
20. Ice Cream good enough for our President.
21. Thunder Hole was cool, but maybe next time we’ll catch it when there’s a storm at sea and we can really scream.
22. Although it can get busy in Bar Harbor, this is still plenty of lawn space to sit and look at this:
23. We need to come back because we never made it to the top of Cadillac Mountain.
24. And we didn’t have time to try kayaking on Long Pond in Somesville.
25. The kids will never forgive us if we don’t go back next year. I can’t blame them.
Many thanks to my friend (and local) Robin for all of her amazing tips.