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Last Days of our New England Motorcycle Vacation – 1,380 miles in 10 Days

All good things typically come to and end. This vacation was definitely one to remember and I sense we will be back in Maine again someday. Yes, we logged nearly 1,400 miles (I was temped to ride 20 more miles just to be able to say “1,400 miles”) in 10 days passing through seven states and staying in three of them. A few of those days had us on the bike for 6+ hours. I earned my “Iron Butt” credentials on this trip, for sure! 

Our final days included a stay over in Portland, ME where we saw the port area and stayed in very nice hotel – the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa. I visited the spa for a sauna, some steam and a “healing massage.”  It was helpful after spending several hours on the bike that day.  Prior to arriving in Portland we stopped in Bangor, ME, a quaint and small New England town that happens to be the home and likely setting of Stephen King and many of his novels. We made this a destination on our trip as I have read most of his books, seen the movies (of course) and he is one of my all-time favorite authors. His house is a “destination” for all fans when in Maine.  Kim took my picture in front of his home (below) and I took photos for a few other fans that we encountered there.


We made a stop at Central Maine Harley Davidson to get a shirt – my “biker” friend Andy says that you cannot have a shirt from a Harley store unless you’ve visited there yourself, otherwise it’s cheating! The shirt has a lobster riding a Harley, of course!

After one night in Portland it was on to our final stop – Greenwich, CT, home to hedge fund managers and other Wall Street elite.  But on our way to Connecticut we stopped in Ounquite, Maine, a very popular beach town, and had lunch at the Cornerstone Restaurant, famous for it’s pizzas and craft beers. The pizza we had there just might’ve been one of the best pizzas ever!  We then stopped in Perkins Cover, just nearby, for a nice view of their port. Here are some pics.

   

In Greenwich we stayed in a contemporary and very cool hotel called the J House Greenwich. It is an independent hotel and my pics won’t do it justice but the rooms and the restaurant are very cool, hip, whatever adjective you can think of.  The bathrooms in the rooms there are equipped with a very special kind of commode. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination! Here are some pics.



Of course just like Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz, there really is no place like home. It was truly a great vacation and a wonderful, albeit delayed celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary.  But coming home to our pets and one of the kids all waiting for us was just what the doctor ordered!  Here are a few after photos including our ride, a badass Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic. Thanks for following along on our trip via this blog. Stay tuned for future blog posts on a wide and random range of topics.  So long for now, and if you are a HOG rider, keep the shiny side up!




Night with his Maine Catnip treat on the way to a nice catnip buzz…


Me with my raccoon biker’s tan and my Central Maine Harley Davidson (lobster) t-shirt chillin’ at home.

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Farewell to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

In Kim’s words, this place is “a-Maine-zing”! Today we say goodbye to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park….for now.  This post will share some highlights of Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, and, of course, Bar Harbor, where we stayed. By the way, if you ever visit Bar Harbor and don’t already have a favorite place to stay, we highly recommend the Castlemaine Inn. Dan, the owner, as well as Cathy and Bobbie, are all very helpful, and very gracious hosts.

We hiked the Wonderland Trail and Southwest Harbor trail, each offering fairly easy hikes and spectacular views of the national park, the harbor and the Cranberry Islands. It’s also not far from the Bass Harbor Lighthouse but we forgot to go see that. We did see a still operating lighthouse later on the trip, though. 


We rode bicycles on the carriage trails built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. between 1913 and 1940. We rode around Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond and stopped for popovers at the famous Jordan Pond House. This is a must do when on Mount Desert Island. 

 

  


We took a very popular nature cruise out of Northeast Harbor called the Sea Princess. Our guide, Mike, was very knowledgeable and we learned more about lobsters than we ever wanted or needed to. That said, we also experienced. This afternoon trip took us amongst the Cranberry Isles, the Great Harbor of Mount Desert and Somes Sound Fjord. Superb views of Bear Island Lighthouse, nesting osprey and basking harbor seals framed by Acadia’s dramatic mountains comprise the first portion of the cruise. A major highlight of the trip was a 45-minute stop at the 200-year-old lobster fishing village of Little Cranberry Island to see the lobster fishing boats come to port and to explore an unspoiled offshore island community reminiscent of days gone by. The last hour of the trip took us deep into Somes Sound Fjord for a spectacular view of the vertical Eagle Cliffs rising directly from the sea. I met some island kids who were selling fresh made lemonade and brownies for only 50 cents each. Yum!  Here are the pics:




Finally, we headed up to the top of Cadillac Mountain to take in the views and to see the sun begin to set. By the way, the top of Cadillac Mountain is where you can be among the first people to see the sun rise in North America. The only problem is you have to get up there areound 5 am! Check out these “a-Maine-zing” pics including our shadow reflected in the rocks as we descended down Cadillac Mountain.




    We enjoyed our last night’s dinner at the Asticou Inn near Northeast Harbor. It is a very old and historic in with beautiful views of the harbor. They also have really good popovers there too (we like them better than Jordan Pond Houses’s).

    I cannot imagine that we won’t come back to Mount Desert Island some day. It was really beautiful, spiritual, and fun too.

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    Day 4-5, “Bah Habah”, aka Bar Harbor, ME

    This post will contain fewer words but many pics. Bar Harbor and sorrounding towns and villages, as well as Acadia National Park, are simply breathtaking and amazing.  Also, the best live/fresh lobsters ever, right off the boat!  After hikes in Acadia National Park, the Southwest Harbor Trail and the Wonderland Trail, we headed over to Tremont for a feast at Thurston’s Lobster Pound. Very proud of Kim for getting her hands dirty and digging in to a whole lobster, which is very out of character for her! Enjoy the pics. 



    There were so many of these stone sculptures made by others so we decided we had to make one of our own!


    In town for dinner at Geddy’s our first night in Bar Harbor:




    I will post later about our stops in Freeport and Camden, ME.  Stay tuned!

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    Day 3 – Kennebunkport, ME

    We spent our first evening and full day in Kennebunkport. While we were not invited to dine with the Bushs at their complex, we did hike to it to take a look. What an amazing complex. It’s no wonder they love it there!
    This was as close as we got but beautiful views of the complex and the sea from Walker’s Point 


    After that it was off to town to have the obligatory lobster roll and clam roll. We checked out a few shops and then back to our hotel to relax for a bit before dinner. 


    We found relaxation in some lounge chairs where Kim enjoyed a cocktail and I a cigar. 

    Then, back on the bike and back to Earth at Hidden Pond, where we had massages yesterday, for dinner in their renowned restaurant. It was, perhaps, one of the best meals we ever had! And they have a some great sitting areas, including an indoor fireplace, perfect for a chilly Maine evening.


    Tomorrow we say goodbye to Kennebunkport as we make our way North to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. More to follow!

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    Day 1 – Boston 


    Kim is super proud we were able to get all of our clothes and gear picked into our motorcycle luggage for our 10-day trip up the east coast to Maine. Night, our 15-year-old cat, really wanted to come with as demonstrated by him sacking out on our atlas (see pic above). 

    Following an 8-hour journey starting in Media, PA, we arrived at our hotel in Boston at about 5pm. Oh, and we rode about half of the trip in a light to medium rain starting in Connecticut and lasting all the way to Boston. Thankfully we have good rain gear! A brief rest and cleaning up is followed by a wonderful dinner with friends, Jennifer and Peter – delicious Boston Italian food!


    The next morning we grab a quick breakfast at Ziggy’s and then it’s off for a stroll around Boston Commons and Boston Public Gardens. 



    After that, off to Maine! We stopped for lunch in Salisbury, MA at The Deck on the Merrimack River. Next stop was Kennebunkport, ME where we arrived in the late afternoon just in time for well-deserved massages at Tree House at Hidden Pond. 


    A private tree house massage room – amazing! The day was capped off with dinner at a wonderful restaurant and a stroll around town. 

    Check back in a day or two for more!

    Long Awaited New England Anniversary Trip

    This is a teaser post only!  Very soon Kim and I will be headed out for an overdue 10th Anniversary trip (this year is actually year 11) up the eastern seaboard on our Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic motorcyle.

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    Here is a preview map showing our stops which include Boston, Kennebunkport, ME, Bar Harbor, ME and Acadia National Park, Portland, ME and Greenwich, CT:

    I hope you will check back later for pics and highlights of our trip. It’s going to be a blast!

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    Why I Hike with Mike (& our family) for Parkinson’s Disease

    Hike with Mike and Family

    Seventeen years ago my brother-in-law, Mike Weinman, was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. And, as most people already know, this disease is pretty awful. But here’s the thing – in all of the time I’ve spent with Mike, I’ve never heard him complain, not even once!  Continue reading