VOV: Bar Harbor

Sunday, July 10, 2022

After some time at the Ocean’s Bar and the Casino, we were ready for dinner. We were seated at a table for 6 next to the aft windows. We were seated with 3 people from California. We enjoyed the conversation. During a lull in the conversation, I happened to look out the window and I saw a whale emerge – enough that I could see the hump and the tail. It was pretty far away but it was still exciting to see.

I had the clam chowder, tomato slices with mozzarella cheese slices, and the haddock with shrimp and mussels. It was all very good. However, I had actually ordered the seared rainbow trout. I think the man at the end of our table ordered the haddock and got my trout, but he started eating his fish, so I ate mine too. The haddock had been my second choice, so no harm done.

After dinner, we watched the beautiful sunset from the balcony. We then played a few more slots. After a while, we called it a night. We had a very early excursion in Bar Harbor.

I was up before the 5:00 alarm. Got my shower and then roused Chuck so he would be awake before our breakfast was delivered at 6:00. I thought my mix-up in my meal last night was an anomaly but sadly no…..this morning we received 2 plates of bacon and eggs. I only ordered one plate of bacon and eggs. However, I did order 2 fruit plates and 1 bowl of cereal. We also got that food. So much food.

I ate the bacon from the 2nd plate and Chuck ate the eggs. I will have to see what I can do differently the next time I have to order room service breakfast, so we don’t get that extra food. I ordered the same breakfast items on the Hawaii trip, and they always got the order right. I hope the Zaandam crew gets it right the next time.

Our meeting place was the Main Stage at 7:15. We were directed to our tender boat at 7:40. At the pier, we met our tour guide for today’s tour of Acadia National Park.

The HAL tour was “An Intimate Look at Acadia National Park

Step aboard an executive mini-coach for the ultimate small-group excursion in Acadia National Park. With only 14 guests, this tour will provide maximum interaction with your experienced guide as you observe the wonders of this majestic park.

Your drive will trace the ocean’s edge before stopping at Thunder Hole where, under the right tidal conditions, ocean swells converge with a thunderous roar against the granite coastline. You’ll pause high above the 107-foot Otter Cliffs before winding through lush pine and deciduous forests.

Pass scenic glacial lakes, then continue up the famed summit road of Cadillac Mountain, the Atlantic coast’s highest peak; from the summit, you’ll get breathtaking, 360-degree views of Frenchman Bay (where your ship is anchored) and the Cranberry islands.

At every overlook, your guide will encourage questions from guests and provide personal insights into Acadia. This intimate tour will provide you with a unique look at this gorgeous corner of the United States.

It was a very comfortable van with only 10 other people and the driver/tour guide. The sound system was good so we could hear fine even sitting in the back.

She had a lot of excellent information on the history of the park, how the great fire reshaped the park’s landscape, the rich and famous people who have houses in and around Bar Harbor, and the animals that make the park their home, including bears and moose.

I thought it very interesting about how beavers are allowed to build dams and lodges anywhere they want and cannot be moved or hurt/killed.

Many years ago, beavers built a dam in the creek next to our house and in the process took some of our young trees and flooded part of the yard. Chuck did battle with them by knocking down part of their dam to encourage them to go away. Next day – dam is back bigger and better. He worked all day taking it completely down. Next day – bigger, thicker, and higher. We gave up and called in wildlife control to relocate them. Guess we would have been out of luck if we had lived in Bar Harbor and just had to live with a flooded yard.

Our first stop was the top of Cadillac Mountain (same person who named the mountain also started the car company). The guide said some days the fog is very thick but today it was nothing but blue skies and the views were spectacular for 360 degrees – just like the in the tour description.

Our next photo stop was Thunder Hole. It was a blow hole that is very active during high tide. We were there a little early for high tide, but it was still slightly active. At this stop, we purchased some Old Soaker blueberry soda which is very popular here. I can understand why, it was refreshing and delicious. Blueberries are in abundance in the park but cannot be commercially processed so tourists and animals are encouraged to eat them.

Even though the landscapes were stunning, I also enjoy taking photos of flowers that I might see. Bar Harbor did not disappoint.

Once we returned to port, our guide recommended some different restaurants for lunch. We chose the Side Street Cafe. We each got a cup of clam chowder, split a lobster roll, homemade potato chips, and split a warm blueberry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was so good I wanted to lick the plates.

After eating, we walked to the Christmas store, and I bought my typical souvenir- a travel Christmas ornament. He’s cute.

We walked back to the pier and got on a tender boat back to the ship. Very nice day in Bar Harbor. I wouldn’t mind spending more time here on a land vacation.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Sea View bar area enjoying the nice weather. I was disappointed that they didn’t have a sail away party when we left Bar Harbor. We had such fun ones on the South Pacific cruise.

Wasn’t long before it was time to go to dinner.

Travel Trivia

Maine – The Pine Tree State

The original inhabitants of the territory that is now Maine were Algonquian-speaking Wabanaki peoples, including the Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Penobscot, Androscoggin, and Kennebec.

European contact with what is now called Maine may have started around 1200 CE when Vikings are believed to have interacted with the native Penobscot in present-day Hancock County, Maine. The first European confirmed settlement in modern-day Maine was in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, led by French explorer Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons.

The territory of Maine was confirmed when the United States was formed following the Treaty of Paris ending the revolution.

Maine officially became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820.

In 1873, Chester Greenwood, a 15-year-old resident of Farmington, Maine, invented earmuffs when he was looking for a solution to chilly ears. He patented the first design of his earmuffs in 1877 and later went on to make improvements.

West Quoddy Head, in Lubec, Maine, is the easternmost point of land in the 48 contiguous states.

Maine has more than 60 lighthouses. The Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in the state and was the first lighthouse completed after independence from the British. It was completed in 1791 and was automated in 1989.

Freeport, Maine is the home to the L.L. Bean Company, the first retail clothier to be open 24/7/365, founded in 1912.

Joan Benoit Samuelson from Cape Elizabeth, Maine was the first-ever women’s Olympic Games marathon winner. She won the Gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Maine is the only state in the United States whose name has one syllable.

It is the only state bordered on three sides by Canada.

Maine Lobster yield annually is 40 million pounds, nearly 90 percent of the nation’s lobster supply.

Maine produces 90% of the country’s toothpick supply.

Portland, Maine is the birthplace of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Author Steven King is a resident of Bangor, Maine.

Maine’s coastline has so many deep harbors it could provide anchorage for all the Navy fleets in the world.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is home to the largest parts of Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain, the highest point within twenty-five miles of the coastline of the Eastern United States.

Bar Harbor was also used for naval practices during World War II. More specifically, Bald Porcupine Island was used to fire live torpedoes.

On September 6, 1604, French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovered the area when his boat ran aground on a rock as he was sailing towards Otter Creek. 

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., son of John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil Co., donated about one-third of the land in Acadia National Park and built the carriage roads that are today used for hiking and biking.

In the 1880’s, Bar Harbor became a summer retreat for the Rockefellers, Morgans, Fords, Vanderbilts, Carnegies, and Astors, and other prominent families who built elegant estates, ironically called “cottages”.

*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and Massachusetts tourist literature

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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