Acadia and Elsewhere

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On the first Sunday in October, we visited Acadia National Park on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. It’s the furthest East I’ve been.

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I found a temporary artifact left behind on the aptly-named Sand Beach.

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Sand Beach is one of the park’s most popular attractions, for obvious reasons.

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A cove along the park’s stunning coastline.

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Triumphant waterfowl as seen from the Ocean Trail.

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A typical stretch of Park Loop Road.

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The view from Otter Cove, facing South.

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Along Otter Cove, looking North.

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Cadillac Mountain, a trip up which we decided to save for our next visit.

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Pines along Jordan Pond.

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After leaving the park, we spent a few hours in nearby Bar Harbor, a port popular with tourists. Above, a juxtaposing of two very different types of ships that often frequent it.

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CJ’s Big Dipper on Main Street, across from the Village Green (I always thought the latter only existed in England.)

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Swatches of Bar Harbor remain gloriously un-gentrified, like this vintage stained-glass sign, complete with Rexall logo.

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Another blast from the past. What could this be?

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It’s the underside to this classic marquee, which predates the movie theater I work at by one year.

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We actually stayed near Boothbay Harbor that weekend, taking an easy day trip from there to Acadia. Above, a Boothbay Harbor business I always visit when in town.

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Spotted at another bookshop in nearby Damariscotta (sadly, it was too late in the day for browsing.)

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My husband and I have spent considerable time in Boothbay Harbor (even getting married near there), but not so much in Wiscasset, which once has to pass through in order to get there if coming from Portland or any point South. In Wiscasset, this combination of old lettering, filmsy white curtains and christmas lights (in October!) intrigued me to no end.

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Wiscasset is tiny but full of charming signage for businesses new and old.

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Perhaps Wiscasset’s most famous, iconic eating establishment (in summer, there’s usually a long line of people leading up to that window), and one I hope to try someday.

Summer Highlights

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Although I only posted two photo essays on the blog this summer, I took a decent assortment of pix throughout the season. To begin, let’s go back to Memorial Day at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. This is from the top of Tower Hill, overlooking the Wachusett Reservoir.

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Also at Tower Hill: a sunny ledge dotted with cacti.

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I returned to Tower Hill later in the season when much more was in bloom, including a throng of black-eyed susans next to the greenhouse above, and some other vibrantly colored plants below:

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Just when I fear I’ve run out of things to photograph in Provincetown, the beach comes through again.

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Also in P-Town: a lone piece of old Cape Cod stands apart from the usual shiny, new, tourist-baiting signage.

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After an afternoon at Pemaquid Point in Maine, Steve and I swung by East Boothbay on our way back to Boothbay Harbor. An hour before sunset, we found this beautiful rocky shoreline.

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I could have spent hours here if it wasn’t so late in the day (and if the mosquitos weren’t so rampant, either).

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A sunset view of Boothbay Harbor taken from the deck off our hotel room.

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Drove down to Hull on the South Shore one evening. I may post a whole essay on it at some point; for now, this may give you an idea of what one can find there.

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On the way back from Hull, an impressionistic sunset over Hingham Bay.

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I also want to post a photo essay on Boston’s Seaport District, a neighborhood currently in flux and home to one of the city’s more striking, unusual landscapes. I’m still not sure what this building is (probably some sort of city property), but you can’t say that it doesn’t stand out.

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Closer to home in Boston: Millennium Park in West Roxbury on a Sunday afternoon. The sky, looking South towards Blue Hills Reservation, looks about to crack wide open.

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At Millennium Park, looking Northeast towards Downtown Boston: the faint rainbow is but a smidgen of the color on display here.

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In mid-August, we took a day trip to Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich. This man-made waterfall proved a fun subject to photograph.

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Also at the Heritage: I love how the colors on this vertical, narrow wooden structure pop against the soothing green background.

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Summer in my mind could not look more inviting and lush than this unadorned space at the Heritage.

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The Sandwich coast, rough-hewn in a way that epitomizes Cape Cod Bay.

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The season ended with an overnight trip to Portsmouth, NH, one of my favorite New England small towns. It was too hot and sticky to take many photos, but I couldn’t resist this street art: Seagull Under Glass (or in this case, Perched Upon It)?

Old School Maine

Steve and I always planned on returning to Maine for a visit exactly one year before our ring ceremony. We didn’t originally plan on his parents and brother joining us, but it ended up being less stressful than if they were to come to Boston (for starters, we didn’t have to clean the condo).  We all stayed at the Spruce Point Inn, a lovely resort close enough to the hustle and bustle of Boothbay Harbor but thankfully, not too close.

It’s an old school Maine inn. This is the main (not maine, mind you), original building, which is surrounded by a campus containing well over a dozen more modern units. We enjoyed it so much, we’ve already made reservations to stay here for our ceremony next September.

Steve and I and his brother shared a suite in the original building; my favorite part was our very own little enclosed porch.

Grandview Ave, facing north. I think this gives one an idea of how charmingly off the beaten path this place is.

Sadly, the Smores Station was closed during our stay.

We also didn’t have a chance to get an outdoor massage. Maybe when we return…

This was my view for morning coffee; I could live with this every single day.

Although a bit of a tourist trap, downtown Boothbay Harbor is kind of pretty–especially the harbor area itself.

I’m sure by the time of our ceremony, I’ll have taken enough pictures of Boothbay Harbor area business signs to warrant their own blog post. Thanks to my reflection, here’s one of the few pics you’ll ever see of me on here.

I’ll have a soft serve without twist, thank you very much.

Boothbay has no shortage of junky gift shops, as you can see by the wares on display here.

Last chance for cheap-ass flip flops!

I believe this is an oyster shell, though for all I know it could be Boothbay’s version of the Hellmouth, sucking every sorry little living thing into its path.

On the way back home, after we parted ways with the family (they all flew in from other parts of the country), we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and made a stop at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth to see the Portland Head Light.

Here’s a close-up of the Head Light.

My first visit here was with my parents on July 4, 2006. The fog was so surreally thick you couldn’t cut it with a helicopter blade; you best believe the signal was active that day.

Cape Elizabeth is just south of Portland. In this panorama near the lighthouse, you can see the latter city off in the distance.

The ease with which this seagull sat on the nearby cliffs is a good representation for how at ease I feel whenever I’m in Maine… well, at least whenever the weather’s good.

For more pix of my most recent trip to Maine, go HERE.

From Boothbay to Chinatown

I’ve recently added a bunch of new pix to my flickr page. A few highlights:

I spent the last weekend in June in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. This was the view from the porch of where I stayed (in nearby Southport), and it pretty much made the trip.

Boothbay has the whiff of a tourist trap but is not without beauty–you just have to look for it off the beaten path, like this glassy calmness found in the back of Kaler’s restaurant.

A more representative view of Boothbay, complete with gift shops full of cheap t-shirts and regional knick-knacks. Note the curious sign on Gimbel & Sons: “NOW associated with Gimbels Dept. Stores.” This rivals-to-Macy’s chain (which had stores in my hometown) went out of business in 1987; apparently this Gimbels now owns their trademark.

Luckily, vacation towns like Boothbay still retain bits of quaint, old school charm.

Obviously not much FAME outside of Boothbay because the contest has come and gone and I still haven’t heard who the winners were.

Stopped by the  Nubble Lighthouse in York Beach on the way back to Boston. I haven’t been there in the summer for some time, so I was startled by how vibrant and green the grass appeared.

A few weeks later, on a Thursday morning I had an hour to kill so I walked through Boston’s Chinatown. It can be an odorous, cramped enclave, but visually, it’s striking on occasion, as seen by this pagoda arch.

I’ve dined at China Pearl (for dim sum) more than any other place in Chinatown. This gives you an idea of the mishmash of architectural styles prevalent throughout the neighborhood.

These days, one rarely sees poultry hanging in windows outside your typical Chinatown butcher shops.

After leaving C-town, I ended up strolling through the Public Gardens. I think this adequately captures the park’s lazy weekday vibe.

To view my whole Chinatown set, click HERE.  My Boothbay Harbor set is HERE.