thanks to sweet jen, we stayed in this dreamy little cottage.
we also got great advice from her about how to spend our first day in acadia, and we followed her suggestions to the letter. first, we drove to the top of cadillac mountain, where amidst dozens of german tourists, i took numerous photographs of the orange tips of my gloved fingers (it was so windy, i was afraid my camera/phone was going to be swept out of my slippery hands). i did manage this picture of the village of bar harbor and my favorite nearby islands, the porcupines (bald porcupine is my very favorite).
after that we headed around the park toward gorham mountain, taking some extra time to clamber around the otter cliffs (mark's question: summit or cliffs? i like them both, but have a slight preference for the summit. he is a cliff man himself).
i see crows all the time at home, but the crows here were glossy and gorgeous. country crows, i guess. as we were hiking up gorham mountain, this one let me get pretty close so i could take dozens of identical photos of him.
we wanted to fit in as much acadia as we could, so we skipped lunch and walked around jordan pond instead. the sun started to dip down behind the mountains, and the light altered dramatically the whole time we were hiking - it was breathtaking.
as we drove out of the park, we realized we'd spent more than seven hours there! the next morning we got up early and explored a bit of northeast harbor, where we were staying. we checked out the asticou azalea garden, thuya garden, and the asticou terraces, which provide lovely views of the harbor below.
on our way home, we took a detour down the blue hill peninsula, another part of the state i've longed to visit for years. we stopped at the blue hill co-op for a delicious red curried tofu sandwich, vegan raspberry almond muffin, and coffee.
my favorite form of procrastination lately is browsing seaside real estate online, and a couple of weeks ago i found this sweet little antique house in deer isle. mark and i actually drove past it, down a long, ocean-side country road, and it was just as dreamy in real life (look at that apple tree in front of it!). except the roof looked like it was about two hundred years old. but beautiful! acres of woods, water access! sigh.
and just a little further down the road (at the end of the road, in fact, at the very bottom of the island) is the sweet harbor town of stonington.
meanwhile, we left zoë and isaac to their own devices for the first time ever. i found that i was a little anxious at night until i'd heard from them and was reassured that they were both home and safe and had locked the door and turned off the stove. but the truth is, they did absolutely fine without us. of course. i'm happy to be home with them, and portland is always nice to come home to, but i do sort of feel like we spent the weekend in a magical, beautiful fairy land. i can't imagine a better way to celebrate two decades with my sweetie.