Yeah right. Being "present in your present" is all well and good when there's crisp, dry air, and sunshine warm enough to comfort but not so hot you're sweating before you burn your first calorie of the day. Not so easy from beneath a damp sticky air mass that hangs like a mouldering blanket over everything for days on end. Late September, and I am running air conditioners just to prevent me from pulling my remaining hair out. Who wants to buy pumpkins in this weather? I ask you.
Actually, it's getting better. I should quit my whining and focus on the fact that in a mere few months, a run of days like this will be an impossible dream. All too soon, there will be cold and damp to complain about.
So, remember Mr. Sandyshoes and I got to spend a few days in Maine at the beginning of the summer? And remember I'd said I was going to plug our hotel, etc.? Of course you don't. But we did that, and I said that. Accordingly:
We stayed at the lovely Blue Nose Inn, a pleasant stroll from central Bar Harbor, with great views of Frenchman Bay. The hotel is attractive and comfortable. There's a hot tub, steam room, and pool, which we used, and exercise equipment, which we didn't. There's a bar and a pianist playing nightly in the "Great Room," which made for an enjoyable nightcap (and when did I become someone who enjoys a "nightcap"? Is this not something one's parents used to do? Sigh.) One evening there was a wine-and-cheese reception hosted by the manager. It was interesting talking with him about the similarities and differences between the tourist-dependent, seasonal economies of Bar Harbor and Cape Cod. Don't ask me why it was interesting, because I can't remember a thing we said; I was on vacation. But I know I enjoyed the conversation, which I could not have had it been dull.
What else? We loved dinner at Cafe This Way. It's a cool setting... tables set up in a converted-garage (though it isn't, I asked) feeling space, full of books and original artwork. Hard to describe. Check their website for pictures (caution: the font is damn near unreadable. Why do people do that?). The food was so good that we went back the next morning for an equally terrific breakfast, and will make a point to revisit it if we're ever in Bar Harbor again.
The day before, we'd had an (eventually) delightful breakfast on the porch at the Two Cats Cafe, though it took a while to get seated, and after that a bizarrely long while before anyone took our order. We waited and waited. I was this close to leaving, but it turned out fine. I guess they were having a tough morning. A lady at the table next to us sent back her coffee because it was too hot, and her pancakes because she thought they were mushy (maybe they were, who knows. Ours were fine). Sent back coffee because it was too hot, though! Can you imagine? Steven Wright had a joke: "This pizza's too hot. I think we should send it back." Restaurant people must just shake their heads sometimes.
Something that amused us in Acadia National Park: We were parked at one of its famous natural features... Thunder Hole, I think, though the tide wasn't right for making the thundering sound it's named for... and, after climbing around on the rocks a bit, came back to the car, ready to move on. A small group of people were gathered behind the car next to ours, pointing at something, and saying things like "ooh! Look! Right in the parking lot!" and we looked in the direction they were pointing, and there was nothing there. Unless... wait, they couldn't mean... that seagull? Ayuh, they did. A whole family of tourists was beside themselves at this incredible wildlife sighting. They all looked sane, but what the? I took a peek at their license plate: Indiana. So I assume this was the morning of the very first day of their very first Maine vacation, and that they'd arrived in darkness the night before... and that they don't have landfills where they come from.
Naturally we had way too much fun pointing out those wily, elusive seagulls to one another on the rest of the trip. I'm told we have them here at home, too. If it's not too humid tomorrow I might try to find one.