Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vox Clamantis in Deserto: Day 4 and 5

Day 4: Freeport and Camden, ME
We awoke on Saturday morning to discover the weather had changed from drizzling to pouring. After taking the tent down in the rain, we put everything sopping into my car (also sopping), and headed to Freeport to keep dry and check out the L.L. Bean flagship store. (It was, after all, the L.L. Bean catalogue that started my wilderness aesthetic a few months ago.) Roger took over the driving, so I enjoyed the scenery a little. We both like Route 1, but can't possibly imagine standing in traffic in it, which is what we've heard happens everyday in the summer.

We strolled around the L.L. Bean "campus" for a bit. The campus is made up of the retail store, the home store, the hunting & fishing store, and the bike & boat store, along with a little park in the middle and an outlet store off to the side. Our first stop was the home store, which is what I mainly like from the Bean. Their outdoors stuff seems fine to me, but I don't know much about outdoors stuff, and their clothing is a little old-looking for me. I do love their moccasins, though. When we arrived at the flagship store, I was pretty unimpressed by the pond in the middle (for some reason I'd pictured a massive water feature in which you could test out the fishing gear), but really enjoyed the old L.L. Bean products that were featured in glass cases. Roger bought a pair of aviator sunglasses (totally hot), and I tried on, but didn't purchase, rain skimmers.

After bumping into someone from Roger's college, we went to a few other stores, and I bought a cheap sweater from Abercrombie & Fitch before we grabbed lunch at Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster Company. Roger, having already had a lobster roll, said, "it was good." I found it also to be very good. The lobster here is very sweet, and these rolls were quite good. It was very foggy (though it had stopped full on raining), but we had a lovely view of the water and some gorgeous boats. If you go, keep in mind it's BYOB, so you can bring a good beer yourself and enjoy the view.

After the morning of shopping, we headed up to Camden. We considered staying in a cheap motel, but ended up driving through the town to see if there was a closer place. We pulled in at the Whitehall Inn, which was miraculously affordable and gorgeous. The inn once hosted Edna St. Vincent Millay, whom I've recently started to love, so that was a very happy coincidence, and the lobby and rooms were lovely. There are antique telephones in all the rooms, and a very good breakfast (blueberry pancakes and a ton of other choices) was included. With the wonderful hot showers and the lush linens, we were pretty much sold on the inn and can wholeheartedly recommend it. In fact, at breakfast, we saw our friend Christie's parents at the inn, celebrating their 25th anniversary. It was a super nice place.

Camden itself was also nice, and we took a short bike ride from the inn down there. Turns out I hate bike riding, at least when going downhill or in traffic. Still, we made it down and strolled around, sitting and watching some of the boats come in. After heading back to the room and taking care of the bikes, we went to Cappy's Chowder House. We'd read good reviews, but didn't find it to be anything too special, so if I were you, I'd try something else. We grabbed some ice cream at the Camden Cone, which was very good, before heading back for some much needed sleep.

Day 5: Bar Harbor, ME
We spent most of today getting to Bar Harbor. We didn't stop in any of the myriad of antique shops along Route 1, but did stop in at a weathervane and cupola store called the Weathervane Factory, which had some amazing little decorations, including some flying pig ones that I love. We checked in at the cheapest motel we could find to avoid the rain (tomorrow, honest, we'll start camping again), and stopped in at a discount store to get some windbreakers to keep out the rain a little. I'm not sure how I feel about having matching windbreakers. I will remember my raincoat on trips from now on. On the way in to town, we stopped at Bar Harbor Cellars, a winery that, unlike any of the others I've visited, doesn't grow their own grapes. The wines we tried were all fine, and their fruit wines were particularly fruity, but nothing seemed worth buying except for these interesting goji berry & pistachio crackers they had that were hyperexpensive at $7.50 for a sleeve.

Then we headed into Bar Harbor, where we mostly hopped in and out of shops to try and keep dry. We checked out the Bar Harbor Whale Museum, which is small and probably only worth checking out if you really love whales or if it's pouring. We did another tasting at the Bar Harbor Brewing Company, which we didn't love, although their stout was drinkable for me, who hates stout. We had drinks and dinner at the Thirsty Whale, because their sign was adorable, and it turned out to be a great idea. It was very affordable, and the food was pretty good.

Tomorrow, the weather is meant to clear and we'll be able to do some more of the outdoor activities we were planning. We're also hoping to return to camping and dry out the tent a bit. Thank goodness, because Maine in the rain isn't very much fun unless you're at an adorable B&B, which right now, we definitely are not.


  1. I want to go on a trip like this!!! Sounds amazing. Sooo funny you saw my parents! They couldn't speak highly enough of you both. Glad you guys have been enjoying yourselves :).

  2. I want to go on a trip like this!!! Sounds amazing. Sooo funny you saw my parents! They couldn't speak highly enough of you both. Glad you guys have been enjoying yourselves :).