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peace and beauty

Wishing you moments of peace and beauty this weekend…


photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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“It seemed to me, as I kept remembering all this, that those times and those summers had been infinitely precious and worth saving. There had been jollity and peace and goodness.” ~ E.B. White

Wishing you and yours a fun-filled weekend! See you Monday! (photo by me)

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Recently, the New York Times published a story about Bar Harbor titled, “36 Hours in Bar Harbor, Maine”…NY Times reporter Geraldine Fabrikant does a wonderful job describing the history of Mount Desert Island and takes you on a 36 hour tour which includes a two hour sunset cruise on the Margaret Todd and dinner at the Bar Harbor Inn (to read the article, click here)

Having vacationed in Bar Harbor for over twenty years, I thought it might be interesting and informative to write my own personal recommendations…whether you’re planning a trip this summer or dreaming of a visit in the future, may your time on MDI be filled with the flavors, sights, sounds and scents of one of the most beautiful places on earth

A Thoughtful Eye’s Travel Guide to Bar Harbor Maine¬†

Breakfast

1) Cafe This Way ~ you have not experienced a real blueberry pancake until you’ve tasted one from Cafe This Way…sweet and light, it’s loaded with wild Maine blueberries…simply the best ever

2) The Looking Glass at the Blue Nose Inn ~ on a clear day, this is my pick for breakfast…drink your morning coffee and plan your day while enjoying a birds eye view of the porcupine islands and ever changing Bar Harbor sky

3) Two Cats ~ everything is made from scratch…start with their fresh squeezed OJ!

4) Jordans ~ an old school breakfast joint that is fast and simple…sit on a vintage bar stool and watch them prepare your breakfast! “I’ll have an order of blues!”

Drinks and Views

1) The Terrace Grill at the Bar Harbor Inn ~ fabulous views of the Harbor and the Porcupine Islands…it is a perfect spot to take in the sunset, perhaps with a cocktail before dinner or an after dinner cordial with dessert

2) The Looking Glass at the Blue Nose Inn ~ high above Bar Harbor sits the Looking Glass restaurant…once the estate of famed mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart, this view is one of the best kept secrets in Bar Harbor…how about champagne and dessert by candlelight on the new outdoor deck! (and lucky for us, the deck is dog friendly!)

Dinner

1) Fathom ~ fresh, local ingredients prepared to perfection…my top pick! (see yesterday’s post!)

2) Mache Bistro ~ fresh, local ingredients prepared with a french twist…C’est magnifique! The appetizer of local goat cheese and candied pecans was absolutely to die for!

3) The Burning Tree ~ with a small garden on the property, the ingredients are guaranteed to be fresh and full of flavor…my pick, the heavenly zucchini blossoms stuffed with local goat cheese and served with a homemade tomato chutney…perfection

Where to Stay

1) The Wonder View Inn and the Blue Nose Inn ~ The Wonder View is dog friendly and my choice for the best views in Bar Harbor…Mimi and Bella have been welcomed guests at the Wonder View for years and when our Italian greyhounds are happy, we are happy! The Blue Nose is part of the same property but is not dog friendly…indoor and outdoor pools, spa services and lovely rooms make The Blue Nose a great place for families or a romantic getaway

2) The Bar Harbor Inn ~ with gorgeous views of the Shore Path, the Bar Harbor Inn is a classic destination…my favorite spot is the covered porch just off the bar and the Reading Room Restaurant…a perfect place to enjoy a bowl of clam chowder and watch the Margaret Todd set sail

Scenic destinations

1) The Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park ~ every turn of the road is a picture perfect postcard…stop along the way to watch the waves crashing on the rocky shore…bring a paint brush or a camera with you as I’m sure you’ll be inspired to capture this beauty

2) Sand Beach, Acadia National Park ~ a slice of heaven…swim in the icy waters of the Atlantic or simply sit on the warm rocks and take in the view…perfect for star gazing on a clear cool evening

3) Eagle Lake ~ walk or bike around this magnificent body of water surrounded by mountains and pines…bring a picnic lunch and soak in the views

4) The Shore Path ~ my all time favorite place for a morning walk…it’s always the first and last place we visit when in Bar Harbor

5) Sunrise atop Cadillac Mountain ~ you haven’t experienced Mount Desert Island without experiencing the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain…a moment that will be with you a lifetime

photo of my husband edward, mimi and bella walking the shore path

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Today’s post is a bit of a departure from the norm…last week, while on vacation in Maine, my husband and I experienced something so extraordinary, I just had to share it with you…

Formerly Maggie’s restaurant of 6 Summer Street in downtown Bar Harbor, Fathom¬†opened its doors on Memorial Day weekend of 2011…updated with a fresh palette, the interiors were simple yet romantic, a perfect counterpoint to the innovative and colorful cuisine we were about to experience…the tables were adorned with immaculate white linens, fresh flowers, candlelight and a petite glass filled with sea salt and a slender silver spoon…our waitress Augusta, a life long Bar Harbor resident, greeted us with a brilliant smile and sweet voice…her personality and meticulous attention to detail played a large part in the overall success of our evening…we started our gastronomic adventure with some specialty cocktails…my choice, the PPPhizzl (pictured above) was a combination of prosecco, peach puree, pomegranate juice and lime juice…what I loved about this drink was that it was not too sweet, in fact it tasted more like a pink champagne! Refreshing, healthy, and festive!

The mouth watering menu made our decision making process difficult but we decided to share three courses starting with the zucchini blossoms stuffed with herbed ricotta ~ tempura fried and served with a cucumber scallion coulis, they were light and full of flavor…this awakened our taste buds and assured us that we were in excellent hands…our next course was chef Joshua Heikkinen’s signature drunken shrimp ~ gulf shrimp drowned in a spicy tequila cream sauce…I have no words to describe the heavenly combination of flavors and textures in this dish…served with bread to dip into the cream sauce, (which was insane!), we savored every drop…on to the main course, the house made zucchini gnocchi pan-fried with 1 3/4 pounds Maine lobster meat, tomatoes and sliced zucchini in a parsley brown butter sauce…this dish was absolutely life changing…we concluded, “this is the only way to experience lobster” ~ coated in butter and served with clouds of gnocchi and paper thin ribbons of zucchini…perfection!

Congratulations to owner’s Tracy Hallett and Joshua Heikkinen…may they enjoy many years of success and happiness! To learn more about Fathom and to see a sample menu, click here

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On my recent trip to Maine, I discovered a wonderful book by E.B. White titled, One Man’s Meat…published in 1942, the book contains fifty-five essays depicting the author’s life on a saltwater farm in New England…I want to share with you an exceprt from his essay titled, Once More to the Lake, August 1941for me, his writing connects so deeply with what I was feeling last week…a return to the familiar…a passion for nature…

“One summer along about 1904, my father rented a camp on a lake in Maine and took us all there for the month of August. We all got ringworm from some kittens and had to rub Pond’s Extract on our arms and legs night and morning, and my father rolled over in a canoe with all his clothes on; but outside of that the vacation was a success, and from then on none of us ever thought there was any place in the world like that lake in Maine. We returned summer after summer – always on August 1st for one month. I have since become a salt-water man, but sometimes in summer there are days when the restlessness of the tides and the fearful cold of the sea water and the incessant wind that blows across the afternoon and into the evening makes me wish for the placidity of a lake in the woods. A few weeks ago this feeling got so strong I bought myself a couple of bass hooks and a spinner and returned to the lake where we used to go, for a week’s fishing and to revisit old haunts. I took along my son, who had never had any fresh water up his nose and who had seen lily pads only from train windows. On the journey over to the lake I began to wonder what it would be like. I wondered how time would have marred this unique, this holy spot – the coves and streams, the hills that the sun set behind, the camps and the paths behind the camps. I was sure that the tarred road would have found it out, and I wondered in what other ways it would be desolated. It is strange how much you can remember about places like that once you allow your mind to return into the grooves that lead back. You remember one thing, and that suddenly reminds you of another thing. I guess I remembered clearest of all the early mornings, when the lake was cool and motionless, remembered how the bedroom smelled of the lumber it was made of and the wet woods whose scent entered through the screen. The partitions in the camp were thin and did not extend clear to the top of the rooms, and as I was always the first up I would dress softly so as to not wake the others, and sneak out into the sweet outdoors and start out in the canoe, keeping close along the shore in the long shadows of the pines. I remembered being very careful never to rub my paddles against the gunwale for fear of disturbing the stillness of the cathedral.” ~ E.B. White

photo by me ~ eagle lake, mount desert island, maine

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the drive home

on our way home today…thanks for coming along for the ride…see you monday!

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sand beach

My subject for today’s post is Sand Beach, a New England gem located in the heart of Acadia National Park…my intent was to photograph its natural beauty ~ the rocky coast, emerald green waters, mountain views and rolling dunes…but as I sat on the warm rocks overlooking the beach, I found myself fascinated with the spirit of the day…the stories and endless activities unfolding right before my eyes…little ones running in and out of the frigid ocean water (what fun it is to be chased by a fast moving wave!)…teams of young artists creating intricate sand and water sculptures (a very serious and important task!)…I let the day speak to me…waiting and watching for these special moments in time…please enjoy a piece of summer as seen through my eyes…

photos by me, 7/28/11

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