Bar Harbor Trip Day Six: The Long Road Home

     Our last day in Bar Harbor was to be a short one.  After lunch we would promptly head back to Bangor to fly out to Detroit (deh twah) and then back to Cincinnati.  It would take pretty much the whole day due to layovers and making sure that we got through security.  So with nothing to do, I decided to take up my sister’s offer for a spa day.  And spa I did.

     I went with the mud wrap option for it sounded the most interesting.  This is pretty much how I felt about it: http://i.imgur.com/UEWfQ3Q.gif

     Essentially I was covered in mud, wrapped in foil, serenaded by world music, washed off by a fancy shower, and yeah, it was great.  When I was foiled up, I couldn’t help but think that that must be what a pop tart must feel like.

     After my detoxifying, we headed out for our last meal in Bar Harbor.  After much debate we headed to Paddy’s, an Irish pub.  Luckily we got there right when they began serving lunch so I could grab something pretty substantial for the long day ahead.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six    Really sweet menu at Paddy’s

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six     A fighting Irish for breakfast, to retoxify.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six     Paddy’s.

     After a wonderful meal, we said our goodbyes to Bar Harbor and I snapped one more shot of the Margaret Todd as it floated in the mist.  Onward to the airport!

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six

    Getting to the airport four hours early has its perks.  I got to work on my blog from the night before and spend some time reflecting.  That’s about it.

     Eventually we got onto our plane.  This first one was the longer of the two.  It was good to get it out of the way.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six     This guy played the same game the whole flight.  With nothing to do, I watched intently.

     After landing in Detroit around 6:30, we felt the need to get some food in us.  Since we had almost four hours until our next flight, we figured we had time to sit down and grab some good eats.  To continue our seafood binge, we headed to a Japanese place called Sora for some sushi. 

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six

     After another lovely meal (the last of our vacation food), we found some more chill time to wander about and explore the airport.  And here is my conclusion: I love the Detroit airport.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six

Bar Harbor Trip Day Six

     With all my free time I was able to finish the blog post from the day before and catch some Gravity Falls on my laptop.  It is a most wonderful show and it definitely helped pass the time.

     Soon enough I was Cincinnati-bound and on the verge of passing out.  Travelling is tiring for some reason.  But soon we found ourselves home and the trip over.  I promptly fell asleep.  The end.

     Thanks for sticking around folks.  It’s not quite over though.  I plan to do one more overall review of the trip, share some favorite moments, and make a video from all the footage I grabbed while I was there.  Not sure how it’ll turn out but be on the lookout for that.

     Well… back to work.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five: Jogging Along Jordan Pond

Well maybe not jogging, let’s not get too carried away, but it was definitely time for some hiking.  Within Acadia National Park, there is a very large pond.  It’s name?  Jordan Pond.  Apparently it is the smallest pond in the area but it also one of the deepest.  It also have a very large trail that goes all the way around it.  Let the walking and LOTR quoting continue!

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five Bar Harbor Trip Day Five Bar Harbor Trip Day Five Bar Harbor Trip Day Five Bar Harbor Trip Day Five

What makes this trail interesting (and with three miles you need interesting), is that it is split up into three sections.  The first part is just a normal nature trail, nothing special.  But after you make it to the other side of the lake, it becomes a rock trail that you need to carefully climb and balance over to make it to the third, final, and most awesome part of the trail.  The final section is a wooden plank trail.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five

After our hike, it was time for some much needed lunch.  We went to the Jordan Pond House for one of the best meals I’d had yet.  The Lobster Stew was phenomenal!  Also, JPH is famous for their very hard to define pastery-ish, awesome, yummy, fluffy, things called popovers.  They’re super good and taste great with butter, jam, and as I found out, Lobster Stew.  This is a “must-go-to” in Bar Harbor.

Walking around in another foggy Maine day was great.  Since Cadillac Mountain was just next door, we figured we would try to see the view again, even though it was still foggy (that doesn’t make much sense now in hindsight).

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five   Some folk chillin’ by Jordan Pond.

After another “disappointed” experience at Cadillac Mountain, we headed back to the Inn in the harbor to kick back and relax ourselves.  These days are really starting to add up on us.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five     A foggy day in Bar Harbor.

With an afternoon of relaxing and enjoying the weather and the harbor going by, it was no surprise that sooner or later, something interesting would happen.  And it did.  It came in the form of a pissed off seagull.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five                          He has spotted me.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five                          He and the crows don’t seem to get along.  But they kept squawking at him and soon enough…

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five                      He went in for the kill. Bar Harbor Trip Day Five                  Bar Harbor Trip Day Five                 The Victor awaits more challengers from his perch. 

After a lot of debate, we picked a place to serve as our final dinner in Bar Harbor.  Rupununi’s was our prime candidate.  And it was good.  Mostly cause they knew how to cook steak (see Bar Harbor Trip Day Four).

After an evening of fine eats and good drinking, we went back to the Reading Room Lounge for some live piano music and some night caps.  I was fortunate enough to find a port that was almost as old as I am and cost less than half.  It was a good evening.  But it wasn’t over yet.  For my last act, I went out and tried to do some long-exposure photography.  But between all the good food and wine, I soon gave in to the beautiful yet strong call to sleep (hence why this post is late).  Tomorrow would be our last morning/afternoon in Bar Harbor.  And there is just one more item on my list of things to do.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Five Bar Harbor Trip Day Five Bar Harbor Trip Day Five   Long exposurey stuff.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four: Living a Landlubber’s Life

     Today was a late start for the first time.  Waking up at 8:30 a.m. I opened my eyes to another rainy cloudy day in Bar Harbor, but this time, we had fog. 

     After checking it out but never eating there, we finally decided to stay in and eat at The Reading Room at our Inn.  The view was wonderful with the fog over the bay.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four

     Seeing as you couldn’t see anything anywhere near the sea, we headed inland to the mountains… which were just as covered in fog.  To many, this would be a drag but honestly, it was a fantastic experience.  I came up with a semi-pseudo deep thought.  Ahem.

“Too often, we see things from afar.  Yet so little do we look at things up close.”

                                                                   -Philosophlicese

     You would maybe be able to see within 20 feet of yourself.  Other than that it was a fog bank everywhere you looked.  Any “view” that might normally be there was replaced with a large white wall.  And it was glorious.   It created an experience like nothing else. 

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four   People wander in the mistBar Harbor Trip Day Four   The mist did not stop the hikers.Bar Harbor Trip Day Four   A stone stairway leading out a basin and back into the fog.Bar Harbor Trip Day Four   This is the view we were promised.

This is the view that I got.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four

     Cadillac Mountain is named after Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, the Frenchman who founded Detroit.  Here’s my fun fact section for the day:  Detroit is actually a French name pronounced something like deh twah.  Try to say it in your most Frenchish accent.  The car company in Detroit was also named after him by its founders. 

     Cadillac Mountain is in the Acadia National Park, a mere 5 minute drive out of Bar Harbor. 

     I also decided to take some time to run around in the mist and quote Lord of the Rings.  Cause I’m a huge nerd like that.  Here’s my shameless self-promotion section for the day: at the end of all of this, I’ll be putting together a video to bring to life some of these stories I’ve told you.  Hopefully it’ll be cool.  If not, at least my one LOTR part might bring some smiles to your lovely faces.  Moving on.

     We drove around the park for awhile but soon fell prey to an outstanding hunger.  Feeling pretty wiped from my “orc hunting” and the hiking around in the mist, we decided to return to town and go check out Geddy’s for some lunch.  Having already been there two nights ago, I was really happy with that decision.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four   Geddy’s!

     Although our bartender from the other night wasn’t there, we still had a great time.  We ordered so much food and it was all good and still so much cheaper than most places.  We had macho nachos served on a hubcap (not used, no worries), salad, lobster roll, chowder, pizza, beer, wine, you name it.  It was just a good fun place to return to. 

     Since we didn’t have much planned and all of the “sights” were essentially out for the day due to extremely awesome fog, we decided to take the day off to chill and wander a bit on our own.  After snapping some photos of the fog in the harbor, my sis and I headed out to Matsumoto Joe’s for some coffee and chill time.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four   The Margaret Todd makes another another appearance.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four   A macchiato and a latte fight off the cold of the rainy foggy day.

     I finally got to feel like a local spending some time sitting in a café, reading a book over some strong coffee and watching the rain mist down on Bar Harbor as the city moved on with its day.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four   My view out of an open door at Matsumoto Joe’s.

     After lazing about for bit we headed back out once more for some eats.  We went to Testa’s, an Italian place right across the street from our Inn.  The food was good.  But more importantly I got to satisfy my port craving.  I was a happy camper. 

     I hate to end with such little content today because I feel like I captured so little of what was a beautiful and fun day.  Like I said before, all the rain and fog could come across like a fun-sucker.  But truth be told, I felt more connected to Bar Harbor because of it.  No longer was it about the big fancy tourist spots but rather it forced many to either watch television in their hotel rooms, or they had to experience the town for it’s little things.  The things that you can only see when you get up close and personal after all the buses and boats give up.  Today was a good day.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Four   A misty Bar Harbor.

     Thanks again folks!  Come back tomorrow for my last full day in the wonderful town of Bar Harbor.  Although it seems another day of rain and fog is ahead of us, we’re going to go back to Acadia National Park to explore an area called Jordan Pond.  After that, the sky is the limit.  All I know is, I’m going to get some much needed sleep.  I’m still sore from all that Heave-Ho-ing.

Bar Harbor Day Three: Lighthouses, Beer Tasting, and lounges. Oh my!

I can’t believe it’s only day three.  I feel like we’ve done so much in so little time already!

Today began around 7 a.m. with a knock at the door to get out of bed for a breakfast on the other side of town.  Despite the feelings of my family, I was quite pleased to find myself walking out to a cool rainy Bar Harbor.  Off to Café This Way.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   It took most of the day to realize that the title of the café was a play on words.  My brain is fried.  White footsteps lead you to the café a block away from the main street.

After another lovely breakfast, still keeping with the challenge, we headed out to wander about a bit before another boating excursion.  We ran into a guy who knew a lot about the stained glass of a church we were looking at.  Although it was closed that early in the morning, we would be back later to check it out.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   Awesome church with some sweet stained glass.

The point of our aquatic exploration was to check out the coastline of the mainland as well as some of the surrounding islands and their lighthouses.  With the cold and the rain I had to wear three layers and purchase a hat from a shop nearby.  I think the weather is in cahoots with the tourist traps.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   It’s not my usual yellow hat but I love it.  I say that mostly because it kept me alive.  The whale helped a lot.

We headed out into the bay and beyond, catching some sweet sights, learning some history, and riding most of the way up front on the bow, disregarding the cold winds and rain.  It was worth it.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three     I feel like I’m flying!

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three    That’s really where Martha Stewart lives.  She has the gravel and pines all washed and evenly dispersed every year.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   A ferry takes a dump truck across a bay.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   A lobsterman goes through his recent haul, tossing out a lobster he can’t use.  There are only certain lobsters that you are allowed to keep.

Although the journey was nowhere near over, I finally submitted to the rain and cold and retreated to the galley for something warm to drink.  My drink of choice?  Hot chocolate with a splash of whiskey.  The crewman working the galley gave me a look of confusion but was happy to help out and let me do as I pleased.  I’m hoping to have it added to the menu in future months.

After about an hour or so, we got to our first lighthouse.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three

And another.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   The sun was in my face, but I swear I could see!  Well, kinda,

We rode around for almost three hours, checking out rich people’s houses and some sweet lighthouses.  All the while, I had a lot of time spent at the front of the bow, imagining what life was like for sailor’s way back in the day,

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   The family fights against the cold to stand at the bow.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   An army of seagulls and a lighthouse.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   A poor attempt at some HDR.  Oh well, gotta start somewhere.  I’m on vacation so I’m gonna play around a bit :P

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   A seal got really close to the ship.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three    A group of fishers taking a break back on the dock.

After our three-hour excursion, we headed back to the mainland for so much needed lunch.  I had seen a place awhile back and wanted to check it out.  To be honest, at this point I had been slightly disappointed in a place or two, but really everything had been delicious.  This place was no exception.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three     The West St. Café Seaside Grill.

We decided to go for a light lunch, primarily soups and salads.  Afterward, we didn’t have any plans so I went back to the Inn to give in to my food coma.

After sitting around for awhile, trying to regain some energy, it was time to go back out and check out that church.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   Another experiment, some long exposure shots.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   And another HDR attempt.

After wandering around some, with more time to kill before cocktails and dinner, I saw with my two eyes, a brewery with both beer and wine tastings.  I knew how I was going to spend my time.

The Bar Harbor brewing company not only makes fine beer and wine, but it also has a great staff of people willing to talk to you about their products and the area.  My Dad and I had a great time talking with the beer guy about our beer experiences, swapping stories and suggestions.  We also got to talk to a couple from Boston.  I love that accent so much.  I wish I could replicate it but I just can’t yet.  But soon!

Then it began.  It felt like the building was swaying.  Turns out, it was me who was swaying.  Apparently the effects of riding a boat for so long made me get all weird and vertigo-y.  Even now as I write this, the room I’m in feels like it’s rocking back and forth atop the water.  Blarg.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three

Enough of that though.  Back out of the brewery, we wandered around and checked out some shops for awhile before going to a place we had been told to go to for dinner.  Galyn’s.

Galyn’s was a nice sounding place.  It was said to have delicious food and the best view of the harbor in the area.  False!  Not only was I disappointed in my meal, but the view was just ok.  I found the view from my Inn’s restaurant to be far superior and allowed for more people to partake in it as they ate their meals.

Insert long rant about how steak should be made and eaten here.  It was their “specialty” and I can confidently say that I could do better with a $5 hunk of whatever meat and some simple seasoning.  This is why I keep arguing for “hole-in-the-wall” joints as opposed to the “big deal fancy-pants” restaurants.  The way I like to eat out on vacation is to find out where the locals go.  It tends to be better and usually cheaper.

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel for some drinks in the lounge.  Aided by live piano music, we enjoyed a classy evening complete with fine cocktails and good company.  Although I was tempted to go out to try some long exposure photography over the bay, I felt the need to return to my room for some much needed sleep.  Oh wait, I’ve got a blog to run!

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   My drink of choice, always, A Manhattan.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Three   The piano man.

Well that’s that for today, folks.  Thanks for reading, as always and come back tomorrow for another update.

We’ve still got a lot of time out here so if you know of any cool things to see or some great food places to try, please comment or tweet at me @Pdidion.

Adventure is out there!

Bar Harbor Day Two: A Bright Early Start

     Day Two of our Maine extravaganza included a solo adventure that took place in the slow early hours of the morning.  Which, if any of you know me personally, you know I hate being up early, especially at 5 a.m.  But this wasn’t so bad.  I went out to catch the sunrise.  And it was grand.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two

     After spending a good hour plus outside, wandering around the bay, enjoying the morning, and getting as many shots of the rising sun as I could (before my camera battery died, bah!), I began to head back to bed when I ran into my parents taking a walk.  We decided to grab some breakfast at a local place called Jeannie’s Breakfast.  The most challenging part of my morning had come: finding a lobster-based breakfast to continue my Maine eating challenge.  I thought for sure I was doomed.  I was wrong.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two  May I present: Lobster Benedict

     After a wonderful breakfast and a couple cups of coffee,  we took to the streets.  It was strange how quite Bar Harbor was this morning.  The streets were empty despite the heavy flow of both vehicular and humanular traffic we had experienced the whole day prior.  Little did I know.  The horde was on its way.

     I figured I could head back to the hotel for a quick rest as I was already feeling sluggish after a long and early creative morning.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two  Main Street in the morning, completely empty.

     And then I saw it.  A 4,000 capacity cruise ship had entered the bay.

Bar Harbor Trip Day TwoBar Harbor Trip Day Two  The tourists are coming!  The Tourists are coming!

     I knew there was only one way to survive.  I had to blend in.  And thus, I received a disguise.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two  Decked out in all vibrant Bar Harbor gear, I was ready to hide in plain sight.

     Donning my new fine apparel, we took to the streets to do some exploring before a sail boat ride around the many small islands in the harbor.  The streets felt a little more normal with life returning to them and shops opening up to lure in people “from away” as the locals say.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two   After hearing good things, we decided to find Stewman’s Downtown, a place we would later go to for dinner.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two   A spiffy olde antique shop.  Sadly, they had no olde cameras around.  I like to collect them.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two     Grr manly things.  Sports.  Booze. Cigars. 

    After some shopping around, we figured we should grab an early lunch before our boat ride.  We were all so hungry we went for the first place we saw, Cherrystones.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two   Lobster and Crab Club and a lovely local beer.

     We still had a decent amount of time before our sail boat experience so we headed to a sweet internet café called The Opera House.  It was quite the sight.  It had a whole room full of computers for gaming, board games, tables, etc.  It was fantastic.  I had enough time to grab a local paper, sit down and read.  It was great.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two    The Opera House’s main lounging room.  Great atmosphere and cool people.

     Now you’d think I would have a trillion shots from a sail boat ride.  Well, you’ve actually seen the boat we rode multiple times already.  It’s that large 4-mast (I don’t know my naval terms) that keeps popping up in my bay pictures, the Margaret Todd.  Other than that there wasn’t much to see.  I had a blast anyway though.  The sea was rather calm and little wildlife showed up, but I got to learn a lot about the area, it’s history, and why Maine has so many lobsters.  But I will provide this shot of my father and I helping to lift the sails.  We volunteered and it was awesome. 

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two   We got to yell “Heave!” “Ho!” 

     Once again, I hate to say the ride was uneventful but nothing spectacular happened.  It was just fun to be out riding around in the bay.  The cool air from the north was cutting through the heat of the day and the bay water spray felt refreshing as it washed away a day of sweat and the stresses of a busy school year.  And best of all, we completely avoided the masses of tourists from the cruise ship.  Two-for.

     We headed back to our Inn for a quick break, some drinks, and some reflections before heading out to Stewman’s Downtown as planned.

     Feeling a little tired of the usual.  I decided to get something a little different.  I got a salad…. a lobster salad.  Boom.  The challenge continues.  I hope this is a tan I’m getting.  If my skins turns red I’ll begin to fear that all of this seafood is turning me into a lobster.

Bar Harbor Trip Day Two   A lobster Cobb salad.  Delicious yet not all that filling.  I’ll need more later.

    Apparently the surrounding area (Acadia) is famous for blueberries.  Or that’s a tourist trap.  Either way, I figured I’d try something Blueberryish.  I went for a local blueberry beer.  It wasn’t overpowering like most fruity beers.  Although it wasn’t my favorite beer, it’s certainly better than most fruit-flavored beers.

     Our group began to fade as Dad went back to the hotel to sleep and after some walking and shopping, my sister Emily went back as well.  My Mum and I weren’t quite ready to end the night at 8:30 so we went out for a drink and a snack at a place an awesome shop-owner suggested.  I bought a sweet mug from him that I’ll have to show later.

     At Geddy’s, my Mum and I ordered some drinks and a small pizza to try out.  We soon began a conversation with a young lady sitting alone at the bar and the bartender.  We had some good laughs and swapped some stories about our experiences in bar harbor.  After ordering a 2 1/2 lb. lobster, the bartender shared his lobster-shell cracking skills with the young lady and we listened intently, learning the tricks of the beast’s defenses.

     We ended the night still rather early but it had been a long day and we had another one coming up the next day.  That didn’t stop me from spending some time on my porch, watching some other Inn residents pass by.  It was a good day.

     Thanks for reading folks!  As I’ve said in other posts, follow me on Twitter @Pdidion if you want some extras and more in-between content.  Check back again tomorrow for another day in Maine.

Bar Harbor Day One: Making Maine

I’ve lived most of my life in mid-western America, travelled out west, visited the south, beached out on the East coast, and once I even saw Canada.  But I’ve never known much about the little pocket of America we call New England, other than that they have a chowder named after them, and a lobster infestation, which seems to bother no one.  It was time for some learning.

Waking up before the mightiest of dawntreaders, I began my day at 3:30 in the a.m. to catch an early flight out of Cincy.  With all of my packing done the “night” prior (4 hours before), my zombie-like waltz from bed to van to plane to plane went rather well.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One        Plane One: obligatory wing photo.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One   Plane Two: a young family catches up on missed sleep with a group nap.

After flying through Detroit, we made it to Bangor, Maine, home of the worst traffic lights and not much else.  I would reserve judgment for after arriving at my planned destination of Bar Harbor.  But things weren’t looking good.  Why are there so many cars, kayaks, and campers here?Bar Harbor Trip Day One     Bangor Airport.

Tourists.  Tourists everywhere.  Tourists on the street, tourists in the shops, tourists in the trees.  It felt like I was entering Disneyworld.

We weaved through the map-wielding, photo-posing posses to get to our hotel, The Bar Harbor Inn.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     Dad was overwhelmed by the “America” of our hotel.

We couldn’t check in yet as it was still too early.  So we gathered behind our hotel to an outdoor yellow-umbrella’d restaurant called the Terrace Grille.  Bring on the lobster.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One

Bar Harbor Trip Day One

The food was rather good and the view was spectacular.  Overlooking the harbor, I ate my first bite of Maine lobster.  And it was good.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     Turning my head to this view was the only thing that could distract me from my lobster roll and sangria.

It has become my goal to complete the Maine eating challenge: that being, to eat lobster somehow in every meal whether it be lobster mac n’ cheese or lobster rolls.

After our first successful meal, we still had time to kill before we could check in.  Time to explore the town and figure out what this Bar Harbor place is all about.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One    Priority number one: survey the area for next meal.  All menus must be read.

After wandering around for a good while, checking out food places, walking through parks, and toying in shops, I feel like I learned a lot about Bar Harbor and its flock of tourists pretty fast.  And I liked what I saw.

First and most importantly: it’s dog friendly.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     Nearly every shop had a water bowl outside and a sign that welcomed pets to hang about the shop.

Bar Harbor is home to some sweet olde looking places.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     The Criterion Theater opened in 1932 but has recently been struggling for financial reasons.  It was a popular hangout back in the day for the “summer colonists” as the locals called them.

It’s a really good place for family and fun.  With all the shops and foods, there is no way you won’t find something for everyone.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     Whether it’s ice cream.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     A splash in a pond.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     A well-needed break.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     Time to work on your moves.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One   Some adventure.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One   A romantic getaway.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One    Or riding your bike into the harbor.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One    Props to this kid, he was glorious.

I’m beginning to see the appeal to this place and understand the massive army of tourists, heeding the call to fight off the lobster armies amassing in the harbor.  It will be a gruesome buttery fight, but only one side can win.

After setting up some tours (when in Rome…) we were finally ready for another wave of lobster.  But first, in normal Didion family tradition… Cocktail hour in the hotel room.

Bar Harbor Trip Day One     Cocktail hour.  Cocktail hour never changes.

The night went on with another successful stamp in my Maine eating challenge book.  I ate many things from the sea.  But after a long day of travelling we were all ready to turn in pretty early.  But tomorrow, the real adventure begins now that my feet are wet.  Which might actually be true when I go out to catch the sun-rise over the harbor for some obligatory vacation pics.

As always, thanks for reading folks.  If there’s anything you think I should see or do while I’m up here.  Let me know!  There is a handy comment box somewhere around here somewhere.  Also, if you want some inbetweeners and extras, follow me on twitter @Pdidion.

More to come!

So Far So Good in Philly

After 21 hours of being awake I am finally in Philly.  And now that I’m here, it’s time for some exploration.  Needless to say, I am not currently on speaking terms with my body.

First off, a little recap.  The News Record asked me to sacrifice the tail end of my spring break (watching Star Trek on my Clifton apartment couch) to traverse across the nation (three states really) and capture the essence (a couple dunk shots, crowd cheers, and some tears) of the NCAA tournament in Philadelphia, PA.  

I leaped from my couch, turned off my Trek, donned my photographer’s uniform, and departed at maximum warp!  

Starting the trip at midnight in Clifton was an interesting challenge.  But it was either that or wake up super early Friday morning to be able to make it to the 2:45 p.m. game.  Armed with Red Bulls, 5-hour Energy bottles, and beef jerky, the sports editor Josh and I headed out.

We met very little resistance in the way of speed traps.  Really I think midnight and into the morning might be the best time to travel.  Not only are there very few cops out to grab you whilst travelling at high speeds, but there is also very little traffic to deal with.  Plus when you do stop at those weird 24-hour places, you run into the most interesting of characters.  Josh and I ran into a woman working at a Burger King who blamed a lot of things on cell phones.  I couldn’t understand everything she said, but so long as I received my bacon, egg, and cheese croissantwich at 5:30 in the morning, I found her to be pleasant as a peach.  Apparently fake IDs and computer lock-ups are in cahoots with cellular devices. Who knew?

After some driver-swapping and some nap-having, we made it to Philly around 9 a.m. Friday morning.

5 hours and 45 minutes until game start.

We were able to convince the parking attendants that we were “THE MEDIA” and attained a prime parking space.  Hopefully our car will be there when we return.

Life in the press box is really interesting.  After going through the casual bag check, we got our credentials, media packets, weird arm band, and headed to the press room to snag a spot to drop our gear and do some preliminary exploring.  But first, more coffee.

The press room is an interesting place when in full-swing.  Imagine a room full of journalists… cause that’s exactly what it is.  Both photographers and writers are hanging out and talking about assignments, swapping stories, writing, editing, blogging, tweeting, getting free food (best perk of the job), and generally having a good time.  It’s a gossiper’s dream.  So much information is flying around, I had to put noise-cancelling headphones on just to think straight enough to write this.  

Anyhoo, more on this later, I’m off to explore!  With all this caffeine and no sleep, I’m getting a little antsy.  Go ahead and check out my twitter feed (right side of the screen if you’re viewing the desktop version of my blog) @Pdidion for some little inbetweener nuggets (thoughts, pics, jokes, things).  I’ll post some Basketball pics later too I think.