Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine

this summer my mom decided she had to get away.   she has been through some hard times in new jersey the past few years, and really just needed a place to re-coop and gather her thoughts.  my Aunt (her sister) lives in bar harbor, maine.  if you have been there, you know how beautiful it is.  if you haven’t, I would highly recommend visiting.  it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. the fresh air, colors, food, community, water, rocks, nature, amazing homes, I could go on and on. it’s just great.  

luckily my aunt’s home is not only in a prime location but also has an attached apartment she was looking to rent for the season.   my mom really wasn’t sure about how she would travel there, and knew she couldn’t drive herself. of course Joe and I offered to drive her up there.  

We had nothing else going on, we both love driving, and most importantly we both love my mom. she came here early wednesday morning, ready to load us up and get going. she also had her two adult cats, who are not used to road travel.  the cats weren’t that happy with the trip. luckily we made it in one straight shot with no problems, took about 10 hours.  once we got to Bar Harbor we were exhausted but so excited to stretch our legs and, well, get a beer.  we took a walk downtown in time to see the last few minutes of a setting sun.  once the sun was all the way down, we found ourselves at Lompoc Cafe. my aunt highly recommended it to us, for a non-touristy laid back spot.  non-touristy is right! even with exact directions from someone we were still confused as to if we were making the correct turns.  it’s down a small road set in a few blocks from Main St, but was perfect.  we sat at the bar and had friendly service and a few local beers.  perfect nightcap for us.  at this point we were just so excited to start the next day.  I think we set out alarm for 6 a.m.  we weren’t missing anytime on this trip.

the first full day Joe and I set out with no idea of where we were going.  Bar Harbor is on Mount Desert Island, and it’s just all so beautiful.  we knew if we drove long enough in any direction we would hit water, or find something interesting.  we ended up hitting Seal Harbor.  a small village with some of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen.  we walked around on a little beach then got back in the car and headed up road that looked promising.  it lead us nowhere fast but we kept with it and eventually spotted a small pull of that had a sign reading “Cooks Overlook”  perfect! after walking down a man made path/maze we ended up one of the the chilliest, magnificent cliffs.  it was perfect.  it was deserted.  there was a rainbow and the bluest water as far as we could see.  we sat there for about an hour, then headed back into town.  in the town of Bar Harbor there is a path that runs along the ocean called the “Shore Path.”  it’s a loose gravel windy path with beautiful homes to one side and a beautiful view to the other.  seriously, the houses are ridiculous! I want to live or at least stay in one of them for an extended period of time.  we ended up finding our way home to my Aunt’s house for a lovely steak dinner.  ended off the night with a must-visit to Ben & Bills Chocolate Emporium, for some of the finest ice cream in Maine.  it was a very successful, yet tiring day.   our bed welcomed us well that night.

we stopped in New Hampshire for some grub. check out our packed vehicle.

finally! felt so good to see this sign, even though we were still about 5 hours from our destination.

this was not a sunset to miss.

looking up Main Street from the water.

Ship Yard Brewery. based out of Portland, ME.

The Criterion is an old movie theatre in downtown Bar Harbor. I distinctly remember two movies I saw here as a kid, ‘Wild America’ and ‘Men In Black’ … classics, right?!

Aunt Petunia’s garden.

Seal Harbor

a rainbow in the ocean. how lovely!

we decided to pretend we were in the show ‘Lost’ he he he he!

is it Jack? or Joe??

I told Joe to try to move the earth

he couldn’t.

smoochie boochie!

Joe’s Pete and Elda’s shirt, get ready to see a lot of it. it’s one of his favorites.

livin on the edge …

my turn to be in Lost. I was trying to be Kate but couldn’t take myself seriously…

I thought maybe Sun was a better choice for me. I tended to the plants and thought about Jin, wondered where he was.

I ended with Claire. if you can’t tell, I am screaming out “CHA-LEE!!!”

more of Seal Harbor, taken on the ride back down

I just love daisies. an entire hill was covered in them, I made Joe pull over so I could take pictures.

we walked past this house on our way to the Shore Path. we also decided that this is a dream home.

a perfect summer supper

AAAh, waking up this morning was so perfect. The cool mornings here are extremely refreshing in comparison to muggy hot tri-state temperatures. There is also something so perfect about the humidity here. It’s doing great things for my skin and my hair . This would be our last day in Maine, so we wanted to make the most of it. I also wanted to really head into Acadia National Park and show Joe some of my favorites places to go.

First stop was Sand Beach. The only real “beachy” feel in the park, paired with water that is basically freezing, about 45 degrees. The hike we took to reach the beach was long and we were sweating, Joe said he was going to jump right into the ocean. I just looked at him. He didn’t believe me how cold it was. One foot in this water and your entire body will immediately cool down. I lived in Bar Harbor for an entire summer when I was in my teens and I think I only really went “under” in the water here twice, it’s that cold. After Sand Beach we headed to Thunder Hole. My favorite. Thunder Hole is a natural formation of rocks where the ocean water spills into and creates a loud “thunder” boom and a huge rush of water. We had a meek day to visit Thunder Hole. Water was hardly even making a splash.

We were feeling malnourished and tired so we hiked back. We saw an old couple pull up in their camper, slowly fetch their folding chairs from the inside and carefully walked onto the cliffs. The woman stayed near the top and the old man made his way so slowly down near the edge. It’s such a beautiful view, and they both sat separately, eating their sandwiches. Joe and I watched the whole thing, it was that adorable. I love cute old couples, maybe a bit too much.

Once back in town, we stopped at a place around the corner and had a few appetizers and beers. Got tired, went back to the house and took a nap. We had reservations that evening a downtown restaurant, Gaylen’s. They have a covered porch with three or four tables set up, I’d recommend a reservation for one of these tables, around sunset. The food was fresh and delicious and the service was impressive. My Mom joined us and we shared a bottle of white wine. Walked home, hung out, had one final hang session.

1. My Mom & Aunt dancing as we pulled out of the driveway
2. Cooling off in the ocean. Aaah so refreshing
3. Sand Beach
4. Joe is a daredevil and decided to climb down the cliff. dislike.
5. I did not change coloring of this picture. How refreshing is this picture?
6. The old couple
7. Sand Beach from the road above.

1 & 2. Thunder Hole. Not moving, as you can see.
3. How beautiful and green is Maine.
4. Bar Harbor Ale / Shipwreck Brewing
5. My beautiful Mother enjoying Bar Harbor and Gaylen’s porch

[ my mom and I hanging out on Main Street after dinner ]

Next on our agenda? Renting a car from Enterprise and heading to Boston to visit some of my favorite girls in the world.


Dear Food Network,

Dear Food Network,
I have a bone to pick with you. I think you are trying to steal my boyfriend. You run late on filming on a regular basis, you make him come in early and leave late. You feed him meals so when he comes home he isn’t hungry when I am. I think you are trying to come in between us and I am less then thrilled about this. Since you are crucial to our survival I have stayed quiet about this, but I gotta let you know.. I am counting the days until you and your buddy Iron Chef are out of our lives for a little bit. I used to think you were cool and sometimes I even DVR’ed you, but I’m over it. You get on my nerves!! Stop being so intrusive you super popular tv network and employed of my lovey! Thanks, maybe we can be friends again in late August but I’ll prob be mad at you a week later when he starts work again.
Sincerely, Ashley.



today i stained our new dresser. while watching an entire season of treme.
then, i painted my face.  productive!

i used Burt’s Bees clay mask.  i really enjoyed the scent and outcome.  i love face masks.  then again, who wouldn’t?


Broke as a joke.

finding a respectable job here hasn’t been as easy as i thought it might be.  i really hadn’t realized that food service jobs here are actually careers, and every restaurant i’ve applied to wants nothing to do with me since i don’t have 3+ years of nyc experience.  that being said, money is tight.  we moved here with a semi comfortable cushion of savings, but that went fast. rent is due soon, and the groundbreaking heat records are not fun.  we researched the cheapest way to eat and drink and were lead to Gowanus Yacht Club.  don’t let the name fool you, it’s not a yacht club! it’s more of a clubhouse with beer, snack food and hipsters.  we found two seats amongst the mismatched picnic tables and ordered nachos and a hot dog each.  they also have a deal where you get two canned beers for $5, but they are just in a bucket and you get what you get.  the nachos were just chips with cheese wiz and some jalapenos, and the hot dogs were your basic bbq hot dog.  after we finished eating and a few rounds of Black Label and Strohs, a summer down pour rolled in and our check was thrown in our direction as we chugged our beers.  we left as the bartender was pulling a tarp over the register (this establishment is seasonal and completely outdoors)  we were drenched within seconds and it really just felt so good to forget about money for a second and just laugh in the rain.  once we got home we took Stinky for a little walk and then changed into dry clothes and everything felt so much better.  thanks, Gowanus Yacht Club.



the past four nights we have fallen asleep in the living room. fans on full blast, going through the seasons of The Office (netflix for wii has saved me.) the stillness of our apartment makes it impossible to actually “go” to bed.  last night (err, this morning) i believe i fell asleep around 12:40 a.m.  woke up again near 3:30 and moved us to bed.  i couldn’t get back to sleep.  this is rare for me.  i actually pride myself on being able to sleep in almost any and every situation.  well, i laid there.  wasn’t happening.  i actually felt like i was trying to keep my eyes closed… this is new for me.   i gave up, came to the living room and put on Harry Potter.  i trolled craigslist and facebook and checked on my tax refund check.  thankfully it was mailed yesterday so I should receive it soon.   huge sigh of relief.  but, I still can’t sleep.  Stinky and i are laid out on the couch, watching the sunrise over Prospect Park.   These birds are singing such loud songs it looks like I may never get back to sleep. oh no.


Bar treasure map?

Heather’s husband has this nifty thing he does.  he researches bars, beers and routes for specific and rare draft beers.  he then makes what he calls a “treasure map” and its a very organized printed out google map, of where to go.   sometimes it’s a bar we have been to, but sometimes Nathan leads us in a new and interesting direction.  after a few beers at home, we headed to Bier Kraft, Bar Great Harry, and some other place in Cobble Hill.  the map had a few other places pointed out, but we were tired, hungry and already a bit intoxicated so we just came back and grubbed instead.

[ remember cat’s cradle? ]

[ Bier Kraft not only has a constantly rotating draft list and an enormous selection of bottled beers, they also have an amazing sandwich menu. they are a bit pricey at $10 each, but can easily feed two and also come with a bag of chips. my favorite is their roast beef, but everything is delicious. the staff is incredibly helpful and very educated on everything the store carries. they also offer growlers which makes me very, very happy. ]

[ the bar had a bottle of Sam Adams Millennium, unopened. this beer is 21% ABV and is priced at $60.00 for an OUNCE. Heather had just gotten a promotion at her job, so Nathan decided to order an ounce. it was quite the ordeal, the bartender was shocked and people at the bar were watching as he uncorked this autographed/numbered bottle. its consistency is not one of beer, but closer to a cognac. it was very strong. we all got to taste, er.. touch our lips to it =P ]

[ i love the reflectors here ]

[ love birds ]


Miss Liz

one of my dearest friends is Liz.  we met online back when internet friends were still taboo (1999, AOL, my friends).  our friendship is strong as stone and we live halfway across the country from each other, liz in missouri and me here in new york.  liz comes to visit me two times a year and we have somuchfun!  this summer she will be stationed in new hope, pa.  working for world service corps and lending her brilliance and huge heart to a local church summer camp.  it’s almost hard for me to know she is so close but we aren’t hanging out together.. so when i heard the camp was making an impromptu trip to the statue of liberty you better bet I rushed to get there asap.  i legit dropped all plans and got right on a train.  we ran basically in slow-mo to each other and hopped on a ferry to see lady lib.  i met her camp friends and we all headed to ellis island.  liz pulled some strings and instead of touring all the well, touristy spots of nyc she was able to come back to brooklyn and see my apartment and also have dinner with us! i am so glad this little visit was made possible.  she tried to pull a few more strings and see if she could stay the night.  just picture us, feeling like we are little girls again asking our moms if we can sleep over because we were having so much fun and didn’t want it to stop!  it wasn’t possible for her to stay since she was obligated to the camp.. but we were so happy the visit happened at all. i love me some Liz time.

[ how delicious does this beer look? | we decided on eating at corner burger.  they have an amazing menu which has never failed me… the two times we have been! ha ha. but this time, i decided on the “texas burger” which has pepper jack cheese and a fried egg on top. it was obviously one of the best choices and we of course had a side order of their fried pickles ]

[ liz, texting for her desperate approval to stay | she bought us a bottle of absolut brooklyn as a housewarming gift. this vodka is delicious. its an apple and ginger flavor | off topic, but I had to share this bowl of cherries | here we are, reunited on the ferry! ]


Hanson and Drake? no thanks.

even though i have the slowest internet connection known to man, i must speak about this hanson concert real quick. we just got back from the most insane group of people ever. as soon as we exited the subway onto fulton street it was insanity, people everywhere, bolting in one direction. i must say now, hanson was playing with drake. i had no clue who drake was.. i guess i have been living underneath a rock because he is america’s #1 rapper? he sings the “you da you da best, you da best i eva had” song…whatever. i still really don’t care but i legit thought this drake was an emo band. heather thought it was a little boy, similar to justin bieber and although joe knew who drake was, he was also expecting a different drake. we find Heather, walk to the pier. it’s insane and “Ninjasonik” is going nuts playing beats that make you feel like your head is going to explode. we quickly bolt, knowing that hanson will be on second. slip into a nearby bar, order three beers and some appetizers to split. after eating, we head back into the insanity. it got worse. not only could you not *see* the stage, from anywhere, but there were also manic people EVERYWHERE trying to get to god knows where, because there was no where to go. at one point we were just standing there, not talking to each other, and I was covered in dirty dredlocks, swaying back and forth over my bare skin. i wanted to die. people everywhere, pushing, being ignorant and just rude. I saw several little hanson fans find themselves out of the crowd, hysterically crying and looking like they just got out of a hardcore battle. about an hour later we heard a cop come through blowing a whistle and screaming “it’s canceled!” obviously, we bolted (yes, there was a lot of bolting going on. it’s the only word to describe the method of moving.) apparently after we had already left hell broke loose and people were throwing chairs, bottles, pulling out guns and getting stabbed. luckily we were able to savage the night and headed to the meat packing district for drinks at The Brass Monkey.  between the run yesterday, the the walking today. my legs, they be’a’wobbly.  time to watch some How I Met Your Mother and eat the brownies i am SO glad i made earlier today.

[ Heather and I being totally happy to be at the seaport. This was entering hour two of waiting around while they decided to not tell us the show was canceled | the crowd at the pier before it got violent ]


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