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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Maine in Bloom

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acadia national park blueberries

Last week my best friend Mary visited for the first time since fall 2017. I was so excited and had a million plans for us, of course, all revolving around being outdoors. Mary arrived late Saturday night and so did a ton of rain and fog. There were a few moments when the sun would peep through, but mostly it was dark and wet the entire time she was here. The whole time she was here, I was griping about the weather, constantly wishing aloud that it wasn't so foggy and constantly trying to reassure her that where we were did indeed have a beautiful view when there wasn't fog as thick as peanut butter covering the coast.

maine beachcombing

Mary kept telling me that all the places that we were visiting were beautiful and she was having fun, but I felt like she was just saying that to be polite. I brought her to Owls Head State Park because I wanted her to see the view of the nearby mountains from the beach, but they were hidden. We ended up beachcombing for a while and I found sea glass at Owls Head for the first time ever-- since this is a popular spot, the beaches are usually picked clean and I've never had any luck in the past. But on this day, with the weather being a little stormy, I found a handful of beautiful sea glass...and some shellfish.

owl's head state park maine summer

Mary and I climbed down the back of the hill that the lighthouse is on and I complained about how muddy it was the whole time. Meanwhile, Mary kept exclaiming about all the blooming tiger lilies, how good the air smelled (pine trees & sea salt-- I wish I could bottle that smell), and the schooners passing by through the fog. 

maine tidepools

During her visit, Mary and I spent a lot of time by the ocean and looking in tidepools. I was complaining because I could only find the same 'ol things in the tidepools-- barnacles, periwinkles, and blue mussels. Mary was intrigued because she lives in Florida, so she isn't used to rocky beaches and tidepools. She was perfectly content climbing all over the rocks and exploring for hours.

cadillac mountain acadia national park

By the time we visited Acadia National Park, I toned down the Debbie Downer attitude a bit. Acadia is always beautiful and it's difficult to be grumpy while I'm there. Sure, seeing the view from the top of Cadillac Mountain is stunning, but being up there in the fog is so calming, especially when you go off the paved walkways and down the mountain a bit. The dense fog helps you forget the hundreds of tourists at the summit.

Honestly, I think the thing that cheered me up the most was that it's blueberry season right now. Cadillac mountain was covered in little wild blueberries. I didn't know if I was allowed to pick them or if that would go against the Leave No Trace principles, so I checked Acadia's Twitter account, and their most recent tweet said that I could harvest one-half gallon. Although I've lived in Maine for almost 3 years, this was the first time I had ever eaten wild blueberries right off the bush and it was the best. I was having a major Blueberries for Sal moment...minus the bears.

midcoast maine summer

Usually I enjoy the dense fog that we get here on the coast but I was so stressed out that Mary wasn't going to enjoy her time here simply because of it. I was convinced that she would think it was ugly here and I want all of my loved ones to understand why I moved so far away, so I want them to see Maine at its best. It wasn't until I started reviewing all of the photos that I took during her visit that I realized Mary wasn't just trying being polite. Maine is still absolutely beautiful in the gloomy fog, and I'm lucky to live here.

beech hill preserve rockport maine

Are you an anxious hostess like I am? What do you do to renew your appreciation of where you live? 
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