Sunday, September 14, 2014
We’re coming to the end of our 2-week stay in Acadia National Park. We leave Tuesday so we don’t have much time to complete the remaining items on our original eating-out itinerary. As I mentioned in a previous post, we’ve vacationed in Acadia many times over the years so this visit as full-time RV’ers seems more like a vacation than just another stop on our travels. As a result, we’ve blown our restaurant budget big time for the month of September but it’s been worth it. We had a wonderful breakfast at the 2 Cats Inn. We’ve been coming here for years and if you’re ever in Bar Harbor, we highly recommend you give it a try.
Today we’re heading back to Jordan Pond House for tea and popovers. We were here last week for lobster stew and popovers and since we don’t know when we’ll be back in Acadia again, another visit is in order. The Jordan Pond House has been serving tea and popovers since the late 1890’s, long before the national park was established.
We park in the lower lot down by the water on Jordan Pond. The walk through the woods gives T&E an opportunity to take care of business and work off a little energy before we’re seated at a table on the lawn. It’s much less crowded today when compared to our visit last week. Cooler weather and the start of the school year have thinned out the crowds all over Mount Desert Island.
Popovers are served with butter and strawberry preserves. We stop in the Jordan Pond House gift shop to buy a jar of preserves before heading back to the truck.
Monday, September 15, 2014
We leave tomorrow so we spend most of today getting ready to go. We like to arrive at a new place with a clean Airstream so I vacuum under those places the broom can’t reach. Living the RV lifestyle is not all fun and games.
It’s around 5 PM as we load up T&E in the truck for a night out at Thurston’s Lobster Pound. I put on shirt with a collar for the first time in months. Cindy’s her usual self…always looking good. It’s still a little early so we stop at the Ship Harbor Trail for a pre-dinner hike. It’s a 1.3 mile loop trail than runs along the coastline. We make lots of stops along the way, not to admire the scenery but rather to let T&E visit with the many dogs we see.
45 minutes later, we’re back in the truck for the short drive over to Bernard ME, home of Thurston’s Lobster Pound. Like most authentic lobster pounds, there’s no wait staff so we get in line to place our order. The retired couple ahead of us is from San Francisco and this is their first time eating lobster. We’re no experts either so we speculate on the differences between soft and hardshell lobsters.
The lobsters are priced by the pound. The price per pound for Chicks (~1 pound) is the cheapest, followed by halves (~1-1/2 pounds) then selects (> 2 pounds). We learn that soft shell lobsters have recently molted and have slightly less meat than their hardshell brethren. Soft shells are sweeter and easier to crack. They’re also less expensive. Cindy orders a soft shell halve. The cashier pulls out a frisky lobster from the tank in front of us and places it on the scale. It weighs in at a little over 1-1/2 pounds. I order a hardshell halve but they only have soft shells in this size. Cindy and I want to do a taste comparison between hard and soft shells so I move up to a “smallish” select hardshell. After poking around in the tank holding the selects, the cashier pulls one out and asks “How about this one?” It looks big to me but I give her the OK. She places it on the scale and announces “2.9 pounds.” I’m doing the math in my head. This is going to be one expensive dinner. I order a locally brewed IPA and Cindy orders a glass of chardonnay. We’re given a number to place on our table and our 2 lobsters go into a mesh bag. These guys will be a bright red next we see them (which makes us sad in a way).
We head down to the bar area to wait for our lobsters. Our new friends from San Francisco are already seated at the end of the bar so we grab two stools nearby. Turns out, they’re full-time RV’ers and are staying at the same campground as we are. This is their first time on the east coast and they have lots of questions about how best see the fall foliage. 20 minutes go by and their lobsters arrive. Thurston’s has provided them with written instructions on how to eat lobster which they follow to a T. Another 5 minutes pass and ours arrive. I’m embarrassed by the size of mine, it seems so opulent. I tell everyone they were out of small ones so I had no choice.
We order a couple more drinks as we pick through our lobsters. We agree that soft shells are much sweeter and Cindy would definitely order these in the future. Our San Francisco friends enjoy theirs as well. And as for my monster-lobster? I’m hooked. It took me 3 times longer than Cindy to finish mine. I’m not sure I can ever go back to a normal-size lobster.
“So long Acadia.”
Tomorrow we’re headed to Camden Hills State Park in Camden Maine, one of the prettiest towns along the Maine coast. After that, we’re going to Freeport, home of LL Beane. We also need to have our batteries looked at in Portland. They haven’t been holding a charge so I think they’re shot. We’ll probably install some new Lifeline AGM batteries in anticipation for going solar in November.by