Friday, July 4, 2008

Day 4 In Maine—Bar Harbor July 4th

We decided to sleep through the 6am blueberry pancake breakfast in Bar Harbor—Daddy made us pancakes at 8am instead! Then we headed toward Mt. Desert Island for the Bar Harbor 4th of July Parade. We drove to the Acadia National Park Visitor’s Center & then biked into Bar Harbor as we’d been warned about the traffic. The nice park ranger assured us it was an easy 3 mile trip mostly downhill into Bar Harbor. We started out with a .6 mile incline to another parking area no less. Anyway, we made it into town & found a good spot to watch the parade. The families on either side of us were very nice. Matt & one man found a common bond over IU! The man had on a 7 star IU hat—one star for each IU soccer NCAA title. He’s a faculty member who summers at the MDI bioresearch lab—he had previously taught in Vermont & they have been spending summers here for 10 years or so. The other family is from Bangor, Maine—5 daughters! It was an enjoyable parade as the kiddos got WAY too much candy. Rachel also got a tree service sweatshirt tossed right to her!

After the parade, we followed the crowd to the ‘ball field’ for the 4th of July festival & lobster races. Luke bet a dollar on Little Tubby and won; therefore doubling his money—that he later spent on a small stuffed lobster. Rachel bet on 2Cats & came in a close second. They had children’s games benefiting Special Children’s Friends—united way service like Head Start at home. The boy & girl won some tiny animals as prizes & were super happy! We walked into town to find a place for lunch. We ate at Tapley’s which is a convenience store, gas station & diner all in one! We also found a laundromat because someone woke up and was ‘really sweaty’. Let’s just say that it was an unfortunate accident of a very tired little person. We rode an Island Explorer bus back to the visitor’s center to get the car & head back to Bar Harbor. We decided since we had laundry to do, we’d might as well face the traffic. We started laundry & went back to the park to leave the car & play at the playground.

We also picked up a geocache along the Shore Path, a crushed stone path along the shore that is over 100 years old. Then we explored Main Street, got our nature/fireworks cruise tickets & found a place for dinner.Mama biked back to the laundry, folded & put it in the car then found a parking space closer to the pier. Daddy & the kids went shopping! They found a great deal on some North Face hiker sandals for Rachel—unusual for daddy to shoe shop!

Dinner at Route 66 was an eyeful & a stomachful! Yummy food and a great atmosphere! Off to the pier for our nature cruise. We saw the harbor & learned some about the history of the area, saw nature—birds, seals, harbor porpoises, trees, landscape & etc.

a view from the boat of a scooner & the bar harbor inn
After about 90 minutes, we docked to watch the fireworks. Our boat was about 50 yards from the town pier where they launched the fireworks from! We enjoyed watching the men with flares hand light the fireworks individually—didn’t know they still did them that way. We hiked back to the car at the end & spent WAY too much time getting off the island and back to camp.

Tomorrow is exploring Acadia NP!
The simmonds family

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