Maine & Canada Part II – I'm Lovin' It

In one of our massively long drives to somewhere that I forget, we stopped by a McDonalds for a quick lunch

Hmmm.. something's fishy...

Notice something a lil different?

It’s a lobster roll!  (three to be exact)  I love how McDonald’s has specialty food depending on the region.  I wasn’t in the mood for more lobster, so I got a blueberry & raspberry sundae instead.  (I was carsick from trying to edit pictures in the back seat…ugh makes me want to puke just thinking about it)

Ad on the outside door

One of the cool things we saw while we were up there was Thunder Cave in Ovens Natural Park.  It’s really similar to Thunder Hole in Acadia if you’re familiar with that.  If not, look below!

Nature's fart (shart?)

I’m no expert as to why it occurs.  A quick google on it suggests that there is a cave slightly below the water line.  When the ocean pulls back, air is allowed into it.  But when the water comes back with the next wave, the air gets compressed until the pressure is so high that the air rushes out resulting in a thunderous sound and an explosion of water.  Maybe.  Whatever the reason, it’s pretty fun to watch and wait for the next big one.

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

Another neat place [if you can stand the mud & swarms of mosquitoes] is Hopewell Rocks.  It’s got nifty rock formations that you can go up to and explore.

Snails!

Brian and I started exploring the place and when we got close to the shore there were all these little black rocks under our feet. Crunch, crunch.

Except.. wait a minute.. those aren’t rocks!  They’re thousands of snails!  I wonder if those suckers are edible?  There’s enough to feed a small nation.

In the bottom left picture you can see all the trail patterns in the mud made by these snails.

Hopewell Rocks at high tide

This is what the place looks like at high tide. It happens really quick! Probably cuz this place holds the world record for highest tides (up to 14 meters!)

I will remember you, J

Ah yes, as “guessed” from my first post, we got our grub on in Portland, Maine at J’s Oyster.  But alas, their famous bucket of clams were out of commission due to the deluge of non-stop rain.  Apparently, concerns about pollution from runoff due to the heavy rains caused just about all of Maine’s clam flats to close down.  Arg!  You win again, nature!

So we “settled” for mussels and lobster.  Not half bad.  Notice what’s missing in the lobster roll.  No mayo and celery.  Oh yes, the pure, unadulterated, virgin lobster roll.  And it’s stuffed to the brim!  And nicely wrapped in lettuce and a toasted buttered roll.  Deeeelicious!  (And for only $12!)

Three Fishermen

Here’s a pic I snapped of some fishermen at Two Lights State Park in Maine.  Seems kinda ballsy of them to stand so close to the surf!  But they probably know what they’re doing.

Well, that concludes my super quick recap of the last 3 days of our trip.  And as usual, here’s the rest of the post of some of my favorite pics!

 

More Pics I Like

 

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg’s a World Heritage Site famed for its brightly colored buildings and unique architecture.  Bright is right!

My brother hates cilantro

‘Em be some intense colors!

Tucker's Tunnel

Yet another sea cave (in addition to Thunder Cave)

Lichen covered tree

Fern wave

Bend of Light

I had my brother pose for me in this one.  I really like the way it came out!

Blue sky??

The sky at last! Except we were in our car leaving Canada.  I took this picture through the car window.  But man, look at the beautiful clouds!

Portland Headlight

Driving home from Moncton, New Brunswick takes 14 hours so we split up the drive and spent a night in Portland.  The next day we decided to explore the area real quick before embarking on another 8 hour drive.

This is Portland Headlight, the oldest operating and most photographed lighthouse in Maine.  It’s located in Fort Williams Park -a reaaally pretty place for a date (or an esession) if you bring your significant other ;)

It was partially cloudy plus you can see a thick layer of fog looming in the background.  Can you see the tiny dark speck in the fog close to the horizon??  It looks like it’s a piece of dust on your monitor (except it follows the image when you scroll).

Phantom lighthouse

Here’s that speck zoomed in.  It looks like a ghost lighthouse.  Pretty neat, yea?

Cloud and fog

The fog’s starting to get closer. Eh, time to leave!

Happy flowers

Crashing Surf

I really like the way this last picture came out. It has kind of a serene feel to it despite the foaming sea.

Thanks for visiting and come again!

Maine, Canada, and ….. Mother Nature

Bad weather & travel -the two go together like a hand in a glove.  I seem to have a knack for attracting storm clouds whenever and wherever I go traveling. No, seriously. If you recall, just last year it rained almost everyday throughout my week long trip to Banff.   But the best example dates back a few years during my traveling heyday when I used to romp around all corners of Japan. While I was supposed to be “studying” the Japanese language, I hiked and backpacked roughly a total of 22 days …of which it rained 17 of those days. 17 days!  Actually, “rain” is a bit of an understatement.. That’s including a 4 day blizzard that I was stuck in and another 4 days of hurricane-like winds on top of a mountain.  You’d think the list would stop there, but that’s just the beginning, baby!

But okay, so the weather can turn south time to time. No big deal, right? Right, so my folks and I decide to go on a nice family vacation together to Maine & Nova Scotia for a week.  After all, how bad can mother nature get?

 

I mean, c’mon…

 

mom, dad, and my brother versus the ocean.

 

Holy smoking mother of …!!

 

Here’s how it went down. 3 days of constant rain and fog at Acadia National Park.  Driven to frustration, we bid farewell to Maine and made our way towards Halifax, Nova Scotia.  On the way, we thought we’d stop by Schoodic Peninsula.  Yea, it’s still part of Acadia National Park but hey, why not give it a chance?  A bit of a geography lesson: unlike the rest of Acadia that’s sheltered from the ocean by offshore islands, Schoodic Peninsula is exposed to the full force of the open Atlantic. (The waves are a bit powerful here.)

So we’re driving down the road and we can already hear the roar of the waves from the inside of our car. And naturally, after having lived in the Midwest for so long, I get kinda pumped to observe some water-on-rock carnage.  Well, conveniently at the tip of the peninsula, there’s a wide area of flat rock that we walk on as we make our way towards the water’s edge.

My brother Brian does what he always does on vacation ever since he got his digicam -takes videos.  And I do what I do best -take photos.  In this case, Brian’s right up against the edge of the rock cliff by the water. I’m off happily snapping away at some random rocks and water reflections until I see some seagulls and thought maybe I’ll attempt some artsy fartsy pic of them with my parents in the background.

my artsy fartsy pic attempt

Ain’t that nice?  Ok, so it’s not my greatest work, but I put it here for the sake of the story.  Read on, art critic!  Anyways, that’s when in the corner of my eye I notice something big moving and all of a sudden.. CRASH!  Below is the first picture in the series that illustrate why you need life insurance ;)

Seconds From Disaster

The water reaches its heighest in the first black & white pic above. Isn’t that crazy?? I double checked my photo’s metadata to make sure that the water’s height isn’t exaggerated by some wide angle lens edge distortion. It’s not. 50mm.. Do you see how high that sucker gets?!

Okay, I’m being a bit unfair to mother nature here.  It looks like a giant tidal wave, but it’s actually the sea crashing into the rocks and exploding UPwards.  There’s still enough forward momentum that if you’re not quick on your feet, you’re in serious risk …if you’re wearing a white shirt.   Nonetheless, it’s still a frightening scene to behold, as evidenced by my parents frozen in fear throughout the entire photo sequence.

I wanted to get in on some of the action, so I wait patiently for a “tidal wave” of my own.  It’s not quite as big, but still a lot of fun!

Shaolin dolphin wave hopping move!

It turns out that it rained 6 out of the 8 day trip. 75%. That seems to line up perfectly with past experience.  The last two days it didn’t rain, but we didn’t exactly see the sun either except in tiny spurts.

 

A quick recap

Below is a quick recap of the first 5 days of the trip if you care to read about the rest of our adventures!  Notice that you won’t see any blue skies =(

If you just wanna see pretty pictures, skip ahead down to the section “Pics I Like”!

Time to get our snack on!

The first night we ate at The Burning Tree, a gem in Bar Harbor known for its unique dishes and fresh ingredients.  The food was good -maybe a bit toooo gourmet for our first night of seafood.

"Come play with ME~~"

Later that night, Brian gave his Nintendo DS to dad to play some old school arcade shooter.  Maternal unit is not happy.  Oh the timeless competition between a woman and a man’s toys.  (Doesn’t apply to me, of course!)

In search of "Bubble Rock"

I love backpacking, but there’s no overnight backpacking allowed in Acadia -just day hikes.  Rain, snow or fog, I gotta get my hiking fix, so Brian and I convince our parents to hike to the top of South Bubble Rock trail, a trail known for a large boulder (Bubble Rock) that’s balanced precariously on the edge of a mountain as seen in the top right corner of the pic.

When we finally ascended to the exposed peak, we were greeted by powerful gusts of wind and white mist.  So much for a view, but we shoulda figured before we even began the hike.  Mom was a little freaked out by the loud rushing wind (can you see the fear in her expression?) but we were determined to find Mr. Bubble Rock.  In the end, all we saw was what you see in the left frame of the pic above.  Is it Bubble Rock??  We didn’t want to scare our mom anymore by trying to go down to find a better view of it, so we’ll never know!

Enjoying chai, tea, chowder and popovers at Jordan Pond Teahouse

It’s good to warm up after being wet in the rain all day.  This place is known for their “popovers” with homemade strawberry jam.  They look like exploded muffins with a hollow center and have a light, sweet taste.

Tourist trap town of Bar Harbor!

With miserable weather continuing on to the third day, we decided to leave Acadia Park early and do some souvenir shopping at Bar Harbor.  Shopping’s my favorite..!

Lobster, moose, naked moose, and blueberry jam.  Sounds like Maine to me!

Got Milk?

I know what you’re thinking. But hey, I just take the pictures. Okay, sometimes I set them up too! My poor mom probably doesn’t even understand what it means..

Thurston's Lobster Pound

On the third night, we drive 30min to Thurston’s Lobster Pound, supposedly one of the best casual lobster dinners in Maine.  Definitely a no-frills dining experience.. I mean, look at the place!  But that means it’s gotta be good, right?   Mmm, excellent steamed lobster!

Here’s a stop motion timelapse my brother put together.  Watch the tower of lobster shells grow!

Gotta love seafood.. this time at Peggy's Cove

That’s probably the fastest recap I can do of 5 days.  Stay tuned for days 6-8, but until then, below are some of my favorite photos I took in these first few days.  Hope you enjoy!

 

Some Pics I Like (and hope you will too!)

 

For those of you who saw my Facebook status, this is where I dropped my 16-35mm lens =(

On our way to see Bubble Rock!

Rain drops

Industrial Seascape - Halifax, Nova Scotia

There’s even a chimney of fire burning in the background

Cute house at village of Prospect

We went to the village of Prospect to enjoy the laid back atmosphere and took a stroll on an unmarked trail. I just loved the decorations in this house that we saw on the way!

???

Peggy's Point Lighthouse

Next, we went to Peggy’s Cove, a small village known for its beauty and being a photographers paradise.  I can’t say I disagree!

Old Red Schoolhouse

Lobster traps

More lobster traps

My dad standing watch at Peggy's Point Lighthouse

Hey, that’s my blog banner!  Hope you enjoyed the post!
For making it to the end, here’s a bonus video for you… It’s pretty hilarious =)