This vacation was one of my best ever. I'd say it was the best, but it's hard to top a honeymoon in Disney World. The timing may not have been the best (who vacations while living in their parent's/inlaw's basement?), but it was good to see some of MJ's friends out there before they moved. It seems that the four people she talks about most from Maine are moving.
The problem with any vacation anymore, is that it's bookended by a couple of visits from the clowns at TSA. Now, I'm not denying that there's a need for security, but these guys are not it. I've mentioned accidentally getting a knife, or a stash of firecrackers (the fun waterproof ones) and bottle rockets on board, but don't try to take a bottle of blueberry jam on board. Melissa thought it was considered a solid, so wouldn't be subject to the 3 oz. rule, or we would have rolled it up in one of the sleeping bags that we checked. Turns out it's not. I know that the power-starved jackasses who man the security stations aren't the one's who make the policies. They're just doing their jobs, and enjoying it a bit too much, but who decided that the most likely way for a terrorist to sneak weapons and explosives on board was in jars of jam and bottles of shampoo which pass through an x-ray? Furthermore, who decided that terrorists could probably only put them in bottles larger than three oz? If all the explosive blueberry flavor in this jam was split in two smaller jars it would have been safe to handle, and would have passed with no problem. Well, $20 and one more checked bag later everything was okay again. The nation is safe for another day, and I have my delicious treat.
Anyway, the trip. The first couple of days we met up with a few friends in Bar Harbor, and a few more at church the next day. It was fun meeting up with them, but I suspect it was more fun for MJ. I liked the time we spent just hanging out, and seeing her favorite things out there. Like she said, I swam in the ocean for about an hour. It was cold when I first got in, cold enough that it forced me to breathe shallow, but once I was in for a few minutes it was a hoot. This beach had some pretty good waves which really drag you around. It's crazy seeing (and in places really smelling) the difference between high and low tide. In some areas it's pretty drastic, while in others there's not much of a difference. Also, I now have a favorite restaurant in Maine. It's only open seasonally, but Jordan Pond House has got what may be the best food anywhere.
The next couple of days we spent with a couple of friends of hers who live on an island a little farther out than the one Bar Harbor is on. They picked us up on their boat, since they were on mainland anyway, fed us while we were there, gave us a spot to pitch our tent (they would have had us in the house, but they had no furniture as they were about to move), and paid for a trip on the ferry to get back. In return, I helped out for a day on the boat catching lobsters, and we helped them pack up some stuff onto their truck to take back to mainland (On their island, mainland just means the closer island which is connected to the real mainland by a bridge).
I can now claim with reason that I don't like barnacles, and use pirate phrases referencing the dislike of barnacles. I have a few scratches on my forearm from the barnacle buildup on the lobster traps. I have seen things in the ocean that I didn't know about, or had heard of, but not really gotten. Sea cucumbers, for example, are a lot squishier than I thought, and when you squeeze them, water shoots out. We also caught a bunch of crabs which we just threw back, some sand dollars, several hermit crabs (some pretty stinkin' big), starfish, and regular fish. Depending on what kind of fish we caught we either threw them back, or kept them (dead). The ones we kept had some sort of gasses in them, so they swell up after they die. We took the boat around to where there were a few bald eagles to feed them the fish, and watch them swoop, but they weren't too hungry. Seems there was a dead whale on the east beach which had been feeding them for a while.
So, we got back to mainland this morning. At this point I still had eaten no lobster, which we remedied. The only lobster I had ever had was some frozen tails at grandma's house a couple years ago for the fourth of July. Those were bad. This was good. MJ showed me how to break open all the good parts to get the meat out (including the legs), and which parts she doesn't like to eat (the green nasty crap from the main body, and the poo vein running down the tail). Then we drove to Boston to head home. All in all, a very good trip.