|Sometimes I really regret being caffeine-free.|
There were also some of the most hilarious people waiting at the stop with me. This old couple nearly had a WWE throwdown over which garbage can to use, and some poor girl had to repeatedly explain to her elderly father why he couldn't cut in front of me when the bus arrived. (Please note, there were about 10 of us. Everyone was getting on the bus.)
The drive was pretty pleasant and I managed to doze so I would not be the crankiest person ever by the end of the day. After arriving, I spent a thrilling 45 minutes in the security line, and nearly had a heart attack when the TSA agent confirmed I was going to Portland, Oregon. Was it a trick? No, this dude just had no clue that Portland, Maine, was a real place.
I didn't get a picture, but we flew on the tiniest airplane. It was even smaller than the commuter flight to Toronto or the connector to Champaign, IL. We ended up sky-checking our bags, which honestly I love doing. You get the comfort of hauling your junk around with you and get a visual of it being loaded, but you don't have to do the overhead bin dance of stress.
|Approximate size reference.|
Next came (one of) the most stressful parts of the trip - picking up the rental car. I found this crazy tip online that if you signed up for USAA, which is free, you could get a discount, waive all underage driver fees, and add any other USAA member as an additional driver for free, even if they weren't a member of your household. Michael and I signed up, and somehow, for reasons beyond my grasp, this was legitimate, and we rolled out without paying any extra fees. We had to laugh because the only trouble we had was them repeatedly demanding Michael show a major credit card, not a debit card. They never even asked to see his license! (It was also hilarious to get the upsell spiel when it was just two of us with one suitcase each. How would we ever fit?!)
Our next stop was to get something to eat so that I did not have a hangry explosion. We had already gotten directions to a restaurant, but it took longer than expected because holy hell driving in Portland. After some adventurous turning and never being quite sure if streets were one-way or not, we found a free spot close by. We had a surprisingly good lunch at a place called Hot Suppa! My grilled cheese used local Maine cheese and was super fresh.
|Lost the pictures on my phone, so just pretend this is mine.|
We had planned another activity in Portland, but our spot was only for one hour. This meant more adventurous driving! Approximately 75% of the time was spent by me driving past perfectly adequate spaces because I hate parallel parking. We did find some magical two hour free spaces in a random neighborhood. (Also, if the streets weren't bad enough, you needed an IQ of 200 to decipher their parking sign instructions. It didn't help we kept thinking it was Saturday, not Friday.)
Our next stop was the International Cryptozoology Museum. One of my biggest guilty pleasures is Bigfoot shows. I once broke Michael after over five consecutive hours of Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet. (It's so hard to stop once you start. You know they'll find Bigfoot two seconds into the next episode if you change the channel.)
|The logo is not Bigfoot because reasons, I guess.|
|Haters gonna hate.|
|100% going to get a pair to walk around campus in this winter.|
The drive to Bar Harbor was about three hours, but only got really bad during the last hour from Bangor on. This involved a million turns in the dark with uncertain speed limits. We managed to locate the hotel without any serious mishaps and checked in to find a pretty nice room. (And we saved $50 a night by staying .2 miles down the street from the other host hotel, psych.)
And then? You guessed it, more driving. We went to a pub called the Thirsty Whale for dinner because it had seafood that did not cost a million dollars. I tried lobster (I don't like and am mildly allergic to most seafood.) I really liked it, I hadn't expected it to be sweet like crabmeat, which is one type of seafood I have no problem eating. Our server nearly face-palmed though when we ordered root beer instead of alcohol. Hey, it was still locally brewed and quite delicious. I would never drive after drinking, but I have to wonder if roads would've made more or less sense if I were drunk.
|Who knows why we stuck out like sore thumbs?|
We finally did haul ourselves out of bed to walk to the expensive host hotel. The breakfast ended up being just their continental breakfast, which was a bit disappointing. It was still good, though. Afterwards, we walked to the next building for the expo. There were no lines or issues with packet pick-up, though it felt strange to be getting an "experience" marathoner bib. It still hasn't quite sunk in that I am a marathoner. I briefly tried on the official race jacket and found it did not fit at all, so I ended up buying a race-branded fleece. Best decision ever.
|Eager Feet Mom insists our tailor could easily fix this. I respectfully disagree.|
Finally, we headed out to Acadia National Park, which was barely re-opened on time. Trust me, we were sweating it out like crazy. Thanks, government. We watched the introductory park film (rating: not award-winning) and paid our entrance fee. I was amazed by how many people were so upset they had to pay $10 (for the whole vehicle for seven days). It's not like this is a particularly cheap place to get to, if you make it to Acadia, you can afford the $10. I also had to show my ID because the ranger seemed to think my Spartan-branded Visa was suspicious.
We spent the day driving the Park Loop Road, which let us see a bunch of really cool sites without putting tons of stress on our bodies. I wish we had had more time, because I would've loved to hike up Mt. Cadillac, rather than drive, but it was still fun. Mt. Cadillac is the highest point in Maine, but we met a couple from Washington who thought the whole thing was hilarious because they had a mountain behind their house that was 1,000 feet higher.
|Unfortunately, the low elevation impaired their picture-taking abilities.|
Later in the day, we went to one of the carriage trails to fit in our shake-out run. I found the carriage trails interesting because you had to know where you were going, where to park, and what you wanted to see on the trail - you couldn't just stop and consult a sign. I had done some research beforehand and found a small waterfall, which was conveniently one mile from the trailhead.
|Hadlock Falls (the dark spot on the right)|
|It looks like Sparty if you squint. And by squint I mean close your eyes and imagine Sparty.|
|One of my grandparents can't walk for five minutes but has no qualms about lecturing me about how I will die of pneumonia after swimming.|
|The awkwardness level here is acceptable.|