I had the chance to go to Acadia National Park this past Friday with my roommate, a 3rd year dental student from Tufts. I had heard all the wonderful things about how it was such a beautiful place, so I was prepared to be amazed. But not to this extent.
Climbing the Beehive with an aerial view of Sand Beach below. This was one of the best climbs I've ever done, because it was challenging, exciting, had great views all along the way, wasn't too long, and was very satisfying once we got to the top. We were pretty much climbing the mountain right along the edge, so it was a mix of scary and gorgeous. But if I didn't think too much about how high up I was and instead enjoyed the pretty views, it made for a great hike.
An example of some of the apparatuses involved in climbing the Beehive. I could have sworn that some of those metal bars would bend while my roommate was stepping on them.
We stopped off at Thunder Hole, which is supposed to be pretty cool when it's high tide and the waves are crashing up against the rocks. It was still a nice area just because of the rocky shoreline.
We stopped off at the Jordan Pond House, where we enjoyed some snacks with an amazing view.
Jordan Pond House is well-known for their popovers. I was just going to get a plain popover with butter and jam, but then I noticed on the menu that they had a popover a la mode. When I asked which ice cream flavors they had, the guy listed about six, but when he said blueberry, I blocked all the other options out. After some careful consideration, I went for it - I mean, I'd be hiking all day, so no reason not to treat myself, right? The popover was great - nice and buttery with a crispy exterior. The ice cream was a near-perfect filling, and the blueberry syrup on top with actual blueberries made this dessert totally worth it. It was tricky to eat, but once it found its way into my mouth, it didn't really matter.
We climbed the North Bubble, which overlooked the Jordan Pond. It was neat being able to see the place where we had just eaten down below.
We then climbed Mt. Pemetic, which was one of the most challenging hikes I've ever done. It was essentially a constant steep climb, and I felt exhausted but accomplished afterwards. And the views were incredible - of the park and of the ocean.
Of course, on our way out, we stopped by a lobster shack to enjoy the local fare. My roommate was convinced that the ones with the smokestacks outside were the best, so we stopped by one of them and found out what all the smoke was about. What happens is you go inside and choose your lobster from a cooler which contains a bunch of live lobsters. You tell them how big of a lobster you want (small, medium, large, or 1-pound, 1.5-pound, 2-pound, etc.). They then take the lobster, put it in a rope bag, and boil it in salt water on the spot. Once the lobster is done, they serve it to you on a metal pan and that's when you start chowing down.
Here's my cooked lobster - a nice 2-pounder with butter and lemon. We had no idea how to eat it, but luckily there was a guy sitting behind us that knew what he was doing, so he gave us some tips on what to do. You're supposed to start with the little legs because they cool off the quickest. Then you can go to the claws or the tail, and he showed us how to break the tail to get all the meat out at one time. There isn't much in the body to eat, but I picked at it anyways, not wanting to waste any of the precious lobster meat I paid for. I'd have to say my favorite part of the lobster wasn't the tail, but was the meat in the thick portion of the claws. I found the tail to be a bit chewy, but the claw was just the right tenderness for me, and was nice and meaty.
Post-destruction photo. It was so delicious. I'll have to admit, after eating a whole lobster, I felt like I didn't want to eat any more lobster for the next few days. Maybe it's my body naturally telling me that my cholesterol levels are off the charts and I don't need to be destroying my body anymore. But that initial feeling of satisfaction right after eating the lobster was definitely a good one. I'll be back for more.