As our 4th wedding anniversary approached, my wife and I brainstormed where our annual trip would take us. The past three years have been filled with New England road trips to Ludlow, Vermont, Kennebunkport, Maine and Martha’s Vineyard. We considered Montauk (not far enough), Block Island (frustrating ferry schedule) and Nantucket ($$$). As we looked further north, we reminisced about our favorite restaurant in Portland, Maine and how we would love to “someday” go to Acadia National Park. Why not make “someday” today? We booked a hotel in downtown Bar Harbor, made our ferry reservations and mapped out our route.
Neither of us are morning people, but we couldn’t pass up seeing the first sunrise on the eastern seaboard on the final full day of summer. We awoke at 5:30 AM and drove our way to the summit of Cadillac Mountain—only to discover about 200 other people had the same idea. Watching the sun’s light sneak past the ocean’s blanket of fog and kiss the shores of New England was worth the early wakeup call (and the crowds). The morning set the tone for the rest of the trip—stunning sites wherever we went. Every trail we travelled was accompanied by a surprise: a secluded beach, a pod of harbor porpoises below the cliffs or daredevil rock climbers dangling on narrow rock ledges above the cold ocean. The sunsets were stunning and best enjoyed with a Montauk beer in hand, holding on to the last bit of summer.
On the final night, as the calendar officially declared that it was fall, we ventured out after dark to view the starry sky. The Milky Way, Orion’s Belt, the Seven Sisters star cluster—all danced above the calm sea. It was a fitting end to our trip and the perfect beginning of a new season.