Friday, July 30, 2010

Bar Harbor Bust

Last weekend, on our hunt for wedding locations, Tommie and I planned a last minute trip with the dog to check out the scene in Bar Harbor, Maine. Bar Harbor has a lot of vacation rental properties, pretty outdoor settings, and lobster, so it definitely had the potential we were looking for. Unfortunately, it was just one of those trips where we came home feeling like we needed a vacation from the vacation.

Our few good moments consisted of, not surprisingly, food. Our first good meal was in Freeport, ME on our drive up. We had BBQ at
Buck's Naked BBQ
. The meat was cooked perfectly and they support local farms, so we support them. Then, before entering Bar Harbor we stopped at the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound and had lobster cooked in sea water (which I think is the best way to cook them). The only downside was that they charged extra for butter. Our final good meal was at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park. I had heard about the popovers, which are as good as people say, as was the baked brie and seafood chowder. The restaurant has outdoor tables overlooking Jordan Pond which would have been beautiful and relaxing has it not been completely overcast and our dog not turned into a werewolf that day.

Probably due to the traveling and an incident in the morning when an over-anxious lab tried to climb through our car window as we drove up to check out a wedding/rental property, Maya was in a sour mood. A typically mute and friendly dog, Maya began howling like a maniac whenever one of us went out of sight. She growled and lunged at other dogs during lunch. And when we finally got her on a quiet carriage path, she tried to eat piles of horse poop along the way. It rained almost the whole time; we didn’t make it to the top of Cadillac Mountain because it was a complete white-out. On the way back to the hotel, our take-out Thai food order from
Siam Orchid was wrong (and not good). We also got lost trying to find our hotel on the way in, and got called bad pet owners on the way home.

(Maya recovers from her werewolf transformation)
In all fairness, under different circumstances, I’m sure it would have been a nice place to visit, but still not the right place for our wedding (a little too “regal” for us). If I had a do-over, I would plan in advance and book a place close to downtown Bar Harbor where we could walk around. I'd also get a place where we could leave Maya comfortably at the hotel (you can’t leave pets at the Best Western and it’s far away). I’d check the weather and really try to see Acadia on a clear, nice day, and I’d stick to eating lobsters the whole time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Maya's Summer Moods

Maya has a love-hate relationship with summer.

She loves to roll in fresh grass, feel the sun on her hairless belly, and rub her face into the ground where, presumably, a smelly dead bird or mouse or pile of poop once rested.
But she hates that everyone insists on celebrating this glorious time of year by setting off fireworks almost every night on nearby beaches and forces her to spend the evenings a shivering gremlin in our closet.
She'll be happy when we're no longer under attack from loud and evil, fire-spewing showers of light, but then she'll realize it's cold out, the sun is gone, and that spot where the dead mouse once rested has frozen over. I really wish she'd learn to associate.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Perks

Most of us work because we need to pay the bills and, if we're lucky, we might also get some perks. Typical perks include things like paid holidays and health care, then there are off-beat perks...things like fresh cut flowers and vegetables.
While these things aren't free just because I work for a land preservation group, I consider it a perk that every Thursday on my way out of the office driveway I pick up bags of fresh produce from my CSA: a colorful abundance including basil, carrots, beets, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, and very flavorful garlic. And this Friday, the on-site education center opened their "pick your own flower" field, so I spent my lunch break picking sunflowers, sweet peas, and zinnias.

There is just nothing like fresh herbs and bright sunflowers to quite literally perk your mood.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Very Libra Wedding

I've been a back-burner blogger lately...thinking I need to do it, then never getting around to it. I've been distracted.

Just when I thought I'd never stop obsessing over furnishing and arranging our new apartment, Tommie gave me something entirely new to obsess over: a wedding. The little stinker caught me by surprise on our 11-year anniversary a few weeks ago.

Oddly enough I'm not driving myself crazy thinking about it all (yet). Tommie and my relationship is comfortable and low-drama and I want our wedding planning to be the same. I want it to come together more organically and creatively.

I say all this with fine print, of course. Given my nature as a planner and my capacity for worrying, I do realize that at any moment this calm demenaour could morph into hysteria but I'm hoping for the best. On the night of our proposal I turned to Tommie and said, "I'm really going to try not to be a bridezilla throughout this whole thing." And he replied, "Well, I'm not making any promises."

And so begins the Libra wedding plans.