Kevin and I have had a busy month - in fact we've only been home roughly half of it. From a trip to Florida with Kevin's family at the beginning of May to an incredible trip to Acadia National Park with some friends from College at the end of May, we are happy to spend a couple of weeks at home before heading off on our next adventure - a Florida vacation with my family at the beginning of July.
We've been doing our best to respond to emails and keep our amazing clients in the know of our lives, so we thought we'd share what we've been up to. Thank you all for your patience and encouragement as we continue to live a life that we love.
I'd like to give a HUGE shout out to the following people:
Kevin's Dad, Gary, for caring for our beloved cats on the days when our pet sitter was out of town. YOU ARE AWESOME.
Scout, for being an AWESOME friend and pet sitter. We are so thankful for you and your friendship and how much you love our cats.
My mom, Kim, for lending me hiking boots, hiking shirts, hiking pants THAT ZIP OFF INTO SHORTS, a waterproof ball cap, a waterproof fanny pack, and a bear whistle. Your girl would be screwed without you, momma.
Kevin's mom, Marsha, for keeping our house and our 87 year-old roommate cared for while we were gone.
It truly takes a village.
Grace (and Kevin)
Tuesday June 21, 2019
Day 1 of travel. We left the house at 8pm and arrived in Cincinnati by midnight. We packed the roof bag with Josh and Kari’s stuff and slept in their living room. Don't know what a roof bag is? It is EXACTLY as it sounds - a bag strapped to the roof of your car. In our case, it was strapped to my little 2014 Honda Civic named Fern.
Wednesday June 22, 2019
We left Cincy before 8am to head to Niagara Falls. When we arrived, we took a small trail to the falls and saw the coolest black squirrel. When I started taking photos of him, he did back flips. We went to the observation deck and looked out over Niagara Falls. It was stunning, but quite touristy. I guess that's to be expected.
We stopped at Old Fort Niagara to refill on water and stretch our legs. We walked down to Lake Ontario where we found the prettiest and smoothest purple, green, and blue rocks. It was cold, rainy, and buggy but the rocks made it worth it. I received a text welcoming me to Canada - which wasn’t quite accurate, but I found it amusing.
We camped our first night in a KOA. If you haven't camped in a KOA, I highly recommend that you do. Every thing was clean and easy. It rained a little bit, but that's not the KOA's fault.
Thursday June 23, 2019
We drove all freaking day to Acadia. I'll spare you the details. Kari and I did a lot of sleeping. If you are planning a long road trip, I would highly recommend the following podcasts:
S-Town: an investigative journalist explores the small town of "Shittown", Alabama at the request of John B. McLemore. The story is full of twists and turns as what started as a murder investigation turns into so much more. You won't want to sleep through this podcast.
Stuff you should know: covering a variety of topics, this podcast is sure to keep you entertained. I couldn't find an exact number, but I'll bet they have hundreds of episodes covering almost any topic you can think of. Each episode is roughly 30 minutes to an hour. Or if you in a rush, they have SYSK Short Stuffs which are only 15 minutes.
Friday June 24, 2019
We woke up bright and early and headed into Bar Harbor for a map. We made a mental note to visit this adorable little town during our stay on Mount Desert. After getting our map, we stopped for coffee at Otter Creek Inn and Market. While browsing, I came across something called a “Rain Suit” for $14.99 plus tax. Having brought only a waterproof ball cap and a waterproof fanny pack, I knew I was screwed for the upcoming weather of rain and had accepted that. But after finding this Rain Suit, I felt totally prepared for whatever Maine threw at us.
After a 4.5 mile hike on the Ocean Path Trail through rain, wind, and cold, Kari and I stayed TOTALLY DRY in our Rain Suits. I cannot say enough nice things about this gear. And no, Gander Mountain did not pay me to say that.
Peep the climber in the back of our group pic.
Saturday June 25, 2019
We ate lunch at Charlotte’s Lobster Pound. I got some amazing clam chowder and Kevin, Josh, and Kari got lobster rolls. I highly recommend. The food was great, but the best part was definitely the baby goats that were behind the restaurant. We received lots of horned head boops.
After an incredibly filling meal, we headed to the Beech Mountain Trail where we hiked up BOULDERS to reach a fire tower. The view from the fire tower was cool, but the best view was on the descent where we looked down over Jordan Pond.
We got back to the campsite where we relaxed long enough for me to make a small campfire. Then we headed back out to the Wonderland Trail for some tidepooling. We hiked over a mile to get to the ocean on a fairly easy path of large rocks. I joked that it was like something you’d see at the zoo which of course led into us acting like tour guides on a search for a moose. When we reached the end of the path, the ocean was before us. We spent the next couple of hours climbing over massive flat rocks searching for living things in the pools of ocean water that were trapped in the rock cavities.
When we got back to the campsite, we lit the fire I was so proud of and while the boys cooked pasta on the camp stove, Kari and I toasted bread over the fire. We stayed out by the fire until the rain moved in and drove us into our tents for another 40 degrees and raining night.
Sunday June 26, 2019
We spent the day exploring the city of Bar Harbor, stopping in tons of shops in search of the perfect mementos. Kari got the fuzziest Acadia branded pullover, Josh got an awesome sweatshirt, and I got a ball cap and magnet. And none for Kevin Wieners.
We ate lunch at Beerworks where I got my third bowl of clam chowder of the week. The food was delicious and the beer was also delicious. For those that are as uneducated about Maine as I was, they LOVE their blueberries. We saw blueberry pie, blueberry jam, blueberry candles, blueberry pastries, and blueberry beer. Kari got a blueberry beer with whole blueberries. And the blueberries weren’t even in season when we were there!
After lunch, we headed to Cadillac Mountain - the first place the sun hits the United States every morning. We didn’t make a sunrise, but the view is still stunning at 5pm. I think the photos speak for themselves.
Monday June 27, 2019
We spent our morning at an adorable coffee shop in the small town next to our campsite getting a blog post up from our wedding the previous weekend. After we were coffee fueled, we headed to Jordan Pond for quite possible my favorite view on the trip. We hiked 3.5 miles around the Jordan Pond Loop. The first half of the trail was leisurely, mostly dirt and rock and fairly level. When we reached the opposite side of the pond, the trail turned into rocks. And when I say rocks, I really mean boulders - most of which towered over us. While Acadia National Park did an awesome job of making a trail through the boulders, it was still pretty advanced trailing. And at that time, Kevin twisted his ankle. If it weren’t for his trusty hiking poles, he’d probably still be on the other side of that Jordan Pond because Acadia is an every man for himself kinda adventure.
Slowly climbing (mostly limping) over the boulders and letting people pass us, we made our way through the next section of the trail. When the huge rocks ran out, we were led onto the final stretch of trail that was completely made up of two 2x8 boards running parallel to each other and signs that kept us off the mossy entanglement of roots below. These boards went up and down, left and right for about a mile. Some of the boards were rotting out, making Kevin’s trek a little more difficult. Props to my man for not complaining as much as I would have. By the time we got back to the campsite, we were exhausted. We cracked open some cold beers and made veggie hot dogs on the fire.
Tuesday June 27, 2019
After packing up our campsite, we headed out on the 20 hour drive back to Bloomington. We made a few stops along the way, with our most notable being a Chipotle in Scranton, PA. We gave serious consideration to trying to find the Chili's that Pam was banned from, but it was 9:40pm and Chipotle is always a good idea.
Wednesday June 28, 2019
We stopped in Cincinnati to drop Josh and Kari off just as the sun came up. After a quick unload, Kevin and I grabbed bagels and coffee at a nearby bagel shop. Then we hopped back in the car for the last 2.5 hour stretch to Bloomington.
We are thankful to be home after such an amazing trip. There is nothing like these incredible views to remind you just how small we really are. Thank you to all that make our lives possible.