A Perfect Day

Frogging in the Italian Gardens

As perfect days go, this can be recorded as one of them.

Joseph and I meandered through the early morning, reading and talking. We received an invitation to view the privately owned Kenarden Gardens in Bar Harbor. So Joseph called the owner to see if it was convenient to visit in late morning; it was and we were excited.

Before going to the gardens, we stopped for breakfast in town, to Jeannie’s Great Maine Breakfast. Joseph had a spectacular tasting burrito and I had pot roast hash…just the thing to see us through until dinner. Jeannie’s makes their own homemade bread, including cinnamon raisin and oatmeal (I tasted both and liked the oatmeal best). It’s served with butter and just-tart-enough strawberry rhubarb jelly; it’s also homemade and fabulous. Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day and this one hit the spot!

With a happy tummy, Joseph and I drove down Main Street to Kenarden. On Mt. Desert gardens are a big deal, something that started during Mt. Desert’s “Golden Age” period. The word was that the Kenarden gardens were something really special. We were looking forward to seeing them.

We parked across the street from the gated estate. Walking up the driveway was an experience. I felt like I was back in another century. Along the way we met several people there and each gave us a little more history.

Kenarden Greenhouse
Kenarden Greenhouse

The original house, once part of the shore path walk, was built in the late 1800’s by a banker named Kennedy. It was bought in 1930 by a widow, Edith Dorrance.  It was passed down to her daughter, torn down in the 1960s and then rebuilt in the 1970’s and passed on to the next generation. You can see “then and now” pictures, with some more history, here: Kenarden

We most especially appreciated Cal, the head garden guy. I’m sure he had better things to do on a Friday than taking us on a tour, but he walked us around and did it with panache. We learned that, after the harsh winter of 2014, most of the roses in the rose garden were lost. They were replaced this year with beautiful pink, salmon, oranges and yellows.

For over an hour, Cal walked us around the beautifully landscaped property, which also included the sunken Italian Gardens and a greenhouse, where most of the fruits and vegetables used by the owners are grown…we got the grand tour.

As Joseph and I walked back to our car, our heads filled with beauty. If we did nothing more today, it would have been quite enough. But it was only late afternoon and we had energy. We decided we’d take a late afternoon walk on a carriage trail in Acadia National Park. The carriage trails go through some of the most beautiful parts of the park.

Cobblestone Bridge on  Jordan Stream Loop
Cobblestone Bridge on
Jordan Stream Loop

Joseph drove to Acadia and took the Park Loop Road (which overlooks some of the best scenes of Bar Harbor). We parked at Jordan Pond House. That’s where, while looking for some water for the walk, Joseph and I discovered coconut water. It was cold and it was only 60 calories. It was so refreshing that it didn’t last long.

On the Jordan Stream Loop Carriage Trail
On the Jordan Stream Loop Carriage Trail

We decided to take a carriage trail called the Jordan Stream Loop. We’ve done it before and it’s mostly an uphill route, so we took it backwards. It was a good idea for a late afternoon. The carriage road had just enough uphills to make it interesting and enough downhills to make the four-mile hike doable. It’s mostly a forest walk but one of the big attractions is the Cobblestone Bridge.

We finished our walk and headed back to the cottage. I showered, changed into comfy clothes, downed a glass of water and then settled down for a drink of coconut rum and splash…just right for the end of a long, beautiful day.

By the time I got to writing this post, the sun was getting ready to set. For the past seven years, since we’ve been renting this cottage, I’ve been watching the sun go down over Clarks Cove. Now the sky is streaked with shades of pinks and purples in the sky and reflected in the water. It fills my heart and soul with peace and joy. And gratitude that I can be here, now. Sunset won’t last but a few more minutes, so I’ll close for today.

©AnnmarieKelly2014. All Rights Reserved.

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What are the Maine Diaries?

The Maine Diaries is a fun look at my annual adventure to New England where I unwind from normal life and reconnect with myself.

I was captivated by the Maine Coast on my first trip there in the late 90’s. In the years since, I’ve traveled up and down the coast from Kittery to Calais but I spend most of my Maine time Downeast. I love the adventures I have and the chance to unwind from the world and restore my inner clarity. I chronicle my experiences in The Maine Diaries.

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