Parking Meters?!? 

We went to Jeanie’s for breakfast with a plan to walk The Shore Path afterward. It’s a sweet little path that begins at the dock by the Bar Harbor Inn. It winds around the town past the backyards of the once-magnificent summer houses of millionaires. Most of them are now B&B’s, and still interesting to look at (on one side are the houses and on the other, it’s the Porcupine Islands.

Since Jeanis’s is always a long wait for a table, I dropped Joseph off and went in search of a parking space. I was stunned to see parking meters – really ugly ones – everywhere. And not cheap ones either – $2/hour.  It’s the first time. I asked Ollie about it and he said – just the same as with the invitation to the cruise ships – it was a mixed decision. However, the money they would get for the town won out over anything else. 

Little by little we see Bar Harbor – always more touristy than the other harbors on the island – becoming a ”tshirts for tourist” place…and losing its charm. I think someone said that, as more and more people discover Mt. Desert Island as cruisers, Acadia National Park has never been more crowded. Next year they are going to institute a reservation system to corral/limit the number of visitors. We have a “forever” pass to the park, but (like my Longwood Gardens pass) it seems like it won’t mean much.

This year I’m so disappointed to find out that the 100 year-old family-owned pharmacy – the one that had the old-tyme counter and egg creams – is gone; the 4th-generation owner retired. The locally-owned Morning Glory Bakery is gone. Poor Boys Gourmet was one of our go-to restaurants when we were first coming here. The service was good and we usually had a good Italian dinner there each year.  A few years ago, Poor Boys got a new owner. It wasn’t as good and we stopped going. This year it’s vacant; I read that it went bankrupt. Very sad.

We did finally get into Jeanie’s for breakfast – I think the best one in BH. I love the thick oatbread and the strawberry-rhubarb jelly. And the service is always good and the owner personable.

Once we were full, I wlaked off that jelly with Joseph as we walked. The Shore Path. It was a pleasant walk and a pleasant day.

Something I noticed: For the first time, I wasn’t thinking about buying a place here. Instead, I could visualize staying more southern – like Kennebunkport – and coming here for just a few days, almost like passing by, and staying at a hotel. It was sort of weird to watch myself think about it.

But time moves on and life changes…even in the once-quaint Bar Harbor.

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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.

Maine Diaries

Every year Annmarie Kelly embarks on a trip to Maine where she reflects on her life, the years challenges and successes while seeking solace and adventure in the beautiful Northeast wilderness.

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