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 ”t–shirts 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.