Continental US

Memorial Day Weekend Road Trip

Last Labor’s Day weekend, we did a long weekend trip to Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyons, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona, Arizona and it was amazing (you can read it here)! I realized I spent more time traveling outside the US than within the US. There are a lot of great places worth to explore in the US so I am taking advantages of long weekends to do that. Airfares are extremely expensive traveling during long weekends as you may all know; even when I started looking months in advanced! Last minute, I decided a road trip to explore around the New England area! Believe or not, you tend to know less about or visited less on the famous places in the area you live in than tourists….I remembered few years ago, some interns I have met in the internship wanted to visit Harvard campus; it was my first time stepping in there as well despite the fact I live only few train stops away haha! We left our house around 7 am on Saturday and drove almost 3 hours with a stop at the gas station to Sabbaday Falls, New Hampshire. Sabbaday Falls located inside White Mountain with no street number and only address is Kancamagus Highway which made my car GPS went crazy and couldn’t find the exact location. Thankfully for Google Maps, it was able to accurately locate the entrance which is the parking lot of the falls. However, make sure you do that prior entering White Mountain because no cellular service there!!! There’s a small parking lot there and cost $3 for parking, you’ll need to fill out a parking tag and put $3 inside the envelope to drop off in the collection bin. There’s also clean restroom there so be sure to take advantage of that! Sabbaday Falls is one of the easiest hike to waterfalls, it’s only 0.3 mile, very easy! The trail to the falls: The sound of the stream, we are getting near! It was a nice cool breezy day in the 60’s so it was perfect for hiking and no mosquitoes 🙂 Within a few minutes of walk, we were there already! That was only part of it, we walked up the stairs for the full view, it was beautiful! I didn’t bring my tripod so I tried to held on the camera as long as i can for the blurry waterfalls effect. On the way to the next destination, we pulled over for the panoramic view of White Mountain. It must be pretty for fall foliage! Next stop is Arethusa Falls which I heard from my brother is a more difficult and longer hike! On the way, we had lunch at Cabin Fever Restaurant to fill up energy for the hike 🙂 We were the only customers in there since we were early for lunch, the interior decoration is quite special with the atmosphere indicated by its name – cabin. We all liked the hanging lamps with different patterns of out in the woods. The bear and beehive were very cute! 4 of us ordered tons of food! The lobster bisque was pretty large bowl and with lots of lobster meat! Chili with chips and sour cream: A 16″ pizza with left overs to take for tomorrow’s breakfast! I like the spicy sauce along with enough pepperoni, sausage, and bacon!! My brother enjoyed his meat lover’s mac and cheese, he said it was the best mac and cheese he ever have! Hubby ordered the hot lobster roll with melted butter, it was just okay, usually lobster rolls are served with cold meats! We were so full!! The meal cost around $76 including tips. From the restaurant, it is only 8 miles to Arethusa Falls, known as the best waterfalls in New Hampshire. The parking lot was full wow, we parked on the side way of the road up to the trail entrance. Urg..there’s a parking lot up there with more spaces, could’ve saved us many steps upward! We each took a bottle of water for the hike, glad we did. The start of the trail is next to the rail! A lot of hikers there already! I don’t even remember when was my last time walking on a rail 🙂 The challenge begins! The trail is clearly marked with blue paint on trees or rocks. We were exhausted already in the first half of the hike; it was nonstop hiking up. I read afterwards that from parking lot to the fall is 1.6 miles; we thought it is 1.6 miles round-trip so we were constantly asking the question, how much longer? My brother had hiked to the falls once and kept saying soon LOL! At least on the way, there were a few interesting things to photograph! Those looked like clams on the tree trunk! Giant mushroom, must be poisonous since it’s bright red! There are sections of muddy path where you have to hop from rock to rock to avoid getting dirty, this one has a path with woods: We forgot how many times we stopped for a break, it seemed a very long way! We crossed few wooden short bridges as well: And some fallen trees: When we thought we had reached the climax, there is one more section of uphill 🙁 And then heading down with giant steps, oh boy, I can’t imagine on the return journey to have to walk up on those steps! We have been hearing water noises along the way which gave us fake hopes of getting near but this time was real! There, we see the fall, it was a lot bigger and higher than I have thought. There’s no clear path of getting near to the fall, the only way is hopping from rocks to rocks……just like a game! Even though it’s a difficult hike to the fall, it’s already filled with people and families! Hand claps to those kids who hiked their way there; it’s not easy! I was trying to keep my balance while holding my camera and the GoPro as I hop from one rock to another! There were this couple who sat on the prime spot, we waited for minutes and gave up; they’ll not leave! I tried to walk closer to avoid getting them into the picture but not as nice view as if I stand further away. More and more people started to come near the falls so I guess it’s time to leave, impossible to get a good photo without people! Hiking back wasn’t as hard since majority of it is downhill but my toe hurts from walking down 🙁 We spent around 3 hours there and erm the restroom there is nasty so please go before the hike at town! We continued our journey to Bangor, Maine where we’ll stay for two nights to visit Acadia National Park; the only national park in New England! The way from Arethusa Falls to Maine was a long ride since the first 100 miles are going through small towns where the speed limit is only 40’s and 50’s miles per hour on local one lane routes! Once we got to the interstate 95 highway, it was much better with speed limit of 70 mph! It took us around 3.5 hours to get there and it was already time for dinner! We went straight to Eagles Nest Restaurant at 1016 N Main St Brewer, ME 04412; known for its seafood around that area. The little restaurant was nearly full so I guess I picked the right place! It is next to the river so some tables have the good view like ours! The market prices for seafood are posted on the wall.4 of us ordered a lot of food again, first the fish chowder which was tasteless urg so not recommended at all: We ordered the fried seafood platter, $30, and wow the portion is enough for 4 of us actually! It was ALOT of fried shrimps and clams, 6 big scallops, a full fillet of haddock, and fries. It was definitely worth the $30. The famous Maine lobster roll (around $16), plenty of lobster meat and mayonnaise: Fried shrimp plate, if we knew our platter is that huge, we wouldn’t need to order the shrimp plate! The full seafood dinner cost us around $86 including tips! From the restaurant to the hotel was only few miles away, we stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton Bangor Hotel to earn some SPG points and nights. It was tricky to find the hotel parking lot which shared with the airport parking lot; we need to go to the front desk to validate the ticket each time we go out. The room was clean and decent size; best part of it is it has a mini emptied fridge and microwave!!! Perfect to reheat our leftover pizzas for breakfast tomorrow! One thing I dislike about the hotel is the TV, its remote control will not allow to change its input source to HDMI. I always plug in the Surface tablet with the HDMI cable to watch streaming shows. We called the front desk and have to go down to borrow the “special” control to do it and then return it; such a hassle! We were pretty exhausted and slept early after all the hiking we did today! Sunday morning, we woke up, ate our pizzas and left by 9:30 am. We arrived Hulls Cove Visitor Center – Acadia National Park in an hour from Bangor. Memorial Day weekend is usually the start of the season to many business in that area and it visitor center was already packed with people! I can’t imagine how crowded it will be during summer time! There was a long line to pay the fee of $25 per vehicle valid for 7 days. We finally got our park pass and a map; we started with the Park Loop Road drive around the park in 27 miles. We pulled over and made a few stops in between. First, is this marsh: Then traffic completely stopped, there were three entrance gates and all slowed down by people purchasing the park pass there and asking questions GRRRR! They should have a lane for cars who have purchased the park pass already!!! Once after the entrance gate, the next point of interest is the Sand Beach. It was extremely crowded that we couldn’t even find a parking spot! Hubby dropped us off for photos and picked us up. Then as we continued on the road, there are those massive wall of huge stones that many people climbed up. And hubby did the same, he was the pioneer to check it out and said it was worth the climb. Some rocks are slipper so be extra careful! I was wearing my flip flops (if you have followed my blog, you’ll know that i love to wear flip flops on trip LOL), but don’t blame me; I wasn’t planning on any hiking! I took off my flip flips in some slippery areas and it worked 🙂 The size of the rocks! On the rocks, you can see
the Sand Beach on the back: It was a nice spot for photos! It would be nicer if there are some puffy white clouds! Some wild flowers: Another marsh: Foliage time should be pretty! We tried to stop at Jordan Pond but the parking lot was completely full; it was so crazy and we gave up and decided to continue on! We completed the loop and it was almost 1 pm, my lunch was overdue! We got away from the touristy Bar Harbor and instead went to the hidden gem Thurston’s Lobster Pound at 9 Thurston Road, Bernard, ME 04612. It was on the other side of the island around half an hour drive. My lovely GPS couldn’t locate the road and Google Map saved us once again! We got there in half an hour and it has few parking spaces there. The view from the restaurant was very beautiful! Their fresh seafood menu: It was more of a casual cafeteria style, order and they’ll give you a number to placed on the table and someone will come to deliver your food. We walked around to search for a good view table but all were occupied so we sat inside the porch. We took few more photos before our food arrives. Here comes our food! Hubby ordered a 2.2 lb lobster at 13.69/lb whahahaha: We ordered 2 jumbo lobster rolls and 1 crab roll to share: The jumbo lobster roll $19.49 was good in size and the jumbo crab roll was $17.49. The lobster roll was very good as well as the crab roll; not many places have crab roll and it’s my first crab roll! First bite……oh wow a mouthful of individual string of crab meats, I love that feeling because when I have crab, it takes so much time and effort to take out just a small amount of meat! Now without any effort or getting my hands dirty, I have a mouthful of fresh sweet crab meats!!!

The table we sat has a yellow cover on the top so the photos were actually have this saturated hue of yellow! I had to change the color temperature and yellow saturation to remove the yellows! By the time we finished with our rolls, hubby was still working on his lobster haha: We decided to order a slice of the famous warm Maine blueberry pie as well as a slice of strawberry pie with a scope of vanilla ice cream, both were delicious. Highly recommended them! The back of the restaurant near the parking lot, all those colorful lobster traps! And more: Next stop: Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse which is located across the other side of the harbor. When you search for photos for Acadia National Park, you’ll most likely see that light house. Somehow it was very cold on that section of the island that I had to run back to the car for my hoodie! To get to photograph the whole light house, you’ll need to hike down to the rocks…. There’s a short trail to get down there. Once again, you’ll need to climb up rocks to get to the prime spot, it was much harder than that wall of rocks we climbed inside the park! I eventually stopped and handled over my camera to my husband and asked him to take a few shots. It was that difficult! The postcard photo of the light house by hubby: I have no clue how people managed to set up tripod to have a long exposure shot of the light house! Once we are done with the light house, I was debating rather or not to drive up to Cadillac Mountain and finally decided to skip it because my husband been driving for the whole weekend, I’ll just give him a break! So then, we headed back to Bar Harbor to enjoy the rest of our afternoon there. We were lucky to find a parking spot and explore the harbor town! As with most harbor towns, Bar Harbor has a Main Street filled with souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars. There are two cruise ships on port that day. A little sandy beach, this kid is so cute! Hotel with ocean view! Tour boats to see whales and puffins: Souvenir shops: Expensive lobster trap rocking chairs: We tried out the Maine blueberry soda, it was sweet and at first it tasted like blueberries and then it almost tasted like grape soda haha! We sat down and thinking where to go for dinner. Hubby said after the last few meals of fried seafood and lobster rolls, he couldn’t take them any more LOL. So I searched yelp for Thai restaurant near our hotel. We drove back to Bangor and had take outs from Thai 2 Go! This is a little house on the main street in Bangor for take outs only: We ordered pineapple fried rice, 3 orders of our favorite Drunken Noodle extra spicy, and Thai Iced Tea. Brother paid for that meal and I heard it was less than $60. Before we went back to our hotel, we stopped by Marshall’s near our hotel for some shopping; all of us love to shop at Marshalls/TJ Maxx so we had to stop and check it out! We got back our hotel and made a visit to the front desk to validate our ticket and ask for the remote control. This time, this guy had no idea what I am talking about OMG…he was completely clueless on changing the input of the TV, HDMI cable, or this “special” remote control. He had to call someone else and then that person said he’ll deliver to our room. Within minutes, that guy stopped by with the remote control, thank you very much! We watch a movie while having our dinner. Ermmm the Drunken Noodle was not the big flat noodle type that I like 🙁 The taste is not bad though. My husband’s fried rice portion was huge! After shower, we went to sleep and the alarm was set to 8 am! Memorial Day morning, I was surprised everyone are up before the alarm except for my brother! We had buns that we brought with us for breakfast and then packed up our belongings. On the way back to Boston, we stopped by the Portland Head Light House at 1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107; it was almost a 3 hours drive from Bangor! It was very cloudy today although it was the warmest of the three days. There were a few parking lots so not an issue and I heard clean restrooms 🙂 We walked on the other side to get the view of the light house, the rocks, and the ocean. I asked hubby to run back to the car to get the tripod for long exposure but guess what, I totally left the tripod head on the other camera at home u
rgggg sorry!!! We tried to hold on tight of the camera on the tripod for the longer exposure shots. Not too bad right? For lunch, more lobster rolls muhahahaha! We went to The Lobster Shack at 225 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107. It was packed so must be good! There were many picnic tables there, be sure to bring your jacket in case it’s cold and windy! They went to grab a table while hubby and I waited in line to place the order. We ordered 4 lobster rolls, a crab cake, and a bowl of clam chowder. Total was like $90! We got a number and this time, we have to go in to pick up our order when our number is called. I was so worried that I will trip and fall!!! The lobster rolls were the smallest in size in our trip but it does taste good; it has the right amount of mayonnaise! The clam chowder as watery and not the thick Boston kind but it was good with plenty of clams. The clam cake was good too. After lunch, we were planning to visit another light house: Nubble Lighthouse at Sohier Park Road, York, ME 03909 but it looked like it’s going to rain and we came to a complete stop at the 95; it was traffic jam as people heading back home after the long weekend! We decided to skip the light house and head back to home. Another 3+ hours drive and we got home by 4 pm! This long weekend trip wasn’t as crazy or as amazing as the Labor’s Day weekend trip where we saw so much in three days but it was fun for a short road trip from home. I am sure we wouldn’t want to have lobster rolls for a while haha but we’ll be sure to have more lobsters over the course of the summer!

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