We just returned from a wonderful trip to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine. I'm gradually sorting through both my photos and my thoughts from the trip, and as I do, I intend to write a few posts about our trip. This is the first of those posts.

I'll begin with the five senses of coastal Maine (& also, what we wore) :

Seeing: the movie Lion on the plane, and crying like a baby, sunsets over water; large islands, made into tiny dots on blue water by our vantage & elevation; sparkly ocean surfaces, birch groves everywhere, white caps with waves crashing on rocks, lighthouses on granite cliffs, full brightness in our bedroom by 6AM (just about the furthest east you can get in EST, with sunrises around 5AM this time of year). Houses clad in shakes and history.

Smelling: the scent of pine, ocean salt, the freshest air imaginable, bacon made in the oven, coffee first thing in the morning

Tasting: seafood galore (lobster, shrimp, clam chowder, hallibut, etc), eggs and bacon for breakfast, coffee, kendel mint cake* with a square of dark chocolate on the trail, gf/organic stroopwafels** on our coffee cups. Morning fruit smoothies and green juice, PB+J sandwiches on hikes for lunch, blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream

Hearing: waves crash on rocks, the wind whistling, an older man at the airport whistling Father Abraham, local news stations talk about openings of breweries and local school announcements, endless jokes about this video, loons calls, our little puppy buddies sniffing our hair first thing in the morning to say hello

Feeling: "at-home," with the weather and the people and the scenery and temperature and the feel of a place (Nicholas and I always talk about how places translate to feelings for us). Feeling so relaxed and joyful, the weight of a sleeping puppy in your lap, the feeling of a shawl wrapped around my neck, a cool breeze on the top of a mountain, the damp wind of the sea, the "hug" of a hand-knit sweater, wood floors under bare feet, new slippery Acadia-themed playing cards, shuffled for rummy.

Wearing: long-sleeved tops, my favorite vests, wool socks, my toaster sweater, chacos, sparkly bought-on-sale-and-still-loved Athleta leggings, hiking shoes, and always a buff as a headband or around my neck.

*Kendel mint cake is something special. I first heard it mentioned on one of those shows called Coolest Houses in the World, or something, when the host mentioned they should have some Kendel Mint Cake for a trip into the Swiss Alps. Ever fascinated by specialty treats, I googled "Kendel Mint Cake" and found that it's not cake at all, but a confection traditionally used for energy during hiking, that tastes like the inside of a York peppermint pattie. Sign me up. I ordered some on Amazon, and I saved it to try on the trip. And we loved it, especially with a small square of dark chocolate. It's pleasantly minty and refreshing. This video on how/where it is made is fascinating, and I just came across this article, written this month, more about Kendel Mint Cake's origins.

**We've tried and loved Stroop Club's Stroopwafels, and so I ordered some of the organic/gluten-free version to bring on the trip. You may have had lower-quality versions on certain airlines, but these are so fresh and fantastic. You place it on a mug of hot coffee and the caramel inside melts.

Stay tuned for another post with more details and specifics of our trip to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine