Travel With RJ

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After getting our tent set up, we headed off to Bar Harbor to find some food. Both my wife and I were excited to have some lobster! We found a space along the street and parked our car. We went for a leisurely stroll down towards the water. We found the restaurant that we ate at twelve years ago. It was named Quarterdeck. We looked inside, but there were not customers. I saw some wait staff, be weren’t sure if they were open. If they were open, no customers is not usually a good sign.
There was another restaurant down by the water. We headed down to take a closer look. They had a sign out listing the specials, and they sounded really good. The restaurant was named The Fish House Grill. We decided to try them.
We went into the building and down the stairs to the entrance. After a bit, a girl came out and seated us. There were lots of customers here. The menu had lots of seafood choices. My wife and I both chose the "Downeast Lobster Bake" which came with a cup of New England clam chowder, 1 ¼ lb steamed lobster, drawn butter, corn on the cob, and choice of potato. We both chose garlic mashed potatoes for the side.
After bit, he brought out everything except the clam chowder. When we asked, he brought us the clam chowder. He really should have brought it out before the rest of the meal since as we were eating the chowder, everything else was cooling off.
The clam chowder was good. We have had better, and we have had worse. The lobster was excellent! I loved the garlic mashed potatoes. The corn on the cob was okay. The only thing I would have liked to have seen was to have had the clam chowder before the rest of the meal.
The Fish House Grill is located at 1 West Street, Bar Harbor, ME. (207) 288-3070.

After leaving Portland, we headed up towards Bar Harbor on Highway 1. We were making pretty good time for the first part. I kept an eye out for used bookstores along the way, and actually found a handful. There were a ton antique stores, and craft stores, and artist stores along the way. One thing that was lacking was public restrooms. At one point, I really needed a bathroom break, and so did my wife. I had just gotten past a REALLY SLOW driver (driving 40 in a 55 zone with almost no opportunities to pass!!!!), and wanted get farther ahead so we wouldn’t stuck behind the a-hole again (and people wonder what causes road rage). So we started looking for places that might have restrooms. I just missed an exit that had a bunch of fast food restaurants. I didn’t notice all the stuff, till we had just passed it. We came upon a used book store right next to a gas station. We planned to go to the gas station, use the restroom, and then check out the used book store, But the gas station had no public restrooms. We continued down the road and found another used book store, but no restrooms. Finally frustrated, I slammed on my brakes, pulled off to the side of the road, I trudged off into the woods cussing out the slow driver, and took a leak behind a tree. I felt better. I backtracked about 5 miles or more to find the fast food restaurants. We went to a Dairy Queen where my wife used the restroom. I went to the men’s room to wash my hands. After ordering a shake and an ice cream cone, we continued on highway 1, managing to hit the used bookstores we passed, as well as a couple down the road. We are hoping to hit some more stuff along to way back.

We left home a few days ago. On one of our stops, I was coming out to my car, and noticed a bald spot on one of the front tires. I looked closer. Ouch! I knew my tires were kind of worn out, and was planning on getting them replaced sometime after our trip. But I had no idea they were this bad. The first couple days of our trip had a lot of rain. And driving on the worn tires was making me a little nervous. I debated about getting new tires during our trip, or waiting until we got home. I searched for the nearest BJ’s Wholesale Club (where I got my last tires), and found there were a few in New Hampshire, but all in the southern part of the state, way out of our way. There was one in Portland, Maine, that wasn’t too far out of out way. I discussed it with my wife, and we decided to go to Portland and have the tires done on our way to Acadia.
My GPS wasn’t loaded with detail maps for that area, so I went to mapquest, and drew a simple map of where to find the BJ’s. I set the GPS for Portland, and we go on our way.
Using the GPS and the hand-drawn map, we found the BJ’s about 9:30am. Fortunatly they weren’t busy, and got us right in. They quickly changed the tires. I also had them do an alignment. They got most of the alignment done, but one of the rear wheel adjuster bolts was frozen solid, and will need to be torched off. They suggested I wait till I got home.
While they were working on my car, I ran into the store, and bought some new Levi jeans. BJ’s has great prices on them when I can find my size. We were about 30 miles away before I realized that I left the jeans in the tire service waiting room. The receipt was with them. I am hoping they just return them for me, and refund my money. Bummer! Though we might be passing by there again in a few days on our way to Gloucester.

We debated about whether to drive from Shelburne, VT all the way to Bar Harbor, ME. It was doable, but we would have spent the day on freeways, and not had time for stops. It would have given us three days in Bar Harbor. We decided instead to stop in the middle, and take our time on the drive taking smaller slower back roads. There were many places that we could have stayed, but I decided that the Twin Mountain KOA in New Hampshire would be good. It had a cabins (Kabins) available. And since the weather was turning miserable (rainy and cold), we thought staying in a cabin would be preferable to sleeping in a tent.
We arrived in Twin Mountain, NH, and easily found the KOA using directions on a brochure that we had found.
According to the brochure they only have a small number of cabins, and with the rain, I was hoping they would have one available. Fortunately they did. I was hoping for one close enough to the office so that I would have access to the wifi from the cabin. They put us in the cabin closest to the office, and I have a great connection.
What I like about the KOA campgrounds is that they are clean, and have lots of amenities. They cost a little more, but you are getting more for your money.
The people in the office were very friendly. They were also very helpful when we were trying to find an open restaurant on a Sunday evening, and even called the restaurant for us to verify they were open.
The cabin was nice and clean, and included heat which was nice since it had really gotten chilly. It had a full sized bed, and three twin sized bunks. All four had mattresses.
If you are in the area and are looking for a nice campground, I don’t think you could do much better than this one.

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