Please enjoy this fun (VERY fun to produce!) video of our trip and read below to get more details and links to some of the things I talk about in the video . . .
I love a good road trip, and while I know driving isn’t necessarily the most eco-friendly way to travel, there was no other way to take this recent amazing tour of Maine. Fortunately, we have a hybrid that helps mitigate the damage a little . . . But we do a lot of other things to help keep our carbon footprint down when we travel.
This trip involved a lot of stops and visits with friends and family on either end of the trip, which included our amazing stay at a secluded lake house in the Maine Highlands not far from Acadia National Park, and a genealogical adventure to research my husband’s Acadian and Quebecois roots in Frenchville, Maine. His last name is Bouchard after all . . .
We had a lot of fun taking pictures and video — what a visually rich part of the country! Unfortunately, it rained cats, dogs, chickens and goats for 3 days (with short periods of serious fog and mist), so we missed out on some amazing views when we visited Acadia National Park. There are some pictures of us, like the one below, with a dull sheet of gray covering what we know (from pictures taken by other folks on a clear day!) to be some stunning views from the top of Cadillac Mountain and other scenic spots.
But, we had some stellar days and nights too, and here are a couple of the more sunny images of Maine . . .
It was great fun to visit my sister Lisa (aka Green Diva Lisa) in her new place, which is a very cool loft in Kennebunk, where she can be near her son and daughter-in-law, who are about to give birth to their first child (Lisa’s first grandchild). While she spent a couple of years goofing around with us here in New Jersey, her prior home for many years was Austin, Texas and you can see the influence all over her awesome place . . .
We stayed at Lisa’s, but her DIL, Melanie Katrovil, who is an AMAZING photographer (wish she was taking the photographs and filming for us!) introduced us to a beautiful resort she has done work with, the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. She thought I might be interested in some of there eco-initiatives, which include the Green Room Project, which gets local students involved in designing 2 rooms using eco-friendly materials each year. See the video above for lots of details about that!
Maine Highlands Lake House
We traveled north from there just outside of Bangor to stay at a beautiful log cabin on a secluded lake — Thank you to Fred & Judy Sockwell for generously offering it to us for a week! It provided a MUCH-NEEDED retreat from our hectic and busy life here in New Jersey. We brought our own food and cooked in the gorgeous kitchen and sat on the back deck listening to (and sometimes watching) the moose, the loons and the bald eagles. Other than the float plane that surprised us and landed on the lake before turning around and taking back off (I captured some video of it taking off – see the video) we savored the peace and quiet and got caught up on some reading.
But the real goal was to get to the very top of Maine, where Wayne’s family came from. His father was born in Frenchville Maine as were hundreds (probably thousands) of other Bouchards. Wayne had never been there and had been waiting years to make this trek. And trek it was! We got to experience first hand, just how expansive Maine really is. A lot of trees along the road along with a few scary signs about not hitting Moose, and then there was that horse and buggy we came across . . .
Who knew we would discover foodie heaven in Presque Isle Maine? If you ever get up there, you must visit our new friend Carol at The Whole Potato for a delicious, sustainable, healthy meal, experience some great art, contribute to the ongoing writing from the typewriter in the bathroom, and possibly even hear or sing some music. We loved it so much on the way up, we made a point of going there the next day on our way back down. They have a wonderful chalkboard wall for “food art” (much like the one we are doing in our new Green Diva Studio!). Here’s my contribution to it . . .
We made it to the actual start of Route 1 in Fort Kent Maine and if they weren’t doing construction on the bridge right behind it, we would’ve walked over to Canada!
The people in Frenchville and the folks who help the Acadian genealogy seekers in the Madawaska Library and the Acadian historical society were all so wonderful. We met some Bouchards from another branch of the huge Bouchard family tree, who run the Bouchard Family Farm. They grow buckwheat and make amazing flour and Ployes mixes with it. They taught us about Ployes, which is a delicious buckwheat pancake that is healthy and easy to make and is a traditional Acadian food.
We learned that there is going to be a huge World Acadian Congress, which is going to be the largest gathering of people from all over the world who have a connection to this part of Maine and Canada. We met a French (from France) film crew that was gathering material for a story about this upcoming event, which is NEXT YEAR. As part of this event, there will be over 100 family reunions, one of which will be the Bouchard family reunion. We’ll be there. Can’t wait!
There was much more to this trip, including our stopover in Duxbury, Massachusetts to see some friends of mine from High School. It was a fabulous mini-reunion and you can see more about it in the video.
Looking forward to making this trek again next year! meanwhile . . .
eat. blog. be merry!
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October 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm
How amazing is that. This weekend I spoke to my cousin Brian Bouchard who lives in Winterville, Me and he was telling me about the reunion next year in Madawaska. I told him we would make every attempt to go. We were attending my sister’s daughter wedding Colorado. My sister was born in Eagle Lake, Me. Oh, and the last funny thing is I live in Duxbury, Ma and you probably drove past my house. See you next year.
Green Diva Meg
October 6, 2013 at 8:34 pm
Hey Mary! wow! we should talk! my step-son’s name is Brian Bouchard, and my daughter’s name is Mary. I don’t use the name bouchard professionally, but it is legally my last name. Have you found the Bouchard reunion page on facebook yet? I have your email and I hope you don’t mind, but I will email you privately. Glad you liked the post and commented! 😉 gd meg