June 22, 2018
For the first time in many, many years, my family planned a vacation to Bar Harbor, Maine (we haven’t really been the vacation-type, perhaps due to our large size and the difficulty of gathering us all in the same place at the same time). While not everyone from my family came, I am one of six and have eight nieces and nephews, so even though not everyone was there, it was a large group, regardless. The group consisted of my mom, my dad, my boyfriend, my brother and his wife, two of my sisters and their two husbands, and three of my nieces and nephews.
While most of my family was there for an entire week, the school year for the county where I worked was extended, causing us to miss half of the trip. But we were determined to make it, regardless. My boyfriend and I drove to Maine Tuesday afternoon (after packing up my entire classroom on Monday, which was not an easy feat), and we arrived at the wee hours of Wednesday morning. We drove hours, only to spend half a day on Wednesday and two full days on Thursday and Friday in Bar Harbor. But hey, the beauty of Acadia is worth it, right?
My boyfriend drove the first six hours up until 11 p.m., which left me with the last leg of the trip up until 6 a.m., when we finally arrived at the two condos my family rented out for the trip. We completed our trip only stopping twice; once just for gas, and once at the only rest stop we could find in the Northeast that was open at 3 a.m. The rest stop was necessary as my desire to close my eyes behind the wheel was growing stronger by the minute. Burger King was the only food source available–I treated myself to some luxurious lukewarm coffee whilst zoning out upon the stale, lone french fry on the cold tile floor; meanwhile, my boyfriend devoured some BK breakfast sandwiches, enough to sustain him for the last three hours of our trip. We engaged in friendly conversation with an elderly man working there. He talked about adventures in his youth, particularly living his best life In Ocean City, where he would work until late and then head over to the Irish bar, where he drank beers until the sun rose. When asked why he stopped and moved to Maine, he grimly responded, “My wife.” I was taken aback by what seemed like his less than positive outlook but then noticed a flicker in his eyes. He shifted his tone as he said, “My only regret? Not marrying her sooner.”
We finished up our snack and headed back on the road. We were surprised by how bright it seemed so early…the sun rises at about 4:45 a.m. near Bar Harbor in June, so while we were dreaming of soft sheets and pillows, locals were getting up, drinking their coffee (naturally), and starting their days. The last hour of our trip is one that we will both probably repress (and is already fading into a blur), as it consisted of disgruntled joke-making, delirious laughter, and a “how can thirty minutes possibly seem this long” kind of mentality.
Needless to say, we were oh-so-excited to arrive, quietly carried our things into the sleep-filled condo, and shut our eyes for some much needed slumber.