This will be what is typically days 1 and 2 combined into one!—the reason being that we didn’t actually leave the house until midnight, while we usually leave in the early evening. It was raining all day, heavily, with no sign of stopping. Even worse, it was all moving to the east, just the way we were planning to travel.
Late in the afternoon Rich checked the weather radar and said something like “You know, I really don’t feel like driving in that crazy Hartford traffic with those crazy Hartford drivers in this miserable rain,” so he suggested that we just get a much later start.
After thinking it over for a minute, I agreed. So instead of leaving in the evening, we slept from about 6:00pm to 11:00pm, got up and had a light “breakfast” of egg sandwiches, and then left around midnight. It was so much better! We encountered no traffic at all through Connecticut and even most of the trucks were off the roads until 3:30 or 4:00am, by which point we were already well past Hartford. And even better, we had very little rain to deal with! We must have timed our departure just right because the bulk of the storm moved off or dissipated as we drove east.
We stopped for coffee and a sausage biscuit at the nearly deserted Charlton East Plaza on the Mass Pike around 4:30am. Then a short while later, around 6:15, we made a very necessary break at the New Hampshire Welcome Center, since we were both getting very, very sleepy. We slept until around 7:45, cleaned up a little bit and then headed toward L.L. Bean in Freeport.
Maybe it’s because I was still tired, but I didn’t find anything of interest at L. L. Bean this year, which is unusual. Rich bought a nice green shirt to wear around the house during colder weather.
Our next stop was intended to be the Bagaduce Lunch in Brooksville. I was really looking forward to their haddock sandwich, lobster roll, crab roll, and anything else we could manage, but at some point, Rich asked if I was sure they were still open. I hadn’t really even thought about it, because in our experience they have always closed the Sunday after Labor Day. But I checked their Facebook page anyway, and I’m glad I did. Turns out they closed early for the season this year, on September 5. So we had to come up with somewhere else for a snack.
I couldn’t find anything tempting along our route, but Rich suggested El El Frijoles in Sargentville—perfect! (No, it wasn’t lost on us that we went to “L.L. Beans” twice in one day.) We made our way there through Blue Hill. It was a little bit out of the way, but we weren’t planning on stopping anywhere else before making our way to Bar Harbor, and since we’ve been to El El Frijoles before, we knew we could count on a good meal.
The restaurant (really, a Maine-Mexican take-out joint in an old barn) was busy, but service by the chef-owners was quick and super-friendly as usual. Rich had a chicken chili bowl with a fresh green salad, while I had carnitas tacos with citrus, peppers, onions, and cilantro on fresh corn tortillas. We were thirsty after our long trip and their homemade agua fresca was just what we needed: lime mint for me and strawberry mint for Rich. Very refreshing! We sat outside to eat since it was partly sunny and almost warm. And we made sure to leave just enough room for pizza and beer later.
We got into town around 3:00pm, taking the Alternate Route 3 due to construction near Hull’s Cove. We dragged everything into our room, including ourselves, had a nice nap, and then went for pizza. We always start out with a medium pizza and two Shipyard Export ales. It was as fabulous as expected, if not better! We had no room for dessert, and we really both just wanted to get back to the room, so we picked up a few supplies at the Hannaford-Bananaford and came back to rest for the night.