Tuesday, July 6, 2021

4th of July Weekend 2021

Hello friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!  Ours was a little bit jumbled up, but it was still wonderful!  And I was so happy to be home for it this year!

Our holiday weekend actually got off to a bit of a late start.  Eliot and I were supposed to drive up to Trenton on Friday evening.  But when 8:00 pm came and went with no end of our to do list in sight, I called my Mom to tell her that we'd be staying home for one more night.  There wasn't any reason to feel stressed and rushed finishing up orders and packing.  If we left at 10 pm (if we were lucky) we'd be getting there around 1:30 and by the time we went to bed, we'd be sleeping in and waking up just to rush to the Ellsworth post office before noon.  My Mom agreed at my assessment.  

It made more sense to take our time finishing everything, go to bed at a reasonable time, and then to get up early.  (We'd still arrive in Trenton about the same time that we'd be getting ready to do something Saturday anyways!)  So Eliot and I did just that- we stayed up a little later than I'd hoped to, but we got all of our orders finished, packaged, and ready to mail.  Then we packed our weekend bags and went to bed.

Saturday morning, we got up early and sealed the last ear order.  Then, Eliot took all of the packages to the post office while I was in the shower.  He returned home and surprised me with a breakfast sandwich from Dunkin Donuts.  Then, he took a quick shower, we packed everything into the Jeep, and we were on our way!

I wasn't feeling great so Eliot volunteered to drive.  We talked most of the trip, though my eyelids started to droop once we got closer to Augusta.  Eliot pulled off at the Augusta Walmart to stretch and use the bathroom.  Then, we went over to the Barnes and Noble to poke around for a few minutes.  It was good to get out and stretch.  Plus, I found some cool Disney board games that I'd never seen before!  Then, we got back on the road and stopped again at the Walmart in Brewer.

Once we got to Ellsworth, we went to the drive through at Dairy Queen.  Both Eliot and I really wanted to stop since it has the full "grill and chill" menu.  We both got burgers and cheese curds (fried mozzarella balls).  Then, we made our way down the road to my parents house... arriving around 4:00 pm.

I had grand plans to do something Saturday evening, but the weather was starting to turn and after our drive up, I didn't feel like doing much.  Instead, we hung out at home and caught up with my family.  Mom and I made pasta salad for Nana and Jeremy's dinner, and Mom, Dad and I all got lobsters from the local lobster pound.  (Eliot was still stuffed from eating most of the cheese curds).  We watched a basketball game that Jeremy wanted to see.  Then, we all went to bed early since we had to get an early start for the 4th of July parade the next morning.

Sunday morning, I woke at 7:00 to the sound of my alarm clock and water rushing.  For a minute, I thought Jeremy might be in the shower, but to my dismay, I realized it was rain.  It was pouring out.  I laid in bed for a little bit not wanting to move.  Eventually, I got up and checked the Bar Harbor chamber of commerce website... the parade was still on but the fireworks were postponed to Monday night.

Jeremy was still in bed, so I took a shower.  Then, I got Eliot up and moving.  After we'd all gotten ready, we weren't far behind Mom, Dad and Nana who all also slept in later than they planned to.  (They should have been in Bar Harbor early before we even got up.)  We headed in a few minutes behind them and luckily, we got the parking spot that they park in every year right in the front of my grandparents old store.  (I think Papa, Grammie and Grammie were all looking out for us and sending us a sign.)

Mom and Dad were standing there on the sidewalk so Dad tried to help me parallel park at the weird angle.  I ended up having him jump in and park the Jeep for me.  (My parents were parked just around the corner and had come around to get breakfast at the Epi but it was was closed.)  Instead, we went across the street but they weren't doing take out and it was an hour wait to get inside.  

After a quick moment of panic, we realized the Pink Pastry Shop was open.  We went inside and they had a large assortment of muffins, cinnamon buns and more.  After selecting our breakfast items, Eliot and I admired the cupcakes.  When it was our turn, Mom, Dad and I ordered breakfast.  Meanwhile, Eliot and Jeremy went to Walgreen's to get Nana a milk and a juice for me.  The ladies in the Pink Pastry Shop were very nice.  We told them we were local and that my parents' house was down the street from their other location.  I also told them we'd be back for cupcakes later!

It was still raining so we quickly took the food back to my parents' car.  Nana, Mom and Dad all ate inside their car.  On the way back to our car, we stopped to visit my friend Katie who was working two shops over.  We were pretty soaked, but I gave her a huge hug- the first hug we've been able to give each other in over a year.  They were pretty busy as most of the other stores in town hadn't opened yet, so we went back to our Jeep to eat our breakfast and let her work.

My cinnamon bun was delicious and I savored every bite as we sat there.  We "people-watched" as people with umbrellas tried to find a place to stand for the parade.  It was still raining pretty steadily.  After we played on our phones for a while, I texted Katie to see if it had quieted down.  She told me to come over so we visited with her.  While there, Eliot also bought me a rock that I saw and really liked the blue and purples of it.  

As it got closer to parade time, we decided we better go back outside.  It had stopped raining!  Instead of watching the parade from the store like we usually do, we stood with Mom and Dad at their car.  Nana was set up so she could see the parade from the car without getting out.  While standing behind their car, Eliot and I talked with a few ladies who were visiting from Washington D.C.  Once they realized I grew up in Bar Harbor and Trenton, they asked us a few questions and we gave them some tips.

Unfortunately, the parade was really short this year.  We weren't sure if it was the rain, COVID, or what... but we all admitted that it was a little disappointing.  However, I was thankful they still had it, as Bangor's parade was completely cancelled due to the rain.

Mom, Dad and Nana decided they were going to go home.  Eliot, Jeremy and I decided to stay in town for a bit and to walk around the stores in town.  It's been a while since Eliot and I have shopped in town and it was fun checking walking around.  We went to a bunch of our favorite stores in town.  We also walked down to the pier and I took a few pictures.  While there, we scoped out our place for the fireworks.

Before returning to our car, we had to go into Grammie and Grampie's old store.  The people who run the t-shirt store in it now know my Dad, but I wasn't sure if they would recognize us kids.  The gentleman did, and right away he asked if my parents were in town.  I said that they'd been in for the parade and then gone home.  Then, I talked with him while Eliot and Jeremy wandered around the store.  Before leaving, I took another look around... reminiscing all of the time I spent there as a child and teenager.

When we returned to our car right outside, Eliot and Jeremy saw a line of people outside of the Epi.  They were opening on the 4th of July after all!  (Apparently, they switched their day of being closed from Sunday to Monday that week.)  We got in line and I called my Mom.  Dad wanted a cookie and Nana wanted a whoopie pie.  Eliot and Jeremy both got small pizzas and I got my Epi Italian with sweet sauce.  Then, I brought another cookie and whoopie pie home with me.  

I ate one half of my sandwich while we waited in the car for their pizzas to be ready.  (It was packed inside so it made sense to come back.)  After about 25 minutes, Jeremy went back to wait for the pizzas to be finished.  Eliot went over to the Pink Pastry Shop to get our cupcakes.  I sat in the car and people watched.  After they both came back to the Jeep, we rode around town and headed home.

The rest of the afternoon went by in a blur.  All of us were tired from getting up so early that morning.  Mom, Dad and Nana all fell asleep in their chairs.  Eliot fell asleep in the office chair and I fell asleep on the couch.  I think Jeremy was the only one who didn't take a nap.  I finally woke up about an hour and a half later.

Eliot and I had planned to meet up with Katie for dinner.  She wanted to get out of town and off the island since it was chaos down there.  We went through a few restaurants before finding one that was open, and we finally made it to Margarita's in Ellsworth.  (I haven't been there since it was the Mex and I went in middle school for Girl Scouts.)

We had a great meal with her and another friend who was visiting home for the 4th of July holiday as well.  We caught up, laughed, and enjoyed our food.  Eliot loved his steak quesadilla and my taco salad was delicious!  Katie had a margarita flight that was red, white and blue themed and looked delicious as well.  After dinner, we said goodbye to the girls and told them that we'd see them the following day.

Eliot and I decided to stop at Walmart for a few minutes on the ride home.  We walked around the store trying to burn off a little bit of our dinner.  We found a few things we'd been meaning to get.  Then, we went home and had a quiet evening with my family watching the fireworks from all over the country on both CNN and the Macy's special.

Monday morning, we all slept in.  In fact, Eliot and I didn't even get out of bed until after 10 am.  Jeremy was planning to leave between noon and two, so we finally all got moving after our slow morning start.

Since we didn't get any family photos on the 4th, we all put our shirts on Monday to take pictures.  We went outside to take them in the driveway.  Thankfully, Jeremy had a tripod and I figured out how to use the timer on my phone.  After a bunch of outtakes, we did finally get a few good ones!

Mom and Dad were going to Home Depot, but Eliot and I also wanted to go to look at storm doors to replace the one on our front porch.  After a little bit of creativity, Jeremy, Eliot and Dad got Nana up into their Jeep Wrangler.  (It's too high for her to step up into.)  We all said goodbye to Jeremy.  Then, all three cars pulled out of the driveway.

Jeremy waved goodbye to us as Eliot and I and Mom, Dad and Nana all drove into the Ellsworth Home Depot.  Mom, Dad, Eliot and I got the flowers they needed for the cemetery.  Then, Mom went back to the car to sit with Nana.  Meanwhile, Eliot, Dad and I went to look at the storm doors.  We compared them and picked out which one made the most sense.  We're hoping to order one so we can have it ready for when Dad comes down again to help us with house projects.

After getting back to our cars, Mom, Dad and Nana headed over to McDonald's and Eliot and I went to Dairy Queen again.  (Both are next to each other in Ellsworth.)  I waved to them, but they didn't appear to see me.  I was also joking and trying to see who got through first.  We were both at the pick up windows at the same time, and they got through faster.  Then, we were behind them driving back up the hill.  Unfortunately, I realized that my burger was missing.  I told Eliot to pull up next to them at the light.  I put my window down and yelled over that we had to go back for my burger.

Once we finally had all of our food, Eliot and I proceeded to drive from Ellsworth to Bar Harbor.  Mom, Dad and Nana we taking the flowers over to the cemetery.  Eliot and I had told them we'd meet them in town.  We found a parking spot behind the bank and I let Mom know there was a handicap space there for them once they arrived.

Eliot and I went across the street to visit with Katie for a few minutes.  They weren't as busy as the previous day, but she was still working.  Once Mom, Dad and Nana made it into town, (and got the parking spot I told them about) Eliot and I went across the street to meet them at the ice cream store.  (If I'd known we were getting ice cream, I would have saved some room!)  Mom and Dad each got an ice cream at Ben and Bill's.  I asked Daddy to get me some chocolate fudge that I could bring home.  (I had a whole goody box of my favorite treats from home!)  Eliot and I sat with them on the bench outside and we just watched as people drove by.  Our matching Mickey shirts were a big hit.  A few people driving by commented even on them!

We drove around town one more time and headed home.  While there, Eliot and I packed up our stuff so we'd be ready to drive home later in the evening.  The fireworks were starting around 9:15 and we were hoping that we'd be on the road between 10:30 and 11:00.  Around 6:30, we got ready to leave for the fireworks.  I took a few quick photos of the decorations outside before we piled into Mom and Dad's Jeep.  

They drove us into town and dropped us off right at the corner of Cottage and Main Street.  Eliot and I went down to the shore path to put the blanket we borrowed from Mom and Dad down.  Then, we went back up the hill to let Katie know where we were sitting.  We decided to get ice cream even though the line to get in Ben and Bill's was almost to the bank.  Thankfully, it moved quickly.  Eliot and I also talked with the family behind us who were vacationing here from New Jersey.  Before I knew it, I was handed an enormous sundae with a large pile of whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.  (Our server was training and I think she gave me a large instead of a small.)

Eliot and I took our giant ice creams back down to the shore path.  We climbed onto our blanket and ate our treats.  A few minutes after 8:30, Katie popped up and joined us.  We all talked and people watched while we waited for it to get dark.  As the sun dipped to our left, it created a stunning view of the harbor.  I took pictures, Eliot took a few and Katie jumped up to get a few as well.

Eventually, it was getting dark.  A little after nine, we could see tiny fireworks popping up on the shore across the water.  (I thought it was from Lamoine but after looking at a map it might have been Winter Harbor.)  We saw a drone flying above the crowd preparing for our fireworks.  Someone swam into the water from the beach before our fireworks started.  (We thought they were crazy but in hindsight- it might have been a professional photographer who was also wearing a wetsuit.)

All of a sudden our night sky lit up with a bunch of fireworks.  Bar Harbor certainly outdid themselves.  It was the longest show I've ever seen them do.  The finale was over 2 minutes long of straight fireworks.  They had so many large ones, loud ones, colorful ones, screaming fireworks, fizzing fireworks, and more.  The finale was so insane that at one point I thought they were going to blow everything up.  It was crazy!

Afterwards, I insisted that they used last year's unused fireworks budget to also fund this years.  It was just so much that they had to have combined them.  (Later, my Dad said he had heard that's what they did.)  We were all certainly dazzled!

Katie had offered to drive us home, so we packed up our blankets and walked back up the hill.  After a quick potty break at the store, we all walked over to her car that was parked over on Ledgelawn.  It made for a quick escape from the traffic.  We opted to go towards the Kebo golf course and we didn't wait long before we were out on the Eagle Lake Road leaving the traffic behind us.  We passed by our high school and took the route I went to school for 4 years.  Before I knew it, we were back at my parents' house.  We said goodbye to Katie and made our way inside.

Eliot and I visited with Mom and Nana for a few minutes.  We told them all about the fireworks, the drone, the swimmer, the fireworks over on the other shore.  Then, Eliot and I packed up the last of our stuff.  Dad was upstairs doing some taxes but he came down to bid us farewell.  We gave everyone big hugs before leaving.  By the time we got on the road, it was after 11:30... and it was going to be a really late night. 

Eliot was more awake than I was so he said he would drive.  We gassed the Jeep up in Ellsworth and made our way towards home.  We saw a few foxes and a deer along the way.  We stopped in Gardiner to stretch and use the bathroom, then we made the final leg of the trip home.  I started to doze off again when we reached the toll booth before Portland.  Thankfully, at that point, Eliot knew where he was enough that he told me to sleep.  I fell asleep to the sound of him quietly singing along with the radio.

Eliot and I arrived home just after 3:30 am.  We grabbed what we needed for the night and went inside.  After unloading our bags, we made our way upstairs and into bed.  I crashed from exhaustion, but it was well worth it to see the Bar Harbor fireworks!

The plans for our weekend were definitely a little jumbled, but we did still get two full days at home like we originally planned to.  It all worked out for the best and Eliot and I had a wonderful holiday weekend up in Bar Harbor with my family!  °o°

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