Monday, July 22, 2013

Mount Desert Moments

It's late July in DC and we're in the middle of a scorching heatwave. How I wish we were back in Maine where the temperatures are cooler! 

As mentioned previously, Tom and I spent a part of our recent Maine holiday discovering, exploring and enjoying Mount Desert Island. By the way, Mainers generally refer to it as MDI or Mount de-ZERT (dessert).

MDI is where majestic granite mountains rise up to meet the sky. It is also where mighty ocean waves collide with steadfast rocky coasts. And, it is where verdant forests gently give way to historic seaside villages and towns - some bustling and touristy, others a bit time-forgotten but genuine.

We absolutely fell in love with the authentic landscape: powerful and raw, yet quiet and atmospheric. There were, indeed, many special moments.
One morning with a bright sunrise ahead . . .
. . . another with the island enveloped in dense fog.
We passed through the small village of Somesville frequently. Dating from 1761, it is Mount Desert Island's earliest village. Shown above is the Somesville Historical Museum, and below is the library. Charming, right?
The Bass Harbor lighthouse perched on a jagged cliff.
Welcome to Acadia National Park!
Birches, ferns, moss, and lichens growing profusely in the woodlands.
We arrived early to hike around Jordan Pond (which looks more like a lake). Those twin mountains are known as "the Bubbles."
Tom and I worked up quite an appetite after completing the loop around the pond. We sat down for a yummy lunch of Maine lobster stew and warm popovers with fresh strawberry jam and butter at Jordan Pond House. Simply deeeee-lish!!! :)
Many guests sat outside to enjoy the view of the pond and the Bubbles. As the restaurant tends to get busy during July - August, make a reservation or get in line around 11:00 AM. I thought an early morning hike while temperatures were cool and lunch later worked out really well. 
On another day, we took the 27 mile drive on Park Loop Road. I highly recommend this meandering drive with its many scenic stops and breathtaking vistas.
 Make sure to hike or drive up to the top of Cadillac Mountain for the most incredible panoramic view of Bar Harbor and the islands.
A gift from John D. Rockefeller, the 45 mile network of crushed stone carriage roads, complete with 17 rustic stone bridges, are open to hikers, bicyclists and horse drawn carriages.
 Pleasure boats and lobster boats sharing this quaint harbor. I thought these colorful row boats were really fun.
On our last day, we visited Garland Farm, the final home and garden of prominent landscape architect, Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959). I am saving Garland Farm for a future post. Stay tuned for more!
So long, MDI!  ~ Loi

95 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos of a majestic place. I will have to add this to a must see if we after get an RV some day to tour beautiful places like this.

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  2. Having just come in from the steamy weather here, I so enjoyed viewing your photos of Maine - I feel instantly refreshed! So full of charm and natural beauty. Most definitely going on my list of "must sees" for our future travel.

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  3. beautiful photos!!! love the photo of the colorful boats.... you are making me so jealous! my parents went to acadia and i have always wanted to go- i am a nature girl at heart. :) love the birch trees, the ferns, and the fresh smell of it all.

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  4. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Wish I was there now instead of the steamy South.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing these and journaling your trip. it looks phenomenal and a great respite from this heat. it all looks so charming. I'm still craving a lobster roll this summer cause of you!
    Xo Nancy

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  6. Hello Loi

    What a memorable trip. The variety of scenery and cuisine make Maine very attractive. Thanks for taking us along.
    Wishing you a superb week
    Helen xx

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  7. Hi Loi, what gorgeous shots you captured of MDI! I haven't been to Maine since I was in elementary school, but I really do need to return so that I can experience the lovely places you have captured so beautifully through your lens!

    And I hope the rains that moved through tonight have cooled you guys down a little, it helped down my way.

    xo Kat

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    1. Thanks, Kat! It's still muggy and hot in DC, but humidity level is dropping.

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  8. How spectacular Loi! You captured Maine's beauty so well! You are such a good travel guide, I loved your visit there last fall too. I have saved all your suggestions and places visited. We want to take a Maine tour in the next few years after we move south and will require a cool escape. Just gorgeous these photos are, Loi!

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    1. Thanks, Cindy! Good memory! Last fall, we visited the southern coast, and also parts of mid coast. This trip, we were primarily in "Down East."

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  9. Good evening dearest Loi!!!!!!!

    You are just one of my absolute top five favorite bloggers my man....your warmth and kindness is much appreciated, and your view of beauty, unmatched. Even your photos have a "tone on tone" look to them, and the first few photos of the scenery could easily be reproduced as oil paintings. In fact, they look as if they could be blown up and transferred onto canvas and be sold in your shop!

    When my husband and I first moved to Mass., we drove up the coast of Maine. It was always my dream as a child from Los Angeles to visit this mystical place, and we did everything imaginable there. From lobster dinners, visits to several lighthouses and speaking with the locals, I had the best time.

    As always, I am looking forward to another episode of your summer adventures - big hugs to you and have a wonderful week! (so sorry to know you are battling that horrific east coast heat!)

    Fondly, Anita

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  10. I've always heard of Garland Farm...so cannot wait for your post! These are beautiful images, all of them. Maine...well, I have a love/hate relationship with many parts of the state as I went there every summer for almost 25 years. The summer is certainly gorgeous and breathtaking, but oh the winter... it's a difficult place to be for those long winter months! Thanks for the beautiful post, as always!

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  11. I was just at Mt Desert Island last week, Loi. We did many of the same things you did. I was sorry that Garland House wasn't open while we were there. Sounds like a post on Beatrix Farrand is in the works. Did you go to the Thuya Garden? I decided to take a vacation from blogging while I was there so I won't be posting on my trip but I can enjoy yours!

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    1. Michael - We didn't visit Thuya as it rained on the day we were planning to go. Looking forward to visiting next time!

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  12. enchanting loi, suddenly i long to visit MDI, unknown just moments ago!

    years ago my husband and i entered, via car, the state of maine. our plan was to drive up the coast a bit, have lunch and find an inn to stay. being footloose and fancy free in maine in july was a terrible idea. everywhere we stopped they kept telling us "go north, much further north, we are booked"
    frustrated, by 2am we finally found an inn, in the acadian forest. we never would have ventured this far north but we were in love with the lush surroundings and freely wandering moose. your images take me back to a serene and scenic moment in time
    thank you loi
    debra

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  13. So beautifully breathtaking and rustic! Love it! Sometimes America has to see its own natural beauty instead of focusing too much on the negatives that we keep seeing on the national TV networks. Thanks for sharing all of these natural beauty of your country on your Blog. Pamela

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  14. I love Maine, used to always go to the beach (Ogunquit) there when we lived in Massachusetts and New Hampshire 1964-1977. New England has beautiful countryside and shoreline - I can taste the lobster and little neck clams in drawn butter right now!

    So glad you had a wonderful time, the photos are gorgeous Loi - thanks for bringing the amazing state of Maine close again.

    Mary

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary!! Ogunquit has changed so much, I think. But the lobster is still divine!!

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  15. Hi Loi, what an amazing coincidence that we visited the same place and I have been too lazy to post yet!!! Your photos are lovely. There was steady rain the entire time we were there, so you will get a kick out of my fog photos. I took so few photos because of it, so it was really nice to see your slightly sunnier stills!

    We loved the park loop road and the carriage roads. I saw Beatrix Farrand's name noted on a placard in Bar Harbor. She was on the Village improvement committee of Bar Harbor, who were behind the development of the famous Shorepath trail along the ocean there. You must visit some day just to walk it (ignore the urge to walk the tourist strip of bad shops...haha). Did you know she also designed the gardens for Dumbarton Oaks?! I took a photo of the plaque so I would not forget her name and study her more when I came home. Thanks for the reminder!!!

    Such beautiful photos. If the antiques thing doesn't work out, I think you have a calling for photography. And writing. :)

    Hugs, Terri xo

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    1. Oh, yes, I knew Farrand designed the gardens at Dumbarton! It is one of my favorites. Can't wait to see your photos, Terri!

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  16. Loi your images show what majesty and beauty this part of the country provides!
    I have not been and it is now on my list of a wonderfully relaxing getaway! Thank you!

    xoxo
    Karena
    2013 Designer Series and Giveaway!

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  17. Oh Loi I want to return to Maine. I adored it two years ago....Can't believe it's been that long! Looking forward to seeing more of your stay at MDI and Garland Farm.
    Thanks for the visit!!!

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  18. It certainly looks refreshingly cool. Maybe one day I'll get to Maine - meanwhile the Bay Area has been downright chilly!

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  19. Fresh air, birch trees, ferns, blue skies...so refreshing. It actually sprinkled a bit here in southern California and was overcast so not too hot...except there are brush fires to the south of us. Lovely photos.

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  20. Hello Loi, Those pictures are a refreshing break for those of us who can't get to Maine. One can easily image that the paper birch forest would be your kind of place. Another "white" nature scene that it reminds me of is when I was once in Vermont, and we walked along streams that flowed in beds of white marble, giving an other-worldly look to the area.
    --Road to Parnassus

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  21. Oh yes!! We loved the park loop road and the carriage roads and Bar Harbor who were behind the development of the famous Shorepath trail along the ocean there.

    Regards,
    Kopi Luwak

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  22. Dear Loi - your photo of the silver birch trees in Acadia National Park is a shot that I have been looking for, but not yet found!!! - lovely. Can you imagine that same view in the snow?
    A delightful and beautiful area featuring 'Tone on Tone' greens, blues, and greys - we too are suffering in the heat. Sadly my beautiful emerald green lawns are a paler shade of yellow.

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    1. Rosemary, I have seen similar birch forests covered in snow. Not in Maine, but in Sweden. So magical!

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  23. Loi,

    We have been planning a trip to Maine and now you have just added a few extra days to it. I am in love with this island, the Acadia National Park and ALL of your beautiful photos. In particular, the flag and the little bridge, and the beautiful forests. I see a coffee table book in your future...perhaps if you find the perfect house to renovate in that area?

    Thank you Loi for taking us along on your adventure to this beautiful, magical and wonderful place.

    I hope that you get back here soon!

    Stay cool in D.C, I fell your pain my friend, as it is not much cooler here.

    Elizabeth

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  24. What gorgeous photographs, Loi! Maine is a beautiful place and your photos captured that beauty. Thank you so much for sharing them. What a nice way to start the day!
    Claudia

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  25. I think I am going to insist that our next vacation be in Maine. It is incredibly beautiful and I could eat my weight in lobstah.

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  26. I remember our family going to Arcadia Nat'l. Park when I was a teenager and picking wild blueberries. There were so many that my mother made jam over the hotplate in our little camping trailer.

    I'm looking forward to your Garland Farm pictures.

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  27. What a gorgeous area- I must make a point to visit there- I am a huge New England fan. And that lobster stew sounds like it is worth a visit alone!!

    xo
    Mimi

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  28. We went one year in early May when it was warm enough but no hoards of people. MDI is a magical place.

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  29. Wow, what a stunning place - and your photos are absolutely gorgeous! Next time we visit my brother in law and his family in Maine, I will suggest a jaunt to MDI. I just love the rocky coastline of Maine. Beautiful.
    Hope things cool down a bit for you this week!

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  30. That's it! I'm showing your post to my husband, what a great place for a little retreat :)

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  31. It's all so beautiful! I've always wanted to take a trip and tour the new england states.

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  32. What gorgeous images, Loi. I love Maine especially when the NC heat gets unbearable. Since we will not be there this summer, I loved living vicariously through you!!

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  33. i love those atmospheric shots of the sunrise and foggy skies. mmmmmm. i see why you enjoyed it so. i will get there one of these days, my husband is always traveling east and would love to take me. stay cool in these extreme temps, loi. do what we did the other day at my sister's pool-less pad: inflatable walmart kiddy pool on the patio with raspberry jello shots, squirt guns, and bubbles. we called it 'white trash wednesday' and will do it again! :)

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    1. haha, that sounds like a blast! Love it, Michele!! :)

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  34. Maine is simply breathtaking! You have great photography skills, you have captured these places so well. We have not been to that part for quite some time. Looking through these pictures :) I am getting inspired to go back for at least a visit if not for good :)

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  35. Loi,
    This is breathtaking. When I imagine what Maine might look like I imagine the image of the Bass Harbor light house. MDI has it all. I think one of my favorite photographs you've shared is the image of the birch trees and ferns, so beautiful. What a great vacation you and Tom enjoyed. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    xo,
    Karen

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  36. Have always wanted to go to Maine + now I have been to MDI via your photos. One day I will go to Maine + loved the photo of you. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  37. Is there a "summer home" beckoning??? franki

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  38. So beautiful! Born and raised in New York I have never been to Maine. Now I'd love to! Thanks for sharing. Sue

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  39. I don't know how you left. It looks magical. As always your photography is amazing, Loi! Maine is moving up to the top of my list!

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  40. What great photos - looks like heaven. Can't wait for the next installment!
    xo

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  41. BREATHTAKING!! Oh how I love your virtual trips!! What an amazing area of our beautiful country, thank you for sharing,
    xo Kathysue

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  42. Loi- so lucky to have an opportunity to visit this beautiful town - your pictures are so beautiful cant imagine what it was like to experience in person. simply stunning!

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  43. Thanks Loi for taking us along to see the beautiful places you visited. Lunch look wonderful! I miss the East Coast, so very different from the West where I now live. Take care, Patty/BC

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    1. Thank you, Patty! I miss those popovers!!!!

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  44. Oh wow, Loi! These images are beautiful. Taunting us with food and beauty!Love the double bridges and lighthouse, and who doesn't love stew and popovers?
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  45. Oh, Loi, you were in one of my favorite places ever. Mount Desert Island is wonderful when you stay away from Bar Harbor (way too touristy for me). And when eating popovers with strawberry jam at the Jordan Pond house, I feel all is right with the world. Glad you had such a wonderful and beautiful stay - your pics are great.
    xo,
    b

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  46. Thank you dear friend, for this tour around the opposite side of the world!
    This summer it's impossible to me move from my usual places, so I can dream with you =)
    One day I desire so much visit the USA!
    Hugs dear Loi, have a nice week
    Silvia

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  47. Loi,
    What a stunning trip!!! I am saving all of your tips for when we finally make a trip to Maine. Such unblemished landscapes. Love the little ferns growing in the forest.

    Thanks for sharing this natural beauty!!! Stay cool in DC....it's finally starting to shift here. Don't need a sweater yet, but I'm not sweating! :)
    xoxo Elizabeth

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  48. Wow - Maine has been on my bucket list for a while now. I would love to soak in the local culture! Your photos could be on a brochure, Loi. How nice to have family there so you can visit!
    -Revi

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  49. Beautful pictures Loi and Maine is gorgeous. Unfortunately they were not spared the heat either. We were up there all last week seeing my husband's aunt and staying at a friends cabin and it was just as brutal heat wise. The lakes though were heaven!

    XXX
    Debra~

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  50. I would love to visit again. It has been a few years since we were there. It is just magical. It must be challenging to garden there. I can't wait to see more of that garden.

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  51. For just half a moment there, looking at your first photo, I thought you were here in Nova Scotia, Canada. But you were at our neighbour's house across the water and down the road!! No wonder it looked familiar. Such great photos and a pleasure to enjoy it with you. Thanks.

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  52. Oh wow, Loi! These images are beautiful. Taunting us with food and beauty!Love the double bridges

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  53. Hi Loi,
    Awesome photographs! I especially love the white birch forest. Wow! And you know I can't wait to see the Beatrix Farrand garden. I bet it was fabulous!
    Susan xox

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  54. Loi-
    Ah, the scenery is so similar to our Pebble Beach and Big Sur coastline. Spectacular rocky cliffs and quaint little towns- Great photos :)
    XO Sarah

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  55. Loi...looks like you had a beautiful vacation...love your photos...

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  56. Hi Loi, It is another world far away from tinsel-town California. So beautiful Thank you.
    xoxo
    Mary

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  57. gorgeous relaxing vacation- that is what your images tell me here. thank you for sharing and taking us away to this beautiful area.greetings from a cold, rainy Stellenbosch- Cape Town-South Africa (loving it!)X

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  58. Looks looks like heaven on earth. I think those two mountains should be called the "boobies"! :-)
    Much love.
    Di
    Xxxxxx

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  59. These pictures could easily be used for postcards. Absolutely beautiful landscapes! It must've been such a joy to experience. Maine is definitely on my list of places to visit in the US. Thanks for the inspiration. xx

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  60. Loi!

    You make me want to visit Maine, bleach the wood floors in my house, and buy everything in white. Love your blog!

    Berta

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  61. Dear Loi,

    Your posting brought back many happy memories of childhood vacations in Maine. My grandmother Dorothy would rent a two-story cottage up there, and we'd have summertime family reunions. I loved the fact that even in August, the mornings would be cool enough to build a fire. Thanks for rekindling those happy memories!

    Mark

    P.S. That's a nice photo of you, King of the Mountain.

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    1. Thanks, Mark! I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Did you know I'm afraid of heights?

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  62. Loi when you and Tom come visit me and Brian in Texas and float on our pool in our newly privatized backyard...I will have all the black widows killed so you can just enjoy the hot Texas sun and a nice cool "pondtini"...loved your photos...so pretty!

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  63. Hi Loi,

    Breathtaking photos of a beautiful place! How lucky are we to get to tag along with you and your smart photographer's eye, snapping away while we get to totally relax and take it all in!! I will dream about the lighthouse landscape tonight for sure and can't wait for the feature on Garland Farm!! Thanks so much for sharing these idyllic surroundings!

    Poppy

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  64. Beautiful tranquil images!! We have the heat wave here in NJ and those photos of Maine look so cool and inviting!!
    Best,
    Karolyn

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  65. Loi - Such beautiful photos of Maine! They would make wonderful paintings too! Thank you for the tour of Mount Desert Island. It is another spot to visit on my wish list. I hope it is a bit cooler for you in DC. The heat wave has broken here, thank goodness.
    xo,
    Deborah

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  66. Such lovely photos Loi. I hope you're well. Jx

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  67. Que lindo passeio, adorei esse lugar e as montanhas belíssimas. Uma pena que as férias acabem tão rápido.
    Bjos e tenha uma ótima semana.

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  68. Loi,
    Gorgeous photos! The one of the boats, all strung together at the dock is AMAZING! I am officially putting MDI on my bucket list. ;)
    P.S., Thank you SO SO SO much for your super kind comments at Mimi's interview of me and showcase of my house/work. I really appreciate it!
    xo,
    A

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  69. Great photo of you Loi .. atop the mountain!! Such a beautiful part of the world.. I cannot wait to visit some day. Your photos are gorgeous and you've got a wonderful photographic eye :) in addition to be an super talented designer. Glad you had such a nice time!

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  70. Its really a great pleasure to see all these places.. Really great.

    chennai interiors | kitchen designers

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  71. How spectacular! The pictures are out of this world...we were supposed to go to Maine for July 4th so now hoping for next month...fingers crossed, such a beautiful part of our country.

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  72. Hi Loi,

    So happy you and Tom made it to Mount Desert Island and experienced its amazing beauty. Its one of our favorite places on earth and we hope to get up there soon. Arent the popovers at Jordan Pond house the yummiest!

    See you soon

    Michael

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  73. What a very beautiful place Loi.....thank you for sharing it with us. We too have been enjoying a heat wave here in England which has been fine at home here out in the countryside, but overwhelmingly hot in London where I have just been for a few days!

    Hope you're having a lovely week?

    Sophia x

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  74. LOI LOI! There you are my friend! How lovely of you to take a virtual stroll on over to my beach dreams! If I could, I'd bottle up a sea breeze for you dear souls out there! Yikes, it's hot for all of you, even our European pals are having a heat wave! We on the other hand are having cooler than usual temps!

    I am still in class, but HA! I'm not teaching this one! Oh no; I'm a French teacher. The class my husband and I are enrolled in is a poetry class and we are studying free-verse. It is SO HARD, but I love it. Our class goes until August 13 and we hope to register for another level. Merci for your kind comments!

    OH! As I was driving home today, I heard we have a new antique shop in the Twin Cities: DANISH CLASSICS ANTIQUES! I shouted out, "FINALLY!" And they are located on my end of town. I hope they are as wonderful as Tone on Tone!

    Have a super evening, and I hope it cools down for you both! Anita

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  75. Oh, Loi--
    What a gorgeous place! I'm kicking myself because we had the opportunity to stay in our friend's cottage at Acadia this summer, but couldn't find the time in the schedule to do it-- arrghhh! We should've tried harder...Next summer for sure... It looks like you had a wonderful time there-- your pictures tell a beautiful story.
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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  76. MDI is a familiar place for me. Fun to see it through your eyes. Just got back from Maine yesterday. Even after 22 summers, I still see new beauty every time! Hope to share a few photos this week. (And hoping it's cooled down a bit in your area. It's amazing in Tennessee right now, which makes the transition from Maine MUCH easier!)

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    1. Look forward to hearing more about your trip. Welcome back!

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  77. Stunning photos Loi. Loving the greenery and the beauty of the countryside. I'm getting the itch to head East for the fall colors again with the hubby so I may need to think about traveling through this area. Although I could only hope that I could get the kind of photos that you've taken.

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  78. GORGEOUS!!!!! What more can I say? :) (Except that I would LOVE to visit this exquisite place someday)...
    Thank you, dearest Loi, for sharing the beauty...(love seeing you there too!!!)
    Sending a cool breeze...
    xoxo,
    - Irina

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  79. What a beautiful trip report Loi. I would really love to visit Maine after seeing these beautiful photos. The harbours and the birch forests, lakes and fog are calling my name. can you hear them? Paaaaaaul, Paaaaaaaul! :)

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  80. Loi,
    I just wanted you to know that I subscribe and receive your blog via email, which brings your blog directly to me every time you post. But, I just can NOT bring myself to delete this particular days post. I just love seeing your images. I would so LOVE to see Maine one day....I appreciate your perspective and creativity in your photography.
    I have to admit that I have been lazy and not posted on my blog in a good while, but I wanted to thank you for your dedication to keeping us involved in the visual journey you take us on when you post and for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    Best,
    Valerie

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  81. Geez...aren't you just a lucky pumpkin to enjoy such a gorgeous area of the world! Sometimes we forget how beautiful America is! You just gave us a peek:)

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  82. Hi Loi,

    My name is Jocelyn and I am with Dwellable. I am looking for fun and authentic blogs about Mount Desert Island and yours, along with your beautiful photos, happened to catch my eye. If you’re open to it, shoot me an e-mail at jocelyn(at)dwellable(dot)com.

    Hope to hear from you soon!
    - Jocelyn

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Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi