Maine vacations, little time, lots to see when you live in Vacationland.
Lucky to live in Maine and whenever there are a couple days here and there, it’s time to explore. Because Maine has four seasons, the same location is so different depending on the calendar spot you visit. So mini, instate Maine stay vacation time. Taking in Maine four season beauty in bite size segments. This past weekend, decided it was time to take in a Maine Black Bear ice hockey game at the Alfond Arena in Orono.
I am a college alumni of the University of Maine Orono campus.
Meg too along with most of my and her family members. The Harold Alfond Arena was just a parking lot when I joined Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity across the street on College Avenue in Orono. I was the treasurer of the fraternity house. Lived there year round working in the Bangor broadcasting market during and after college at the University of Maine at Orono.
Back in the early days around 1977 with Shawn Walsh leading the Maine Black Bear college ice hockey team, it was pretty spectacular.
Seeing your Maine university college team in the frozen four for the nation year after year was awesome for U-Maine system.
Had a little bite of Mexican food at Margarita’s in Orono ME before the Black Bear ice hockey game.
You can’t hoot, holler on an empty stomach when you go to a University of Maine Black Bear ice hockey game at the Alfond Arena.
Pat’s Pizza’s flag ship location, the Mother of all Pat’s Pizzas is close by Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant in downtown Orono, ME in Penobscot County. After filling the pie hole at Margarita’s with “South of the Border” menu items food, we headed to the Alfond UMO ice hockey arena. Parked in the steam plant parking lot, by the river. Put on the mask, hoofed it with Meg to the hockey game between Maine Black Bears and UNH Huskies college teams.
Walking home to TKE fraternity during my University years at 370 College Ave Orono ME, I remember watching the Alfond Ice Arena being built.
One board, cement pier at a time put into place. Lots of roof slopes in the design and the kind you can run hard and climb easily wearing sneakers not dress shoes. To overlook the river and reflect on the four year college education bubble experience.
We had a Dan Sweeney from Buzzard’s Bay MA in our TKE fraternity house who was a Maine black bear hockey player.
Our intramural hockey games had really crazy ice times because that arena gets used round the clock. Day and night. Every season of the year. It was not uncommon to set your alarm clock, get up at 3 AM and walk over next door to the Alfond ice arena for a college recreation hockey game.
Our biggest rival was Phi Eta Kappa fraternity at UMO.
There were quite a few jocks in each fraternity that competed heavily but also made sure to be at each other’s house parties. Not sure if that qualifies as a love hate relationship or not. Let’s just call it a spirited competition and leave it at that. My Dad was in BETA fraternity at UMO.
Had two boys who played Maine high school hockey and all the games with Old Town, Orono were at the Alfond arena in Orono.
And as any hockey parent knows, in high school, the sport continues year round. Summer hockey games every weekend at UMO’s Alfond Arena happened. And the parents in their shorts and short sleeves come inside out of the warm summer sun.
To watch, run the clock, announce, man the penalty box, to control the flow from the bench out onto the arena ice. To perform whatever chore at the ice arena and then in our case travel two hours back home to “The County”. All uphill heading North. Excited when you see the I-95 sign for “Benedicta ME” on the return home.
You know you are crossing the county line into Aroostook when you see Benedicta that only got one Interstate 95 exit.
Aroostook County is Maine’s largest of the sixteen.
After the Maine Black Bear ice hockey game, Meg and I headed over to the other side of Orono. Bagging ZZZzzz’s at the Black Bear Inn right off the Stillwater Ave exit.
We got up early on Sunday to head down to Acadia National Park. Visiting Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Bass Harbor lighthouse.
Every little town along the way as you drive the hilly, snaking highways that weave in and out of the coastal villages and towns. Neat coves, amazing rock formations and harbor views that excite.
It’s all a difference experience in a Maine winter.
We’ve blogged about returning to a Maine community vacation destination but in a different season. Like this blog post on Cape Porpoise, Old Port, the Maine coast. No or very few tourists, no bumper to bumper traffic or waiting in line. The peace and quiet replace the crowds of tourist seeking to sample Maine on summer vacation.
Not as many places open during the “shoulder season” or “off season” but the local operators are more laid back, friendlier and not so busy.
Rates are cheaper for everything off season in a Maine winter tourist attraction except for ski and snow sledding resort areas.
Walked around Bar Harbor, shot some blog post images.
Then traveled on to Acadia National Park. Paid the entrance fee and took in the sights on what was open around the perimeter road. Big Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, checked out Bass Harbor Headlight. Saw Egg Rock Lighthouse too and had covered that area from boat in an earlier Maine instate stay vacation.
The pathways, rocks covered with new white fluffy snow and hidden ice make it be better go slow and be super careful.
Watch your step folks. Fresh air, cobalt blue skies, a few tourists dressed warmly and wearing hats, gloves. Some strap on removable ice grips. Weather in Maine, we are outdoors year round. Just dress a little different in the exercise and sight seeing when in Maine.
Someone put a lot of work into the trails, the preservation of the wildlife habitat, plants, trees.
You see families, a few with pets as you travel to the open areas of Acadia National Park on MDI in Maine in winter.
Lots more open areas in Acadia this trip compared to last year when most areas were shuttered and closed up to the public.
Always thinking of seafood with the fresh air stimulating the taste buds. After taking in all this eye candy, your hunger for local Maine seafood only increases. Sure we can get lobsters, mussels, clams and crab meat at our local Maine Piggly Wiggly groceries. Or from a pick up with a box truck cooler on back that can fish you out just about anything sea food wise.
But nothing like tapping the source and knowing what you dine on was swimming in the sea not long before the same day direct from the harbor pound.
Today’s cell phones do a decent job taking images and capturing video loops.
But we have camera lust. Use them everyday in our job as Joe Maine Real Estate Broker. The Sony with the telephone lens cost more that two and a quarter books of green stamps. But so so worth zeroing in on the action. Whether a hockey game and up in the stands. Chasing the orange ball around the courts. Or on land, looking out at what’s parked off shore and up in or among the trees.
Another lighthouse in Maine is the rear attraction along the coast of Vacationland though.
Some Maine lighthouses you need a lobster boat ride or sight seeing tour to access.
Others are a sea kayak on a smooth windless day easy peasy to paddle out and back to see. Bass Harbor lighthouses in the summer when lots of other tourists had the same idea as you. It is way way easier to just park your car. Unhook the strapped on back bike to pedal in and out because parking spaces are as rare as four leaf clovers. Or live show tickets to Bob Marley, Maine’s comedian.
Lots of friends of all the Maine lighthouses.
Some Maine lighthouses have associations stronger than others to preserve, promote and protect. A few lighthouses in Maine private residences now or rented out for vacations for tourists visiting the Pine Tree State. Looking for something different for a location smack dab front and center on or off the Maine coastline.
After spending hours around Acadia National Park, venturing over to Bass Harbor Headlight, we just continued on our way back to Bangor Maine for the night.
Decided to sample some Geaghan’s BBQ wings and lay the head in the bed Sunday night in Bangor because Monday was President’s Day, school vacation too. There are many times just too busy to sneak out of town to see some new surroundings living in Maine full time as a native, local insider.
Maine instate stay vacations.
Have you been to Maine and where? Is it time for a re-visit to unplug, unwind and recharge? It’s winter but that does not mean nothing is open in Maine for vacation, instate staycation options. Until next time, already have ideas what to serve up in the next few blog posts about anything Maine that’s fair game. Thank you for following our Maine blog!