Road Trip: Cadillac Mountain, Bangor, and Sherbrooke

Wednesday morning we were up before dawn.

Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park is the first place to see the sun rise in the United States (technically for only half the year, according the US Naval Observatory) so of course Jordan wanted to see it. Some quick research showed that this is a really popular activity at Acadia, so we planned to be there early to beat the crowd.

We arrived at the Cadillac mountain summit at about 5am, and caught one of the last parking spots available. A large crowd was already milling around the summit, trying to keep warm in the brisk wind while we waited for the sun to rise.

Dawn broke at 5:42am, and we watched the sun rise over the harbor.

We headed down from Cadillac Mountain and drove back into the town of Bar Harbor for the last time to pack up. After checking out from the hotel we headed out to breakfast at 2 Cats Restaurant. Well known for their amazing breakfasts, they did not disappoint. We had an omelette, French toast, and a cat’s paw, a homemade cinnamon muffin made with cinnamon roll dough. Parker enjoyed tasting both of our breakfasts, and thoroughly enjoyed the bulk of the cat’s paw.

After breakfast we hit the road for Sherbrooke, just outside of Montreal. This was scheduled as predominantly a travel day, so we planned for a lot of car time.

Our first stop was in Bangor, Maine, at the home of Stephen King. Known for its amazing gargoyle-topped wrought-iron fence, it was fun to go visit the old Victorian home of the famous horror writer.

We left Bangor and pushed on towards the Canadian border. We crossed into Canada at the Coburn Gore/Woburn crossing, where there was minimal traffic and no wait time. A short drive from the crossing was the Mont Megantic Observatory.

Jordan is really into science and space, so we were guaranteed to want to stop and check it out. Since this place is rarely a stop for Americans, it caters almost exclusively to the French Canadian population, and very little of the educational material is in English. We wandered around the AstroLab, and then headed up to the top of Mont Megantic, and neighboring Mont St. Joseph. The views were gorgeous, even if the weather was not.

There was a small memorial and church on the top of Mont St. Joseph in addition to the observatory.

We made our way around the outskirts of the city of Sherbrooke to our hotel for the evening, Manoir des Sables, approximately one hour from Montreal. Since this was a leisurely day, we drove through the town of Magog after we settled in at the hotel, and looked for somewhere to eat.

We stumbled on a cute Italian restaurant just down the road from our hotel called Restaurant L’Expresso. It was pretty quiet since we got in about 5:15, but the owner was extremely gracious and found us an old wooden high chair for Parker. We split a liter of Spanish wine (I think this is what we would call a half carafe?) and had some delicious herbed pizza bread for an appetizer. Parker enjoyed his slices of bread too. For dinner I had the homemade arrabiata gnocchi, and Jordan had the carbonara. Jordan also had a maple tart with maple ice cream for dessert. “When in Canada!” he said.

We turned in for an early night with the baby after dinner, with plans for our short drive to Montreal in the morning and lots of walking and tourist attractions for the next day.

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