This is going to seem like a terrible story to tell on a food blog, I mean, on this food blog, the one where I’m always saying we should embrace new things and shake food preconceptions and, Hey! You have no excuse not to try this!, but I’m going to tell it anyway, because if there’s one thing I want this place to be, it’s honest, and I think it’s time I was.
From where I sit tonight, with a cup of decaf green tea at my side, I have to tell you this uncomfortable fact: I have a sensitive stomach.
I’ve hinted at it before, even come right out with it when we talked about vegan ice cream, but I’ve never really given you the background, and seeing as that full story is how I first met my friend Nealy in grad school and the kind of thing that comes in handy when another friend gets diagnosed with colitis, as one did recently, I figure you might want to hear it, too. Maybe you know someone like me, or maybe you are someone like me.
Today’s story is both hard and good, both terrifying and beautiful. It’s about what we did last Sunday, after blueberry pancakes at Jeannie’s in Bar Harbor, when we visited Acadia National Park, hiking and climbing and struggling; and it’s about what we didn’t do, never reaching Thunder Hole, which we’d come to see. It even includes two recipes at the end. I feel grateful to be able to tell it, and grateful that you are reading, and, mostly, grateful it didn’t become the last thing I lived to do.
Things started off well: After breakfast, we’d driven to the park and stopped at an overlook to take photos of the European-like landscape of hills and water and unique houses, at which I said, Isn’t this beautiful? Look at the views! I love nature!, and then continued to the visitors’ center to pick up a map.
At that same visitors’ center, I pointed out a sign that warned most injuries have occurred from falling off steep cliffs while hiking or biking, and we both shrugged it off, not planning to head towards any steep cliffs, just hike a little through the forest, and, though a little hot, wasn’t this a beautiful day?
On our way to Thunder Hole, a popular site for watching powerful waves that we’d had recommended to us, a forest ranger stopped traffic, one car at a time, to divert us to another path; Thunder Hole was closed because of a rescue mission (which I’d later learn related to a tragedy involving the death of a seven-year-old girl).
Hi, again. I’m back from Maine, and now we have a lot to talk about, and I mean a lot, so wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I do hope you’re comfortable, maybe with something nice to drink nearby, because, brace yourself, this post is going to be a long one.
Back in April, when I left you for a few days to walk through historic streets in Georgetown, tour our nation’s Capitol Building and eat at an awesome French bistro some friends had recommended (even though I forgot the e-mail and never got the text message, we landed there anyway, so my friends were right!), you were nice enough to take a survey and tell me interesting things like where your best meal was and about your kitchen fears and what we could do to improve the site.
So today, when I head to the airport and board a plane bound for M-A-I-N-E, where I will spend the last four days I have left of being 26, I thought we’d do something else kind of fun.
(If you were bummed about not winning the Destination Dinner or a box of homemade cookies, never fear.) It’s giveaway time. Again.