Bar Harbor, Travel, Birthdays, and Giveaways

Yeah, that is a lot of topics in that post title!  This is post has ended up being a bit of a modge-podge of things.  First up, it's my birthday today!  Yay!  I love my birthday, though I get older, who cares, birthdays are an excuse to have fun and to be spoiled!  When you are the mother of four, you take all the spoiling you can get, and my husband is always good about spoiling me.  We are headed into Salem, Massachusetts to spend my birthday because it's one of my favorite places, and I don't care if anyone else in the family is sick of that place or not because it's my day!  That's what spoiling is all about.  I'm also hoping that red velvet cake, chocolate, and cheese fries happen to make an appearance today.  And, of course, presents.  I already know what my presents are, though, because I was the one who bought them.  That's just how my husband and I roll for our birthdays!

Today is also the day I pick a winner for my book giveaway of The Burn Palace.  And the winner is  Hansonpatch!  Congratulations!  Email me at alyson@newenglandliving.org with your address and I will send you your new book!

And in other exciting news, I've recently booked a couple of vacations coming up and it's getting me excited for spring and summer!  At the end of May, a good friend and I are traveling to England for a couple of weeks!  I'm beyond thrilled!  I used to live there as a teenager and I miss it dearly.  Excited to finally go back.  We will be exploring England and Scotland mainly, but also plan on heading into France as well.  And in August, we have booked a family vacation in Cape Cod.  I love the cape!  Truly one of the gems of New England.

With all this exciting travel coming up, my mind went reeling back to last summer, thinking about our family vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine.  It was a beautiful week!  We filled our time with so much activity that it was exhausting, but thrilling.  And so I thought I'd share just some photos of our time there since I wasn't posting on a blog last summer.

Fishing boat in the harbor.

My family on a small cliff overlooking the ocean during a hike.

Bass Harbor lighthouse

A closer look at Bass Harbor lighthouse.

In the harbor at sunset.

Another shot in the harbor at sunset.

Seals in bass harbor.

A view from the top of a mountain of sand beach and the ocean on the left and Beehive mountain on the right.

Sun setting while we were out at sea.

Sunset on top of Cadillac Mountain, looking toward Bar Harbor.

                                                 On top of Cadillac Mountain, looking out to sea. 

A lobster boat in Bass Harbor.

Some creepy roots I encountered on a hike.

A view of Bass Harbor lighthouse from the sea.

Downtown Bar Harbor at night.

So, you see why I'm so excited to get on these trips?  I love winter, as I've said many times before, but tomorrow is March and I'm ready for winter to be over and to get out and explore!


  1. Happy birthday Alyson! It sounds like it will be a great day. If Salem's involved, you know it will be. :)
    Those pictures of Bar Harbor are gorgeous! That place is on my must-visit list.
    Your upcoming travel plans sound awesome, especially England. And the Cape too--as you know that's one of my favorite places!
    Have lots of fun today!

  2. Happy Birthday! We just booked a house for an August vacation on the Cape too!

  3. Happy Birthday - red velvet cake and cheese fries would make a birthday truly wonderful!

    Your trips sounds amazing - England and the Cape are on my short list of places to visit sooner than later. I love the Cape but have never been to England. What fun for you!

  4. Happiest of birthday wishes! My vacations are similar to yours- the Cape this summer (we're partial to Chatham) and there's talk of England (my husband is from there) in Oct. Enjoy!

  5. Happy birthday!! I hope the day was just wonderful for you!

    And I can't wait to live vicariously through you on your trip to Great Britain- how exciting!!

  6. I hope you have had a wonderful day! Happy Birthday!!

  7. oh, how did i miss this post?

    happy belated birthday!! i hope you've had a fabulous day!

    excellent shots! love'em!:)

    and thank you so much for the follow.
    following you right back!

    have a great weekend~

  8. Happy Birthday Alyson!! Those pictures of Bass Harbor are amazing! England should be so much fun. I know how significant moving there and living was for you and I can't wait to see the pictures of your beaming face as you revisit a country and land that changed your life. I am so excited that I won!!! I can't wait to read the book. Books remain one of my favorite things in the entire world. Kindle is great, but there is something cathartic about turning a page and smelling the paper of genuine books. The pictures are STUNNING! I would love to fill my house with Heathers folk art and your photography. Beautiful! Happy Birthday again Alyson! I hope that this is a wonderfully amazingly great year for you and your family!

  9. Congrats to your lucky winner! Those photos of Maine are so amazingly beautiful. I adore Maine so much. Can't wait to go back. I am so excited for you about the upcoming trip. I know you are going to share such amazing photos with us. And also Happy Birthday to you! I KNOW you had a great time in Salem!

  10. I come from the blog of Betty Manousos - Cut and Dry - and I loved your virtual balcony.
    If you do not mind I'd like to be a follower of your space.

  11. Hope you had a wonderful birthday ... these are beautiful photos, Maine is such a great place!

  12. Happy belated birthday - I hope your day in Salem lived up to expectations!

    Gorgeous photos. I have never visited that part of the US but something tells me I would love it there.

    Gillian x

  13. I think these might just be my favourite pictures you have posted so far Alyson. Breath taking doesn't even cover it! Also happy belated birthday, I hope you got spoilt rotten!

  14. Oh, happy belated birthday Alyson! I hope you had a wonderful day! The family trip and the European vacation especially sound appealing. I've never been to England or Scotland, but have been dying to go to both. Can't wait to hear all about it! Lovely photos from last year too..

  15. Happy birthday to you, my friend! Hope you had a great one. All your trips sound SOO fantastic! Wow, what a dream vacation to Europe!!! Love these Bar Harbor photos too...wow, those are some epic sunsets! gorgeous!

  16. I love travel and look forward to hearing your adventures. I used to live in Scotland and have many fond memories of the country an people. France, I envy you that trip. You have much to look forward to.

  17. Hi Alyson,

    My name is Jocelyn and I am with Dwellable. I am looking for fun and authentic blogs about Bar Harbor and yours happened to catch my eye. (What a great way to spend a birthday, if I do say so myself). If you’re open to it, shoot me an e-mail at jocelyn(at)dwellable(dot)com.

    Hope to hear from you soon!
    - Jocelyn