It was May of 2008. I zipped my plasticky waterproof shell up to my chin, leaned over the edge of the little zodiac boat, raised both arms in the air, and yelled at the top of my lungs while the waterfall plunged down on me with such force that my voice was inaudible, and my eyelids immovable. I felt so alive at that instant: it was a singular moment, not only in my traveling career, but in my life in general. And experiencing the majestic power and beauty of Iguazu Falls in Argentina was just the beginning of the life-changing experiences on my first solo round-the-world trip.
One in two million: Rare blue lobster caught at Beal’s Lobster Pier, bound for an aquarium
When I think of Maine, with all due respect to its famous lighthouses and coastline, the first thing I think of is delicious, fresh lobster. I’ve loved it ever since I could remember and when I was growing up in Tokyo, Red Lobster was my favorite restaurant. If it was available, I would order it, even when I was young enough that my father had to read the menu to me aloud. In New York City, however, a lobster dinner would easily run you $50+ with no guarantees of freshness, so it was with great excitement that I found myself headed to Bar Harbor, Maine last August.
Bar Harbor is a beautiful area located on Mount Desert Island on the coast of Maine, summer getaway for the Rockefellers and other famous families, home to Acadia National Park with its hiking trails galore, kayaking with porpoises, and stirring vistas of coastline and lighthouses. The town is quaint New England with colorful paint and porches, but drive a little ways out of town and you will see some magnificent mansions with wild, country Maine gardens.
Fountain and flowers in the town square, Bar Harbor, Maine