Tag Archives: Visitor’s Center

‘Thirsty Whale’, Bar Harbor, Maine — Great Family Eatery When Visiting Acadia.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Yes, Yes & Yes. They do live up to their motto.

Yes, Yes & Yes. They do live up to their motto.

Anura Guruge

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 — Aug. 22, 2013.

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This was an accidental as opposed to a serendipitous discovery — and we are sure glad that we found it.

The day before, our first day in Acadia, I was carefully perusing the excellent ‘Menu Guide‘ they have for Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. I had picked it up at the first Visitors Center (cum Chamber of Commerce) we had stopped at — just across the bridge, as you enter the Island. I had seen the menu for a ‘pub’ with a whale’s name, and a very compelling graphic of a whale, that featured appetizers by the ‘pound’. On my low-carb diet, I sometimes just eat appetizers. So this place appealed to me. It was on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor, a main cross road off Main St. On our first night there, our first ever in Bar Harbor, we couldn’t find Cottage Street because we didn’t walk down far enough.

On our second night, driving down Main St. I did find it and pulled in. Deanna immediately spotted a sign with a whale and I assumed that this must be the place. Never occurred to me that there would be TWO ‘whale’ pubs on the same street — 5 units apart, #30 & #40. We found a legal parking spot close by (no mean feat) and ambled up to the ‘Thirsty Whale’. There was a couple with two kids standing outside. I asked them if they were waiting for a table. They said ‘yes’ but that they didn’t think it would be long. It wasn’t. They were called as we were talking. I walked in. I was greeted by a very friendly, older lady from Maine. She grabbed my arm and assured me that she will get me a table within 10 minutes. We had a table, a good table at that, within 5 minutes. She was very nice.

Bubbly, happy place. Kind of like a sports bar with some big screen TVs, but not loud or boisterous. Lots of families with kids.

I noticed that the menu did not have the appetizers that I had seen the night before. I assumed they had changed the menu. Didn’t realize that we were in a different restaurant.

Very reasonably priced drinks. Wine at $6 a glass (though I don’t know how big the glasses are because, for a change, I didn’t order my doctor’s orders, medicinal, glass of red). Instead I had a single malt, neat, for $6. That was good. I used to be a big whiskey drinker but that was the first shot I had had in over a year.

Interesting menu. They had a kid’s version of surf & turf: chicken strips and fish nuggets. Teischan had that and ate most of it.

Deanna and Devanee had lobster rolls and I did not hear any complaints — and that must mean that it was better than ‘OK’ since Deanna is the daughter of a Maine lobsterman. Devanee considers herself a lobster connoisseur.

I had the spicy shrimp corn chowder (which was lip smackingly good) with a blackened blue cheese burger (sans the bun which Devanee ate). It was GOOD. Very good.

Service was cheery, no-nonsense and fast. Prices were good.

Definitely going back.

Then when we were having our postprandial stroll we saw the OTHER whale sign. The Finback Alehouse. That was the place with appetizers by the pound. Next time we will try them.


Deanna’s lobster roll with salad.


My spicy chowder and burger sans roll.

We Visited The New Hampshire State House In Concord. Part I (of many to come)

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.


..by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Yes, this is the impressive, iconic, white edifice with the ever shining gold dome, completed in 1819 and now having the distinction of being the oldest state house in the U.S. where the legislature still meets in the original chamber. [Some simplify that to say that it has the oldest ‘working’ chamber.] Our visit was for home-schoolers. It was organized by the same lady that arranged the equally successful and rewarding trip to the UNH ‘Know the Coast‘ day in October. It was originally going to be on Thursday, but got postponed till Friday because of the Nor’easter. We had to be there at 10 am. We had to first shovel the drive again and clear up the approach to the mailbox before we could leave. Since it was a ‘holiday’ parking wasn’t a problem and we parked right behind the State House, at a meter, with six quarters for 2 hours.

We lucked out in multiple ways. There were only three families the group just met the minimum 10 requirement for a guided tour. Furthermore, though their was another tour at the same time for a troop of boy scouts, we got the Director of the State House Visitor’s Center, Virginia Drew. She was good. She has been doing this for 12 years. She was knowledgeable, engaging, friendly and very helpful.

I was surprised how ‘open’ the State House is. I know it is the people’s house, but it was different. You just walk in. Everybody was ultra friendly. It was a good visit, a good tour. I was impressed. It was my first time. Devanee had gone with her school in Grade 4, as is the norm. Deanna had never been, and neither had Teischan. I am going to go again. See NH government in action. That we know a few legislators will make it even more fun. We got to see where Senator Andrew Hosmer will be sitting. Teischan even tried it out.

Click to ENLARGE.

New Hampshire Governor's Office, State House, with the Christmas trimmings.

Governor’s Office with the Christmas trimmings.

NH House Senate Chamber.

Teischan getting a one-on-one from our tour guide, the Director of the Visitor’s Center, Virginia Drew — in the Senate Chamber.

Virginia Drew with Barak Obama

That is our guide, Virginia Drew, the Director of the Visitor’s Center with one of the many visitors that call in. She is the one on the right.

Anura Guruge December 28 2012 at the New Hampshire State House

Trying out one of the tall chairs at the back of the Senatorial Chamber. It was very comfortable.