What the hype was about.

tahini chocolate chip cookies ~ The Bee and Me.

There were a slew of tahini-laced sweets in my blog feed a few weeks back, and I was intrigued. Tahini is typically something I avoid because it’s crazy expensive and tastes unpleasant, but as I found more and more treats showcasing sesame paste, I just wanted to see what the hype was about.
tahini chocolate chip cookies ~ The Bee and Me.

Enter these cookies. What better way to introduce oneself to the strange world of tahini treats than through an old standby, the chocolate chip cookie? My girl Ryan sent these my way on the ‘gram, and I had to make them happen. We had been going back and forth for weeks about tahini this and tahini that, and why does that shit have to be so god damned expensive?!–when I realized that I could just make it at home.
tahini chocolate chip cookies ~ The Bee and Me.

Last weekend was the first in three weeks that the guy and I were home together. We went for a killer hike one day, and after a terrible night of sleep that led me to wake up on the wrongest side of the bed, I tore apart our pantry the next morning to sort, clean, and rearrange. After weeks of chaos, I needed some order.
tahini chocolate chip cookies ~ The Bee and Me.

Lo and behold, I found two old jars of sesame seeds. One had hulled seeds, the other held unhulled seeds. Together they measured a generous cup of seeds, which was enough for a reasonable batch of homemade tahini. So I toasted and ground them, added a few tablespoons of olive oil, and ended up with a generous half a cup of tahini. Guess how much tahini is called for in these cookies? They were definitely happening.
tahini chocolate chip cookies ~ The Bee and Me.

These cookies are easy to make, bake up beautifully, and the tahini and cinnamon combination is out of this world. The texture is spot on–chewy centers and crisp edges. I might need to replenish my sesame seed supply so I can keep this tahini train going!

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • white sesame seeds, to top dough as needed

Instructions

  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Add tahini and mix until combined.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix until there are no longer any dry streaks of flour. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  4. Cover cookie dough with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Allow to chill for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  6. Place scant 1/4 cupfuls of dough on a parchment lined tray 2 inches apart from each other. Sprinkle sesame seeds over dough. Bake for 14-18 minutes until the edges of the cookies are crisp and the middle is still a bit soft. Allow to cool in pan until cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack to cool .
http://beeandmeblog.com/tahini-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Stretching our legs.

This summer will be the first in our nearly seven years together that the guy and I will be in the same place. For our first few summers together, he had fieldwork away. Then we moved, and I had fieldwork away for the next few summers. But now we’re both done with fieldwork and we’ll be doing data analysis and working on writing our dissertations this summer. Come this time next year, we may be moving to another state, meaning this could be our last summer in Maine.
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME IMG_9835

That means we need to get out and play together as much as we can.
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME

It’s been a warm spring (mostly), and we’ve been eager to get out and stretch our legs. We have high hopes for this summer and are planning a bunch of hikes in the Western Mountains region of Maine, a part of the state ripe for our exploration. I’m preemptively deeming it the summer of 4,000 footers, anticipating reaching the peaks of some of Maine’s tallest mountains.

We’re warming up with some smaller mountains, such as this one. Pleasant Mountain is 2,006 feet at its summit. It’s the tallest mountain we’ve climbed in a long time–living at sea level means most mountains are a long drive away. We drove two hours through Maine’s Lakes Region to get there, just a few miles from the New Hampshire border.

Our climb up the Ledges Trail was short and steep–1,600 feet up in 1.8 miles. Starting with some stone stairs, we wove our way up the mountain around mud puddles, piles of dead leaves, and bits of emerging green. We’ve not hiked together this early in the season. It’s an exciting time to be outside, observing nature’s annual awakening. It’s also muddy and wet, but it’s springtime in Maine. What do you expect?
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME

There’s an overlook that showcases the southeast landscape from the mountain about 3/4 of the way to the top. We stopped to take it in, then continued to the main peak.
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME

At the summit we were treated to a showstopping scene of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, which we also hope to visit this summer. But as wiped out as we were at 2,000 feet, we ate our lunch under the fire tower and wondered how we’d do climbing a 4,000 footer…
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME

We took the longer, more gradual Bald Peak Trail down the mountain. We spent more time along the mountain ridge as we descended and were treated to views of Moose Pond and the northwest landscape. The terrain varied pretty widely: smooth rock face, craggy ridges, and eventually we made it back to the mud, which we were guided over by a series of large wooden ladders.
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME       Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME

We took a little offshoot trail to the Needle’s Eye, which turned out to be a thin waterfall threaded through a crack in the mountain. Kevin told me when I got dressed that morning that I looked real normcore. What do you think? (#iownnormcore #ineedahaircut)
IMG_9812
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME

When we reached the bottom, we had to walk a couple of miles along the road back to our car. No loop trails on Pleasant Mountain, but a cooldown stroll over some concrete was a soothing end to our first hike of the season. I’m eager for our next adventure!
Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ME

New Orleans.

We’ve been back for well over a month, but I have to tell you: we went to New Orleans.

We had the best time. When we get out and travel together, I’m always so grateful that this is my life and I’ve had these awesome opportunities to explore new places. And there’s no one I’d rather share them with than the guy.

The thing is, we have completely opposite travel philosophies. I like to have a plan–to know which neighborhoods we’re exploring on which days, where we’re going to have lunch, how we’ll get back to the Airbnb…you know. Kevin just likes to wander. We did that on our first trip together, to San Francisco, and I came back to Maine feeling like I had missed out on some things I could have experienced had I done a little research.

When we went on our New Mexican road trip, I had a plan. When we were in New York City last fall (How did I just never write about that?! That was an awesome trip.), I had a plan. Because we were spending over a week in New Orleans, I really had a plan. We were there because Kevin was at a conference, so our time together was concentrated at night and over the weekend. Truthfully, the separation probably saved our sanity. Traveling for more than a few days with your spouse (unless it’s your honeymoon; ours was literally the best!) can get hairy.

So, the plan. We stayed in the Central Business District during the week because it was near the conference site. We stayed in the French Quarter over the weekend because why not? We Airbnb’d it. I love Airbnb! Armed with a great restaurant guide I heard about from Elizabeth (and her additional recommendations from a sweet email!), I made reservations at Herbsaint and Commander’s Palace for lunch, and The Bon Ton Cafe and Galatoire’s for dinner. I went to lunch at CP with a friend, but the other three meals were for the guy and I. The day I ate at CP, I had breakfast at District and macarons from Sucré for dessert. That was a glorious day in my dining history.

As we walked through the city during our time there, we were also able to eat at Mother’s, Casamento’s, Central Grocery, Cafe du Monde, Clover Grill, the best BBQ food cart ever, and more. One night when Kevin got home late I got spontaneous–it does happen, just not very often–and I took the streetcar up to Mid-city and had a roast beef poor boy with a bottle of Barq’s at the Parkway Bakery and Tavern. I took myself on a little cocktail tour, too: I had a Sazerac at the Sazerac Bar (DON’T go there, the service was absolutely abhorrent!), a Vieux Carré at the Carousel Bar, a Pimm’s Cup at the Napoleon House, a slushie on Bourbon Street, and Kevin got into the fun when we went to the Green Hour at the Empire Bar in Broussard’s for some absinthe.

We walked all over the city. We took the street car when we had to go a ways. We took our first Uber! We visited Audubon Park, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, Armstrong Park, and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. I spent an unforgettable day at the National World War II Museum. We walked through Treme, the Garden District, the French Quarter, and parts of Uptown and Faubourg-Marigny. We saw Emeril’s corporate headquarters! On our last day there, we rented a car and visited the Jean Lafitte Preserve south of the city, then drove up north to the Plantation district and drove the River Road until we headed to the airport.

We saw and did so much. When we got back, I knew I had to have more than just memories and Instagram to remember the trip by. So I made a mini album! Using A Color Story, Persnickety Prints, and a little photo book, I put together our photos from the trip into something we can look back on. I loved, LOVED New Orleans, and I so hope to get back there someday.

Everything was clear.

Last weekend was a big one for me, friends. (The weekend before last was too–I got to hang out with Emma and Eli! There was hiking, biking, beer, oysters, cake, pro surfing on the internets, and æbelskivers!) I was at a conference, but unlike traditional academic conferences where the focus is on cutting edge research, this was a professional conference where people in the field spent three days talking about how to expand the impact of their careers. I’m not a professional (yet), but I will be soon, and as the time nears (I’ve got a year to go, I hope!) I’m thinking more about what my professional career might look like.

Even though I’m working on my PhD, I have no intention or desire to be a tenured professor at a big research institution. I’m open to teaching at a small liberal arts college or a community college, and I’ve thought a lot lately about teaching high school biology. But what I’ve really wanted to do since re-aligning my career goals as a Master’s student is work in non-profit conservation. More PhDs are entering the non-profit world these days.

I’m not a big ideas person. This last weekend I heard lots of well known folks in conservation talk all these big ideas and I just sat there uncomfortably, wondering how I could ever contribute to their lofty goals. And as I sat there, something inside me was stirring. Ideas were churning in my brain and my gut was telling me that all this meant something more, but I couldn’t grasp what it was. It was a really abstract and overwhelming sensation. I was too busy listening and absorbing the words of others to give it much thought.

On the last day of the conference, I was so. wiped. out. I wasn’t sure why. But I knew I wanted to go home and sleep. As I drove home, I could feel all these thoughts and ideas churning, and my brain was hurting, and I just didn’t know what to make of anything. I took in the world around me. It was beautiful! I thought about where I was and where I had come from. I listened to my new favorite record, highlighted during the conference as a piece that can connect you with nature. It worked for me! It kept my racing mind occupied and kept my eyes on the road.

I got home and I slept. And I slept hard. And when I woke up, everything was clear. I had a dream. Not like an REM sleep dream, but I had a dream for what I wanted to do with my life. My career goal had never been clearer. And I realized I wanted it so bad and that it was going to be so hard that I immediately started sobbing. I know now where I want my work to lead, and I’ve never been more scared.

Of course, to calm me down and celebrate my new found goals, we went for a walk. Nature is the best place for contemplation and celebration.

Now I gotta go figure out how to achieve my dream.

Four pieces of fruit.

almond cream persimmon tart ~ The Bee and Me.

Ah, the humble persimmon. Winter’s apricot, as I described it to the guy. I bought a few of them on a whim at the grocery store, and when I realized I had just dropped $15 on four pieces of fruit, I knew I had to put them to good use. With a week’s worth of patience, the dull orange lumps I found languishing in the produce section at my grocery store ripened into sweet scarlet orbs. It was time to showcase them.
almond cream persimmon tart ~ The Bee and Me.

What frustrates me about persimmons is that many of the recipes calling for them specify Hachiya persimmons, the oblong variety that ripens to a mushy, applesauce-like center. I’ve never seen Hachiyas; the only variety available in these parts is the firm, squarish Fuyu. Fortunately, this recipe was written with Fuyus in mind.
almond cream persimmon tart ~ The Bee and Me.

I made this a while ago–incidentally, the week I came home with the persimmons, food52 had a contest for your best tart, and this recipe was up for community testing. I didn’t make it in time to be a tester, but all these silly coincidences had me on a fast track to make it as soon as my fruit had ripened.
almond cream persimmon tart ~ The Bee and Me.

Putting the tart together was a bit of work, but nothing I minded too much. Prepping the persimmons was the most arduous part, with all that peeling and slicing, but if you’ve ever made an apple or peach pie, that’s par for the course. And my efforts were rewarded with a rich, sophisticated dessert. The tart has a beautiful color palette–muted orange and neutrals, perfect for those seeking a bit a warmth amidst the  winter doldrums. The flavors were also muted, but so spot on. The textural contrast is where the tart really made it’s mark. The silky almond cream, the spicy persimmons with a bit of chew, and the sweet, snappy almond topping were excellent complements both in flavor and texture. I loved this recipe, and it was clearly meant to be made in my kitchen.
almond cream persimmon tart ~ The Bee and Me.

Almond Persimmon Cream Cheese Tart

Ingredients

  • For the tart crust:
  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups AP flour
  • For the tart:
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 medium Fuyu permissons
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, salt and almond extract. Add the flour and stir until all is well combined. With your clean fingers, press the dough into the bottom and up the sides a little, into a 9 inch spring form pan. Cover and chill the the pan for about thirty minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F and remove the pan from the fridge. Prick the crust with the tines of a fork and then bake for 20 minutes. Set aside while you make the filling.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla, and one teaspoon almond extract until creamy. Peel one persimmon and puree it in a mini food processor or blender. Stir the purée into the cream cheese mixture. Peel the remaining 3 persimmons and slice them as you would for apple pie. Mix the 1/4 cup sugar with the remaining teaspoon of almond extract and then toss the sliced persimmons, sugar mixture and sliced almonds together. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the tart shell and top with the sugared persimmon slices. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cream cheese mixture is set. Cool and serve at room temperature.
http://beeandmeblog.com/almond-persimmon-cream-cheese-tart/

It started with this.

New Mexican Lamb Chili ~ The Bee and Me.

When winter rears it’s ugly head, it’s time to hunker down inside and tuck into big, hearty bowls of soups and stews to keep warm. I made this New Mexican lamb chili in our first few weeks back from New Mexico, because the smoky heat of New Mexican chile is exactly what cold nights call for. It’s no secret that I officially declared my love for New Mexican cuisine on our recent trip there, and I was thrilled to receive a great cookbook from my mother-in-law so I could bring a little NM to ME.
New Mexican Lamb Chili ~ The Bee and Me.

This recipe immediately appealed to me because of the lamb. I imagined how the gaminess of the lamb meat would play off of the smokiness of New Mexican red chile, and I knew I had to have this dish in my future. It doesn’t disappoint. The original recipe called for ground lamb, but I wasn’t into that texture, so I (perhaps neurotically) diced up some lamb stew meat instead. The shape, size, and texture of the meat was perfect after it had been browned and simmered for a couple of hours. The beans and tomatoes added great textural contrast, and of course, the chile brought it all together.
New Mexican Lamb Chili ~ The Bee and Me.

One of my goals for spring semester is to cook more. I realized at the end of November that we were relying entirely too much on convenience and not nearly enough on the rituals and flavors the guy and I have always associated with our weeknights. Well, maybe just me. I think the guy could live on Trader Joe’s and be fine. Cooking keeps me grounded, and I treasure it. So it’s happening more often, and this year, it started with this.
New Mexican Lamb Chili ~ The Bee and Me.

Other winners this month, all from food52’s Genius Recipes book:
Crispy Skinned Fish and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
Spiced Braised Lentils with Tomatoes and Toasted Coconut
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

New Mexican Lamb Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

This hearty, earthy chili featuring smoky New Mexican red chile is the ultimate dinner for a cold winter night. adapted from Dishing Up New Mexico by Dave DeWitt

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lamb stew meat, finely diced
  • 1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups tomato juice

Instructions

  1. Brown the lamb in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour and a half, stirring regularly.
  4. Season to taste and serve.
http://beeandmeblog.com/new-mexican-lamb-chili/

Breaking in and blazing trails.

As we head into a weekend that will apparently be sans-snow (sorry, Mid-Atlantic!), I wanted to share our outing last weekend after 5 inches fell. We’ve got a nice network of trails behind our house and I was eager to break in my new snowshoes. The 30 degree day was perfect for packing down the powder and establishing some paths. There’s something about a fresh layer of snow that is so breathtaking. Happy Friday!
new snowshoes

packing down the powder

little creek

at the beaver dam

the creepy trailer

snow on the trees

on the trail

All photos edited with my new favorite app (look at those whites!) A Color Story.

A little road trip.

San Acacia: a one building ghost town.

So…fall semester was a shitshow, and the guy and I were pretty excited to spend the holidays in New Mexico once it was all over. While we were down there, we took a couple of days for ourselves and went on a little road trip through the state to see some of it’s well-known sights. The trip was delayed a couple of days after Winter Storm Goliath dropped over a foot of snow on much of our planned route, and four days post-storm, we headed out into the snowy desert cloaked in dense freezing fog.
White Sands National Monument

We visited San Acacia, World’s Largest Pistachio, White Sands National Monument, and the Mexican Canyon Railroad Trestle on Day 1, before spending the night in a seedy-ass hotel in Carlsbad.

Day 2 was when shit got real. We spent the day at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which was the highlight of our trip. Kevin has hyped the caverns to me for years, and I just didn’t get the hype. But I was definitely open to descending hundreds of feet underground to check it out.
The initial descent into Carlsbad Caverns

Lesson of the day: sometimes I’m a real asshole. Carlsbad Caverns rules, and the hype is definitely deserved. The adventure begins when you descend 750 feet into the earth along a steep and windy path. The cave formations the park is famous for begin as soon as you step inside, and they’re everywhere you look throughout your entire experience. I was awestruck.
carlsbad caverns

carlsbad caverns

carlsbad caverns

The Earth does crazy things, friends. Don’t underestimate it’s beauty and wonder.

With no frills.

tomato soup cake

I baked this cake nearly two months ago, but it was too good not to share it here. It’s flavor (and color!) is more autumn appropriate, anyway. Right in the middle of my second round of field sampling, I got a serious hankering to bake a layer cake. That was kind of a big deal. My biggest baking fail ever was a layer cake–it was the white cake from the Joy of Cooking and came out as three square layers of styrofoam. I’ve had somewhat better luck with chocolate layer cakes, but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve busted one out.
tomato soup cake tomato soup cake

Cake is not something I like to bake, especially layer cakes. If I was going to do this, it was going to be quick, easy, and with no frills. Fortunately, food52 is filled with options for simple, approachable layer cakes like this one, which features a can of condensed tomato soup in the batter.  Two 8 inch layers bake up into a simple spice cake studded with golden raisins.
tomato soup cake

It’s got a quick cream cheese frosting, and you are actively encouraged to avoid fancy decorating techniques when putting that frosting on the cake. This is definitely my kind of cake.

Tomato Soup Cake

recipe from food52

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • One 10 3/4-ounce can condensed tomato soup (I used Campbell's)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup cream cheese frosting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, shaking out any excess flour. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the soup, shortening, eggs, and water. Beat together until everything forms a smooth batter. Fold in raisins. Pour the batter into the cake pans, doing your best to get the same amount in each. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes; when the cake is done, a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting, leaving the sides bare.
http://beeandmeblog.com/with-no-frills/

tomato soup cake

A rare treat.

Seals and sea ~ The Bee and Me.

Friends! These last few weeks have been a whirlwind of my final round of field sampling preceded by a wonderful family vacation. Things are finally settling down now, and I’m excited to relax a bit and reminisce on the week I spent with my family.
Mark Island Light ~ The Bee and Me.

My mom, stepdad, and my two youngest siblings came out from Wisconsin to explore coastal Maine with the guy and I. We kicked the week off in great fashion by going on a day-long lighthouse cruise out of Stonington, the lobster capital of the state, to visit six lighthouses of northern Penobscot Bay.
Goose Rocks Light ~ The Bee and Me. The Mink ~ The Bee and Me.

We set off on the Mink and headed to Mark Island Light, just off of the coast in the Deer Isle Thorofare. Small, square, and otherwise nondescript, this little light marks the entrance to Stonington’s harbor. We stopped by a rocky outcropping covered in harbor seals on the way–there must have been at least 50 of them sunning themselves!

From there, we went west to North Haven. Goose Rocks Light is a caisson-style light in the channel between North Haven and Vinalhaven, two large islands with sizable year-round populations and regular ferry service from the mainland. I’ve wanted to visit these islands for years and was so excited to get a tour of them from the water.
Brown's Head Light ~ The Bee and Me. Cruising the coast of Vinalhaven ~ The Bee and Me.

We moved through the Fox Islands Thoroughfare to Brown’s Head Light, which sits on the northwest corner of Vinalhaven. Then we headed down the western coast of Vinalhaven to Heron Neck Light, moving through channels between countless little islands and coves. It was otherworldly out there.

Heron Neck Light ~ The Bee and Me.

 

Saddleback Light ~ The Bee and Me.

The journey from Vinalhaven out to the isolated rocks around Saddleback Light was next level, though. We could not have had better conditions that day–little wind, clear skies, smooth seas–and the cruise was comfortable and calm. The open ocean was so peaceful! And then–then!!–the puffins showed up! Freaking puffins! We watched tens of puffins flying, feeding, and resting on the water. In my six years here, I’d never seen one. It was thrilling!
Isle au Haut Light ~ The Bee and Me.

When we reached Isle au Haut Light, we learned we were in for a rare treat: we had the chance to disembark on the island and go climb the tower! The Isle au Haut lighthouse is a bed and breakfast. Isle au Haut has a small year-round community that is home to a pretty famous chocolate shop, and the rest of the island is part of Acadia National Park. It was so great to set foot out there and see what’s what. The guy and I are eager to get back out there and do some hiking.
Climbing the tower at Isle au Haut Light ~ The Bee and Me.

Looking out from Isle au Haut Light ~ The Bee and Me. In the tower of Isle au Haut Light ~ The Bee and Me.

After our adventures in the tower, we got back on the boat and made our way back to Stonington. The cruise was everything I had hoped and so much more, and I loved that I was able to share that experience with some of my most favorite people.
Isle au Haut Light ~ The Bee and Me. Isle au Haut harbor ~ The Bee and Me.