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Our 50th Wedding Anniversary was Saturday, August 24th 2013

The week before that date we celebrated with family in Bar Harbor Maine

The Bar Harbor Inn  was selected for our jamboree.

This photo was taken from the top of Bar Island just across the harbor. You can walk across the bar to the island at low tide. 

Frances and I were in room 236 in the main building just above the yellow patio umbrellas.

Lucy and her boys had a room about half way along the building to the left.

Paul and Andrea, Clare and Mike and the Nosal family had three rooms in the building facing the ocean to the far left of the photograph.

Looming behind the hotel is Cadillac Mountain.

The schooner moored in front of the hotel is the Margaret Todd featured in more photos below.

The grandkids were happy with the harbor views from their rooms; and this one was also very pleased with the nice Maine shirt she bought at a very low price!

So Frances and I had a nice room with a little balcony upstairs left but we also had access to the large upstairs balcony facing out.

That's us, leaning on the balcony rail, watching the rest of the family wait for the Margaret Todd to head out into the harbor.

We arrived a day before the others and so on that first evening Frances and I went down to the patio restaurant (the one you can see with the yellow umbrellas in the photo above) and had dinner and a small private celebration.

We were happy that we had got to this point and were looking forward to having the rest of the family join us.

This was the first of a series of beautiful sunsets. My drink was the Patio's special "cocktail of the day". The waitress told me she planned to have a couple at the end of her shift based on the comments from customers!




The family gathered in front of the hotel one evening for the Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration dinner. 

They all arrived wearing party clothes and loaded with presents.

Here we are;

The young couple on the left decided they had something to do with this celebration and snuck into this photo somehow.

By holding on tight we kept together!

We had a fabulous multi course meal organized in a "secret" location by the family.

The secret location turned out to be the very nice and very expensive Bar Harbor Inn Reading Room Restaurant, one floor down from our hotel bedroom. 

So we old folks had no difficulty getting there!

Although, after the meal, it was more difficult to find our way back upstairs!

The meal was finished off with a special birthday cake topped with a heart shaped sparkler.

By the time the meal was over it was dark outside and we had the dining room to ourselves.

No speeches, I am happy to say, just a feeling that we were all very happy to be there and to be together.

Here we are a few days later on Cadillac Mountain.

I am still hanging on!



THE BIG DAY:    AUGUST 24, 2013

On August 24th I woke Frances to see the sun rise and, not long after, took this photo; which I called

Fifty Years in a Flash!

We were blessed with a week of perfect weather. 

The sunscreen on the table was well used; as was the wine and also some fabulous chocolates in a never empty box. (Well not for a few days anyway)

Good sport that she is she, Frances emerged out onto the balcony at 5:45 a.m. to wait for the sun to appear over the horizon.
During the week we had many spectacular sunrises.                    

After several days of constant sunshine and with early morning light this is how I looked first thing in the morning on our anniversary.

Frances was pleased by my shadow on the shingles of our hotel room balcony.

I think it shows my Neanderthal genes!

Paul took this photo. of the beautiful harbor at night.

Mike took a similar one a little earlier in the evening.




The younger Nosals had fun leaping into the swimming pool.


with a cannonball splash;

and one

with an elegant spin.

The Goreham boys both enjoyed kayaking and the older one got had fun building cairns near Bar Island.

Cadillac Mountain

Number one granddaughter was on her final family vacation before flying off to Wheaton College; so here, on top of Cadillac Mountain, she shows her little sister the basics of flying.  Years of reading of the exploits of Harry Potter may have helped develop her technique.
The family tried hard to prevent little brother from being blown off the mountain.

Paul borrowed these essential swimming goggles to resist the mighty wind on top of the mountain.

His young nephew had to make do with Paul's spectacles but almost lost his hair.


His grandfather is pleased to see that at least one of his grandchildren seems to have inherited his unruly hair.

Mike had just finished a fast run in preparation for a half marathon but was still able to catch up with us on Cadillac Mountain before the sun had set.

The Margaret Todd

Lucy kindly treated the family to a cruise on the Margaret Todd

Frances and I watched the family sail on their way.

This shot is from the balcony of the Porcupine  Room which was adjacent to our bedroom.

Access to this balcony gave us another perspective around the harbor and the town.

Down the jetty to the Margaret Todd go Lucy and her boys.

Onto the schooner.

Our family is seated in the middle section facing the camera.

Our three, looking great!
Mike and Clare
Are you having a good time Clare?
Lucy and her little one!
And off goes the Margaret Todd, into the sunset.
Paul and Andrea with oldest Goreham nephew
 Mike with his youngest Goreham nephew.
Mike posing with his distant seafaring gaze.
Entertainment was provided.

When the family returned from the cruise we had dinner on the hotel patio.

The evening before this we had a long wait in town getting a table for 12!

This time we went with three adjacent fours; which worked out nicely.



Long Pond, Kayaking and Canoeing

 All the younger members went kayaking (or canoeing) on Long Pond. 

That very large pond was the scene many years ago of a famous capsizing of the canoe carrying my father, Kenneth Shawcross, and a young Paul Shawcross.

Since Dad is no longer here to defend himself I hesitate to assign blame.

But this time Paul and Andrea demonstrated just how easy it is.

How could anyone as well balanced and in control as Paul clearly is here, capsize a canoe?

(I think he was just hamming for the camera)

Mike and his youngest daughter taking it easy.

Other family activities

A climb up Gorham Mountain included this rock lifting
The brave and happy few that reached the summit of Gorham Mountain; plus photographer Mike.


 One evening Lucy arranged for us all to go to IMPROVACADIA; a comedy show. 

We found it very amusing and were impressed by the ability of the performers. 

At one point they asked for a young volunteer from the audience and Lucy's youngest, who does not  always "look before he leaps"; and when the time comes will never be accused of "faint heart never won fair lady", was up on the stage in no time at all.. 

We were all proud and pleased that he did so well there.

One morning, with Paul and Andrea, we walked over to St Saviours Episcopal Church which has more Tiffany windows than any other church in Maine. This window caught Frances eye because, although it is not a Tiffany window, it has a number of scientific slides and images in the screen.  For example, left of center you can see a DNA double helix

We had a wonderful guide who told us a lot about Tiffany glass and the church. The organist was practicing for a competion to be held at the church the next day.

We hiked the Ship Harbor Nature Trail with Paul and Andrea.  We toured this trail years ago but it has been "improved" since then.  It is a very nice easy walk through the woods and along the shore.
 These  refined ladies went shopping one day and struck model poses with their hats.

Paul, the eternal games player, got most of his nephews and nieces into a game called "San Juan" which, I am told, is a simpler version of Puerto Rico! 

One day this game was combined with breakfast on the lawn in front of the hotel.

 Lucy with her boys after an epic battle of San Juan in which the boys emerged narrowly triumphant over Paul (with the youngest getting a little advice from Andrea) He was smart enough by himself to observe that Paul had errred in the scoring which enabled him to win.
A quiet moment for brother and sister in front of the hotel.

Cousins near Thunder Hole.

 On the bar to Bar Island.

More adventures near Thunder Hole, which, unfortunately was not thundering on the day of our visit.

 That is the price you have to pay for beautiful weather with little wind for several days.

I'll take it!

Mountainer, suprised to find a photographer on top of the mountain.

Our trip to Thunder Hole started at the Acadia Park Visitor Center at Hull Cove.

Unfortunately, we had quite a lot of company at the visitor center so got off to a slow start using the free L.L. Bean bus service around Acadia National Park. 

In the photo you will see that only one person knows where Mike and his camera are pointed!

Youngest Nosal on the Margaret Todd
Oldest Goreham on Bar Island.
We enjoyed the cliff walk in front of the hotel and the back path into town.

We visited the Jordan Pond House for tea, and popovers with jam and cream butter. 

Frances posed on the lawn in front of the pond and the famous "Bubbles" skyline.

Somewhat earlier, on another day, the Nosals made the same trip to Jordan Pond and took this photo which shows the clarity of the pond and the beautiful clear skies we had all week.

Unlike us, the Nosals energetically walked around Jordan Pond.

We had left it a bit too late. (About 10 years)

Time for just one "all you can eat", "no holds barred" breakfast, with great views, from the hotel restaurant; and the last of the family had to leave with Wheaton College starting the next day!

This left Frances and I with one more day to celebrate by ourselves!

I wanted to visit the Schoodic Peninsula and thought of driving the sixty miles or so each way.

But we learned there was a ferry three times a day leaving from in front of our hotel, to Winter Harbor, and a connecting shuttle bus to meet the ferry.

 So after all the others had gone home, Frances and I took the little ferry over to Winter Harbor and the Schoodic Peninsula (a one hour ride). There we used the free L.L. Bean shuttle bus to visit several locations; including climbing the mighty Schoodic Head (only 440 feet high) but a good 2 hour hike up and back;  also the famous Nautica Pub at Birch Harbor and ALL the hot spots of Winter Harbor (like the library).  We met many friendly people.  We saw Bald Eagles and porpoises as we crossed the water to   and from Bar Harbor.
  End of our story about our 50th wedding anniversary celebration.  We were so happy to have the family join us.