Published by the author on June 20 2014
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Thanks to an abusive mother and an absent father, Anna Blackhurst has only known the love of two people: her Gram and her best friend, Niki.
When Anna meets Cooper Reed in a smoky club, she’s immediately drawn to his good looks but isn’t prepared to open herself up to a relationship. As time passes, Anna finds herself falling in love with Cooper and she begins to rethink her future. Maybe, despite her childhood, she can have a happy-ever-after.
But when her mother is in a terrible accident, she again sinks her claws into Anna and Anna’s world is thrown upside down. Despite Cooper’s unwavering support, Anna walks away only to regret it immediately. In order to heal, not only herself -- but also her broken relationship, Anna must stand up for herself and accept that the only way she's going to be happy is if she grabs ahold of it herself.
Today, Heather is taking us to visit one of the setting locations from Back to December.
When Cooper invites Anna to go away for a weekend, he takes her to a little town called Bar Harbor, Maine. Bar Harbor holds a special place in my heart: two days after my wedding, my husband and I packed a moving truck and moved from Virginia to Maine. Between my husband, my sister-in-law and myself, we drove three vehicles north–the moving truck broke down twice and we had to constantly pull over to fill it with oil. We arrived in Maine in the early hours of the morning and spent the night in a hotel. The next morning, we woke to do the final walk-through, and on approximately four hours of sleep, we closed on our house. We spent the next two days unloading the moving truck and then we decided to it was time to finally take our honeymoon. So we left our brand new home, in a shambles–boxes everywhere and nothing unpacked –and drove the scenic route north on Route 1, which follows the coast of Maine.
If you’ve never done a scenic drive along the coast of Maine, I highly recommend it. You will pass through many quaint little towns, like Bar Harbor. If you take the time to stop and visit, you’ll even learn much about each town and find some treasures along the way. From incredible restaurants to antique stores to souvenir trinkets, you won’t be disappointed or bored. We stopped at a little diner on our way north, and even now when I drive by, I think of it fondly and try to stop in for a delicious meal. One of the great things about a trip like this is the memories that stay with you forever!
We stayed at the Primrose Inn, a gorgeous bed and breakfast that was built in 1878 by Col. William Holland, a banker from Savannah, Georgia. That same year, the St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church finished construction on its new sanctuary. Christopher Starr Leffingwell became the first Pastor for the church. Originally, Col. Holland built the house to be his summer home but sold it to Mr. Leffingwell in 1882, allowing Mr. Leffingwell to be closer to his church and parishioners.
This inn was the setting for Cooper and Anna’s weekend getaway. I chose the room my husband and I stayed in as Anna and Cooper’s room. I took a little creative license with the inn and the room by moving the inn closer to the harbor and having their room overlook the harbor, rather than the front of the property.
Bar Harbor is a great little town–it’s historic, quaint, and is the entryway for Acadia National Park. Acadia National Park is home to Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the first place to view the sunrise in the U.S. from October through March. Acadia National Park has many opportunities for fantastic outdoor activities, including hiking, bird-watching, leaf-peeping, climbing, swimming, horseback riding, scenic drives . . . the list goes on.
Cooper takes Anna to Cadillac Mountain, and while their plan was to watch the sunrise, neither was up early enough to watch it. When they finally do get up and moving, they go hiking, picnicking, whale watching, watch a movie in the old movie theater, and enjoy the view from Cadillac Mountain.
Maine is full of quaint little towns like Bar Harbor. Towns that mix their Down East Maine fishing village heritage with quiet community charm. I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about one of the settings in Back to December.