Monday, August 1, 2011

Dashing off to Maine

It was hard to improve upon our lovely week at Erik’s parents’ lake cottage. But wait, there’s more! The grandparents watched our kiddos for a night while Erik and I zipped over to the southern Maine coast for a romantic retreat.

It only took an hour and a half to drive to the shore, so we had plenty of time for a little sightseeing. Our first stop was Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. We enjoyed lunch with views out over the water. Perkins Cove was once a small fishing community but during our visit it was rather crowded with souvenir shops and tourists looking for parking spots. But don’t be deterred by the parking sharks! Marginal Way, a gorgeous ocean walk, departs from the Cove and it’s not to be missed.

We took so many photos of the craggy rocks, jutting bluffs, and deep blue vistas that we had to hurry back to our car when the parking time ran out and didn’t get to finish the 1.5 mile-long path. We’ll have to go back for that, and also to check out the hiking trails at nearby Mount Agamenticus and the acclaimed collections at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

Next, we drove down to ‘The Yorks’. Reading about the three little seaside towns grouped there, I decided that ‘York Harbor’ would be our best bet, and we loved it! We parked on the street right in front of a lush, well-kept beachside park, the Hartley Mason Reserve. We followed its verdant path down to a small uncrowded beach nestled between two rocky stretches of coastline. After wading a little, we took the slightly overgrown Cliff Path that looked over water, taking in more dramatic views of huge spray-splashed rocks on one side and incredible mansions on the other. We walked back to our car on the road, and after wading in the water one last time, we regretfully left this well-kept secret of a town.

By then dusk was approaching and we wanted to make it to the Nubble Lighthouse for the most photogenic lighting. Nubble is touted as being one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world, and of course Erik wanted to snap some pics of his own.

We have dozens of lighthouse landscapes now, but here it is in the background of the only photo-op of the two of us from the trip.

Then we enjoyed some tasty fish and chips from a food stand on the point, taking in the picture-perfect views. After drinking in one last look, we drove up to our hotel in Kennebunkport. We checked in and took an evening stroll through the quaint little town, getting ice cream and peeking in a few interesting shops.

The next day, we headed to nearby Cape Porpoise for another offshore lighthouse, Breakwater Light I think it was. The damp, foggy air added to the lighthouse’s mystique, but it also made for fuzzy pictures.

It felt as if we’d slipped back in time as we watched a fleet of small fishing boats bringing in their catch with simple equipment. We took a walk through the tidal pools toward Goose Rocks Beach, passing a family who had found all sorts of little crabs and creatures. I’d love to go back and explore that area further with better footwear for the sticky soils!

After Cape Porpoise’s rugged, rustic beauty, we stopped at St. Ann’s for a much more refined vantage on the sea. The church was not only beautiful but also reverent with Scripture inscribed on wooden plaques and recorded in stained glass windows. What a peaceful spot to pray and reflect!

After lingering at the church, it was getting to be time to relieve the stalwart grandparents. But there was still one critical ingredient missing from our trip. Lobster of course! We weren’t brave enough to order one whole, so instead we savored bowls of scrumptious lobster chowder in Kennebunkport before our drive back. Yum!

We love the easy access to so many beautiful destinations from Erik’s parents’ new house. And even better is the first-rate babysitting available there! I’ve never been to Acadia NP on the northern Maine coast, and Portland looks fun too. Over the years ahead, we’re hoping to make good use of the Maine travel guide that now sits on our bookshelf. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for allowing us to take such a perfect little getaway!

(Click here for more photos.)

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