22 June 2011

Beautiful Place by the Sea.

 This past Sunday was, of course, Father's Day.  Or as I like to say, Daddy's Day.  Terry had to work for a couple hours in the morning, (ah, the demands of a newly minted GM!) so G and I met up with him mid morning to venture down to our other favorite place in Maine, Ogunquit.  

Sweet Father's Day card made at Daycare from G to Daddy
It's a bookmark!

Simply put, Ogunquit is like a sparkling rare jewel.  It glitters, it's breathtaking, and if you're like me, you can't get enough of it. When the Keegan's would summer in Maine years ago (before most of us wised up and moved here), it was Ogunquit that was our destination.  Even as it's gotten more popular and crowded over the years, the things that I love about it have remained the same, and because of that, I've been able to introduce them to Terry and now Garrett.  There's even a smell that I associate with this little village--it's a heady mixture of sun, sand, and salt air...it's fresh, coastal, and delicious.  

Most of my best childhood memories have come from this place.  From the countless hours  I've spent digging my toes into the satiny white sand of Ogunquit Beach, to the many times we've sat in Shore Road traffic on a trolley named Molly, Dolly, or Polly, etc.  There is so much about this small town that, in summer, mimics a delectable paradise.   

My sister and I used to roam this town freely, either as typical pre-teens, trying to walk ahead of our parents on the crowded sidewalks so as not to be associated with them , or in the evenings, when the 'rents would go off for a nice dinner, and Sis and I would patron our favorite pizza place , La Pizzeria, which, 25 years or so later, still exists under the same name, and with the same terrific tasty offerings. (Yes, there's a pattern here, I find delicious pizza where ever I go.)

Our beach days would start early in hopes of scoring the perfect location before the tourists, many of whom drop in from our northern Canadian neighbor, descended and took over the best spots. Ogunquit Beach sand could rival any Caribbean beach.  It's clean, debris-free softness is literally like walking on velvet.  To this day, I maintain my rule of ditching shoes the moment my toes hit that sand.    

My sister would draw the perfect paddle-ball court, our competitive nature taking over, and we'd play for hours, each hoping to best the other.  At some point we'd have enough, and exhaustion would take over as our tanned salty selves could simply not play one more game.  It takes a hearty soul to swim in the ocean at a Maine beach.  This is not Florida bath water.  This is the icy Atlantic, and at first dip, numbs you to the very core.   But, if you're like us, you'd run right in, paralyzed with the shock of cold, and then, the longer you stay in, the warmer it gets.  The sunlight shimmers on the water, making it look warmer than it is, and often in the distance, you can just make out the white triangle of a passing sailboat, bound, perhaps, for Perkins Cove.

A day at the beach would not be complete without a stop at the little shop that was appropriately known for so long as "Sundries", since that's exactly what they sold.  If you forgot any essential beach item, you could always find it there.  Now it's just called "The Beach Shop".  I think I liked Sundries better.

And then there's the Marginal Way.  That mile long coastal path that stretches from the center of town to Perkins Cove, where all the lobster boats come in, and where there are a plethora of shops and restaurants to satisfy the eager vacationer.  The Marginal Way alone is magic.  The views from various points are incredible.  My sister and I were famous for scrambling over rocks to get closer to the ocean, and when younger, (and when we weren't as well versed in the environmental hazard of this) would toss an empty plastic 2 L bottle that had a note stuck in it out to sea, hoping that it would one day wash up on the shores of some exotic land, and be picked up by kids like us, but on the other side of the world. Needless to say, we never heard from anyone.

And finally, in Perkins Cove we land, where we sit and reflect at the waters edge, noting the lobster boats parked and awaiting their next tour.  We always got ice cream at Barnacle Billy's, another iconic landmark that still stands today.  Mint chocolate chip for her, peppermint stick for me. 

Now that we have our own families, our traditions have expanded to include them.  On several occasions, I've met my sis and her girls to have a beach day, complete with lunch at La Pizzeria, an ice cream in Perkins Cove and maybe a trolley ride around town.  And in his short life, Garrett has visited Ogunquit four times! I can't wait to keep introducing him to those traditions and make new ones of our own.  

And so this past Sunday, Terry and I kept up with our newest Ogunquit tradition, which was to have lunch at a delightful outdoor eatery called "Frills", and then walk around town, down to the beach, and have G experience first hand the sandy goodness.  The beach was crowded, the tide was coming in rapidly, so we knew we didn't have long.  But I wanted to give him the chance to touch the water.  We've been practicing our walking steps, and so with hands held, we toddled on down, letting the foamy spray graze our toes, and what I thought would be a loud protest at the frigid temps, turned out to be a giggle of pure euphoria, as the waves licked at his feet, and then pulled back in a quick undertow.  The look on his face was of anxious anticipation as together we waited for the next wave to come our way.  He loved it.  But then again, he is a Maine kid.  Maybe he'll grow up surfing in these frosty waters, who knows.  

Daddy demonstrates the Claw to a giggly G
When we were done with Ogunquit, (pushing the limit with no afternoon nap), we surprised Grampie because after all, it was Father's Day and we were so close to where he and Grammie live.  They hadn't seen Garrett since his birthday party in late May, so it was terrific to surprise him, and see the slow smile spread across G's face as he recognized his two favorite people (besides Momma and Dada of course).  We got to show them how G is taking a few unsupported steps, and then G got to have his favorite cuddle time with Grammie.  He looks sad here but I think he was just very cozy.

And then there's Grampie.  Boo loves his Grampie.

Whatcha pointing to, Grampie?
Ah, my friend, The Fan.         

Look Grampie, I can stand on my own very well

Every holiday, celebration, or marked occasion in general, I can't help but wonder, what will G look/be like a year from now?  As much as I love watching this boy grow, I wish time would slow just a little, so we can truly enjoy these precious moments. 

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