Ogunquit, Maine: "A beautiful place by the sea"
Maine was quite the adventure. The drive there and back was beautiful- especially through the green cloud-kissing mountains of Vermont. We crossed the border forgetting to pack my little sister’s passport, and the next best thing we had was her house league hockey card picture in my wallet. We presented it at the border crossing and each time they looked at us like we were idiots. “Are you really trying to bring a minor over the border using a hockey card?” “Yes, ma’am.” “And she’s your daughter?” “Yes ma’am.” “Have a good weekend.” (And she shakes her head at us)
We rolled down the windows as we drive into Ogunquit and stuck our faces out like dogs as the cool, fish-smelling ocean breeze slapped our faces and blew our hair. The first day was everything I’d been playing through my head as I counted down the days to Maine: It was sunny, the sand was fine and white, the waves crashed as I sunbathed and the food filled me up. We all got sunburns and laughed as we approached the local drug store cashier with tomato faces to purchase some aloe vera. We ate at Barnacle Billy’s and satisfied years-long cravings for clam chowder and lobster rolls.
We woke up the second day to Ernesto, who thought he’d pop by and dampen our day. The winds were extreme, but so are we. We grinned and bared it as we walked the beach, sand whipping into our face, arms crossed across our chest holding our sweaters tightly. We shopped at the famous Maine outlet malls, and had camera crews been present, I’m sure we would have been excellent actors in any outlet mall commercials: We ran excitedly from store to store, hitting each other with plastic bags filled with polo shirts and Henley T-shirts. It was a great chance to forget I was a twentysomething, and agree with my 12-year-old sister that yes, the lime green jelly shoes are indeed cool.
On the third day, we awoke to find out the Ernesto had stayed the night and was looking like he wasn’t going to pack up until Labor Day. This time, there were big, fat raindrops all day long, the kind that require you to squint to see through. Being extreme Maine beach troopers, we couldn’t dream of letting another day, our final day, pass by without going to the beach. So we shimmied into our wet suits, loaded the SUV and drove to the beach. We zipped up our wetsuit hoodies and laughed our way across the footbridge to the beach, passing disgruntled wannabe beach-goers who just couldn’t hack it. We ran past the red, no-swimming flag, towards the huge, cascading waves, with inflatable rafts under our arms. We laughed and cheered maniacally—quite a contrast to typical Monday-morning me, sashaying through crowds in my pencil skirt and collared shirt who is so sophisticated and stylish, I like to think. We all rode the best waves ever, letting them lap over our heads, splash up into our nostrils and defy us as we walked against their undertow. There wasn’t anyone else on the beach, and I remember thinking how much it seemed like a movie set: There was a one-toned grey backdrop, moving waves, and cloudy grey again on either aide that eventually became part of the painted backdrop. Our screams and “oh no!”s and laughter filled the set.
The drive back of course coincided with the return of the sun and the migration of most folks down to the beach again. We were sad to leave, until my Dad revealed that he had secretly booked a beachfront cottage for two weeks next summer!