Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You don't know what you have 'til it's gone.

Fortunately, this title is not as morbid as it may first appear.

We lived in New Hampshire for about 10 years, mostly on the Seacoast and a couple of years on the Vermont border in a tiny town better suited to the Witness Protection Program than a family with infants. Our home on the Seacoast allowed us to be at the beach in 20 minutes and the mountains in about 90 minutes. We were spoiled. I've said it before, as much as I was born and raised in CT, New Hampshire is home and I feel like I am currently living in CT until the time is right to be back in NH.

We decided to take a rather convoluted path to our final destination to avoid the highways and the traffic that comes with summer weekends. We wound our way up 91, and hopped off just over the MA / VT border and began our trek across NH. Just outside of Keene, NH we began to see hot air balloons filling the sky. It was a beautiful evening and I imagine their view was spectacular. As we were about to round a bend, an oncoming car flashed their head lights and I instinctively slowed down as I expected a New Hampshire trooper to be waiting around the corner. Surprising, I was not greeted by the flashing lights of a speed trap. Instead, a hot air balloon had made an emergency landing just off the road...literally.
Luck of the Irish for a safe landing?
Our first week of vacation was spent in one of my wife's favorite haunts - Perkins Cove, Ogunquit Maine. We've rented the same house the last 5 years and I'm not sure who looks forward to this trip more, my wife or the boys. When we lived on the Seacoast, we lived about 30 minutes from Perkins Cove and made the trip numerous times each year, preferably when the tourists were not around. This trip has fallen into a bit of a routine - beach, pool, eat out, visit friends and buy Taffy - we'll get back to the Taffy later.

If you find yourself in "The Cove", I highly suggest Amore Cafe for breakfast. One of the week's specials was Irish Eggs Benedict, so good, I had them 4 days straight. I compliment Cafe Amore for a string on great morning meals and a wonderful wait staff. I thought, as we sat each morning, what a tough job they have to do. Waiting tables is tough enough and adding in the element of tourists makes it that much more difficult. Kudos to your staff for being up beat, polite and on top of their game!

Amore Breakfast - Shore Road
Breakfast was followed by trips to the beach or walks on Marginal Way, a winding footpath that hugs the coastline. At the right time, you can hope off the path and explore the rock formations and pools left behind by the outgoing tide.
tough to make us out climbing this rock
a moment of quiet
this gull let me get closer than I thought I could
D's favorite boat, the Sarabeth
While Maine isn't know for its beaches, the sands in Ogunquit are a gem. The beach has some unique geography as there is tidal river on the "back" side of the peninsula that provides warmer water temps than the sands directly on the Atlantic. At low tide, the receding waters leave pools that warm in the sun's rays and these provide a welcome respite from the shocking ocean waters. Low tide also provides a fun opportunity to looks for crabs. Having forgotten my net this year, this task was a little more challenging however, we still managed a bunch.

Mom and baby, all crabs were released, unharmed.
low tide
One overcast and drizzly day gave way to a road trip to the largest trolley museum in the country in Kennebunkport. The gentlemen who volunteer on the trolley rides and tell us tales of bygone days are ideally suited for their task. They talk with a fondness for trolleys as I might for a day on the Farmington River. Sadly, the organization survives almost solely on donations and many of the prized trolleys are housed, awaiting funds for restoration. 

all aboard!!
And, in typical tourist fashion, what trip to Kennebunkport would be complete without a drive by Walker Island, the Bush family compound. I'm pretty sure the clan was in residence based on the number of Secret Service clearly visible that day.
Walker Island
As I mentioned previously, our week in Perkins Cove involves trips to certain institutions, one of those being Goldenrod, at York Beach. Hands down, the best salt water taffy I have tasted.

best Taffy around!
All these places, that are now so cherished by my family, were common place destinations for us not to long ago. my wife and I spoke of how we didn't realize what a truly special place we lived in until these places became ones that were annual instead of monthly visits. Love where you live and, as much as I am not in love with CT, I need to find the hidden treasures that I am sure reside within this State.  Already looking forward to next year...


  1. Nicely Done!!!!Glad you had the chance to enjoy!!
    My Parents used to go there every August, back sometime ago,probably over 30 yrs ago. They loved it too!!!!See ya soon!!

    1. Thanks Pete...summer is getting short...we need to set up another day to fish...I think I see a personal day in my future!

  2. Such wonderful family happenings.
    These are what you'll talk about some Thanksgiving Day in years to come.

  3. That's my hope...thanks Alan.