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Oh how there are days when I yearn for the simplicity of childhood – a healthy, normal childhood – where worries and cares are almost nonexistent, and an escape from reality is encouraged and nurtured.
When Steve and I began dating, spending hours hanging on each others' words, he told magnificent tales about vacationing in Ogunquit, Maine - a quaint, picturesque beach town nestled between Kennebunkport and York on Maine’s coast.
Every year, when he was a kid, his aunts and uncles rented a beach house for a month and Steve’s family would drive from Minnesota to join them two weeks. He recalled basking in the morning sun, building sandcastles on the beach, body surfing in the whitecap of the Atlantic, and high-tailing it home for lunch.
A reprieve from the blazing midday sun was short lived, as the kids would jet off to the footbridge after swallowing their last bites of food. There they’d spend hours tempting crabs with their makeshift contraptions consisting of sticks, rope and leftover meat scraps – they didn’t have the sophisticated bait and nets used today.
I loved his colorful depiction of the scenery, the Marginal way - a winding path along the Atlantic Ocean - and the nightly ice cream excursions. The small town charm lured me in with each new detail - the downtown movie theatre playing a single feature film, the brightly colored buildings, the hint of salt in the air, and the hypnotizing sound of crashing waves.
It was all so magical. So peaceful. So dreamy.
Steve loved Ogunquit, and for that simple reason, I wanted to know Ogunquit. We often talked about how wonderful it would be to take our kids there, to recreate his childhood memories and make them our own. I couldn’t wait to step into Steve’s past, and make Ogunquit part of our future.
Finally, after years of hoping, it happened. We booked the trip, and headed to Ogunquit with Steve’s family, my in-laws. We’d secured a rental home in Perkin’s Cove big enough for all of us. It was quite exciting!
Ogunquit lived up to the exquisite pictures Steve had painted.
The kids were enthralled with the trolleys, each named something ending in olly – Dolly, Molly, Holly… Every time they saw one pass by, they excitedly squealed, while hopping up and down and pointing; quick to identify which one it was.
Steve vowed to eat lobster every day, and every day he did; my mouth still waters at the thought of rich lobster rolls. Mmm Mmm! We ate ice cream, walked the Marginal Way, played at the beach, waved to the boats leaving the cove, its channel bordering our backyard. As a matter of fact, my brother-in-law saw George Bush Sr.’s yacht cruise by, closely followed by several black security boats, as he visited Perkin’s Cove to eat. Kennebunkport is only a stones throw away from Ogunquit.
We were successfully recreating Steve’s cherished childhood memories, which were now becoming our children’s childhood memories. The running joke was that Atia and Asher’s experience was certainly a step above anything their father, aunts and uncle remember. They never stayed in Perkin’s Cove.
This past August was our second time there in the same house and we already have it secured again for next year. If I could stay there an entire month I would. I love it. I love the memories and traditions being created. I love the serenity. Ogunquit recharges my batteries, it’s my secret escape when the stress is too overwhelming. I close my eyes and in an instant I can smell the sea air. I wave to the passing boats and all is good with the world.
But most of all, I love that when I ask Atia where her favorite place is she says, “The white house in Maine.”
To watch a cute video of the kids enjoying their vacation, including Asher's 1st somersaults, the kids' 1st carnival rides & Steve's 1st time operating the drawbridge, click here.
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