Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2,643 miles - Next Stop, York Beach, Maine

Our only visit to York Beach, Maine, was in September of 2011 when our oldest daughter was so fortunate as to have her wedding at The Reading Room in York Beach.  I traveled by car with my mom in tow, a sewing machine, fabric for a bridesmaid's skirt, a wedding dress that I had made for Holly and never fitted, various and sundry sewing supplies, containers for wedding flowers, a mother of the bride's dress and clothing for the week.  Dan and our youngest son Tyler flew up to join us later in the week because Dan was still teaching at the time and Tyler was in school.  This Mom had to get there early because she had magic to do.

Remember, this was shortly after 9/11 and we crossed into NYC the first day the bridges were open to traffic.  The traffic was horrendous and my heart broke as I saw the smoke from the World Trade Center Towers still curling into the air.  We had not known until a few days before if we would even be able to get to York Beach.  The universe conspired to make it all happen.  While everyone else had a glorious week, I was buried in sewing and then making all the fresh wedding flowers.  I saw the basement of the beach house we were staying in and the ocean across the street and that was about it.  But, the wedding was fabulous and everything was beautiful, including our daughter.  Her wedding dress did not need one alteration which made my life easier, that is for sure!  I knew one day I would return and get to really enjoy York Beach.  This was my triumphant return.   : )

We left New York City early on Thursday morning hoping to avoid morning rush traffic.  All I can say is thank goodness we were leaving the city and not coming in.  Holy guacamole, I have never seen traffic that went on for  miles and miles, bumper to bumper all the way into Connecticut.  Just know that there is no way on earth I could do that every day.  Guess that's why I was a small town girl for so many years.  Fortunately, as soon as we crossed the Triborough Bridge, we really didn't have many problems because we were leaving the city and not coming in.  The sun was shining in a beautiful blue sky and away we went.

If  you have never driven up the East coast, it is truly breathtakingly lovely.  Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine are stunningly beautiful states with waterways and historical buildings.  I am so attracted to the style of houses and buildings that I feel I may have lived in New England in a former life.  Clapboard sided salt box houses make my heart skip a beat.  The quaintness of the villages and towns warm my soul.  I wouldn't care for the harsh winters, but the summers are stunning!   Highway travel was slow going at times because of all the road construction, but that is typical for anywhere in the summer. Enjoying the beautiful scenery made it all worthwhile.

We arrived in York Beach about 3 in the afternoon.  Talk about one gorgeous town!  Wow!!  I had Dan pull over as soon as we saw the ocean and I took the picture above.  This is taken from Long Beach Avenue.  Long Beach Avenue parallels the beach on one side and beautiful beach houses and restaurants on the other.  We stayed with our daughter's in laws who live right across from the beach.  Alma and Jack were such lovely hosts.  It has taken us ten years to get there to visit, but we had an amazing time!  We talked and talked, and laughed, and ate, and drank coffee and sat on the porch and watched the beautiful ocean morning, noon and night.  We did do a little sight seeing, but just being near the ocean and listening to the waves made it all worth the long drive.  Thank you Jack and Alma for your kindness!
This is where we got to sit on the porch and enjoy the beach at all times of the day.  This is the view directly across the street.
How fabulous is that?  Here is a sunset picture, just to tease you a bit.  Don't you wish you were there right now?  I sure do.
The craggy shore is so beautiful to stand and watch the waves crash against the rocks.  Heaven.
The universe conspired to give us absolutely perfect weather while we were there.  Alma and Jack said they had a cool, rainy spring and had been wearing sweat pants and sweat shirts on the porch until we arrived.  Thank you universe, we are ever grateful.

We had fabulous food while we were there - clams, chowders, lobster, and fresh fish.  It would be amazing to be able to enjoy such goodness all the time.  There was also some ice cream involved from Bob's which was also pretty amazing.  Dan is a big fan of ice cream.  Dan was a happy man.

We did some sight seeing and traveled to Ogunquit and Kennebunport, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  I will do a post on those side trips later.  My favorite spot was the Nubble Lighthouse in York.  It is reported to be the most photographed light house in our country.  Everything is so beautiful, these pictures don't look real and I took them on my phone.
Here is some information I found about the Nubble.

The Nubble Lighthouse has been fully automated since 1987 and has not been occupied by a lighthouse keeper since. The US Coast Guard now maintains the Nubble Light. The town of York Maine owns and maintains the island. The park where the Nubble Lighthouse can be viewed is Sohier Park.

Nubble Lighthouse Features

The Lighthouse:
The Nubble Lighthouse tower is 88 feet high and is made up of two layers of brick and reinforced with wrap-around steel plates. It is 13 feet in diameter at the base. The base floor of the Nubble Lighthouse is made of brick. The  stairwell is circular (or spiral) which wraps around the inside of the lighthouse and takes you to the lighthouse platform which leads to the base of the lens room. An eight-step steel ladder goes up through a wooden trap door, giving access to the platform surrounding the dome light of the lighthouse. The platform is enclosed by a cast iron railing holding twelve posts that are each topped by custom made cast iron moldings of the lighthouse tower for decor.  NHTravel.com

This picture was taken from Sohier Park.  I could have stayed there all day.  Don't ask me why, perhaps it all the fictional reading I have done in my lifetime, but there is something romantic and haunting about light houses.  Here is another view of the water around the park.
Look at the beautiful beach houses.  Talk about a view!  Doesn't it make you want to go there right now?

If you have never been to the shore in the northeast, you must be aware that the water can be frigid to say the least.  While we were there, there was evidently a warm current flowing because the water was nice.  All the beach goers spent the entire day in the water and that doesn't happen often.  School had just gotten out on the Friday we were there, so the crowds were not unbearable -  yet!  Alma said after July 1 it was wall to wall people.  Super glad we were there when we were!  

It's a long haul by car, but it is SO worth the trip, especially if you have never been to the northeast.  There is so much of our country's history there and the scenery is stunning.  If you are looking for a place to visit, check out York Beach, Maine.  I think you will love it there.  Tomorrow, we will visit Ogunquit, which is just up the road.  Now, I wish I was there again.  

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

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