If you are looking for a place to squeeze in one last family vacation, a long weekend for Labor Day or a romantic getaway this summer, I would recommend Ogunquit, Maine. Believe me, you will not regret it. Summering in Ogunquit is taking a break from the chaos of your life. It’s getting back to basics without being eaten by mosquitos in a tent. It’s not forcing yourself to unplug in a world that’s always dialed in but relaxing just enough to be in the moment so that you forget to plug in.
I am a traveler. I have wanderlust in my heart and I can never learn enough about new places and people. We are raising our daughters to have an insatiable wanderlust. I spent my summers in Mexico as a child. I don’t mean we summered in Mexico. We weren’t holed up at some resort. We were on my grandfather’s ranch in the small town that my dad was raised in. Sure they had a lot of the comforts of home but we weren’t allowed to have them. My dad felt like when in Mexico, do as the Mexicans and he was right. He immersed the shit out of us. If we wanted to understand what our grandfather was saying, even though he did speak some broken English, we damned better well be paying attention.
My dad’s idea was that when he came to America, he learned English. When we went to Mexico, we needed to adapt. This was a lesson that shaped the kind of person I would become. That simple no became the foundation for my tolerance and understanding of cultures and people different than me. Who cares if there was a McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken in the next town over, he said no.
When I was little, I didn’t get it. Why wouldn’t he just let us have the damn cheeseburger? Why did we have to try everything? And believe me when I tell you that we did. I’ve eaten rattlesnake, cactus, tongue and most animals from head to toe because that folks is what you eat in a third world country and your parents give you no options but to immerse completely. And there was no complaining.
Well, there was that one time I tried to complain but my dad shoved a piece of rattlesnake at me (without telling me what it was) and simply said, “Come!” As in, stop asking for cheeseburgers and eat the damn food available to you. You can have McDonald’s the other 11 months of the year. He was not the compromising sort. So, I ate it and I spoke Spanish to my grandpa. There were no concessions made and I learned a very valuable lesson; all cultures are important and the only way to truly appreciate and respect them is to immerse. This is what we teach our girls. This is how we travel. We dare to live open to all possibilities because there within lies our destiny.
This is not just for international trips. When we travel within the country, our girls know that people are different in different regions. People talk differently, think differently, believe and eat differently. Differences are good. We’ve taught them to embrace and respect these differences and from these experiences carve out who they want to be; how they want to live. I don’t want them to be limited by their geographical constitution.
This summer we took a road trip to the East Coast. First a weekend in Ogunquit, Maine and next, 7 days in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s not immersion into a drastically different culture but it is a different state of mind and certainly, a different mentality from the limited experience one normally finds in these fly over states that we live in. If you are a long time reader of The TRUTH, you might remember that we’ve visited both Ogunquit and Boston before. Well, we loved it so much we had to do it again and this time we discovered even more wonderful places.
Let me start by saying that our 15-hour long road trip was saved by my Bracketron phone holder and charger. We use a navigation app on our smartphone so to keep our phones from dying it has to be charging the entire time but then where does that leave me and my iPad. God knows I can’t survive a road trip without access to Netflix and Hulu. Luckily, my phone holder can charge not only one but two devices!
Then there is The Anchorage Inn. We love this place. It is clean, the staff is helpful and friendly and not only is it located on the Marginal way with views of the Atlantic, it is located on the main street of Ogunquit and located in walking distance to absolutely everything of relevance. If you are ever headed to Ogunquit, like so many of my friends now are since I can’t seem to shut up about how amazing it is, it is definitely worth trying to get a reservation to stay at The Anchorage. Just make your reservations early because they book peak season pretty fast.
Places to Eat
If you like a nice quiet evening with great food, candlelight, delicious food and superb martinis…Angelinas is your spot. I had the chicken franchese with asparagus and linguini in butter sauce. It was some of the best Italian food, I’ve ever eaten and my exotic martini got me knackered. It’s casual fine dining at affordable prices.
We ate here our first night there. We were all exhausted and crabby from the all day road trip but the casual atmosphere at Rose Cove was just what the doctor ordered. It’s a small unassuming place and, I won’t lie, we were lured in by the waiter giving out samples of the fudge from their confectionary shop attached to the restaurant. We sat outside under the stars, listening to the singers from the Front Porch piano bar as their voices wafted across the street, and we finally exhaled at our table with the mini fire pit in the middle. Nothing says beach holiday like a fire pit in the middle of your table, a fresh lobstah roll bigger than your head and an ice cold local beer. We came for the blueberry and the sea salted caramel fudge and we stayed for the lobstah.
Our daughters love this place for the menagerie of ever changing flavors that they offer. I love it because the kids who work there have endless patience and always greet you with a smile. My daughters ask to sample no less than 4 flavors every single time we go in there and these youngsters have nothing but great attitudes and sunny dispositions to share. We go there every chance we get. It’s the perfect afternoon snack after a day at the beach. Some of our favorite flavors are Maine Black Bear, Coconut chip with Almond Joy, Coffee Toffee with Heath Bar and Phantomberry.
I’ve got one word for you BREAKFAST! Oh my, this place specializes in breakfast. Firstly, again, beach towns have the friendliest staffs I’ve ever met. Everyone is always smiling and seem genuinely happy to be there. No one seems put out or annoyed when you ask a question about the menu. This time we sampled the lemon and blueberry cream cheese stuffed French toast, the Belgium waffle with strawberries and the Corned beef eggs benedict. I personally, sampled off everyone’s plate and can tell you that it was all scrumptious.
It has become our tradition to stop at this shop on the last night we are in town and load up on all the confectionary goodness and pastries we can walk back to our room at The Anchorage. The Big Guy had a praline and pecan bar, the girls had tiny mugs made of chocolate and filled with chocolate mousse and I had a chocolate cake layered with whipped peanut butter mousse. And oh yes, I did have my cake by the ocean. It was more decadent than should probably be legally allowed for people over the age of 30. My shorts fit a little tighter that day but it was worth every single calorie.
When we go to Ogunquit we have one mission in mind and that is to beach. If you’ve never been to an East coast beach town, you may have no idea what the hell I am talking about. Remember the immersion I was talking about earlier? Well, being in Ogunquit is simple. You just let go. There is no planning. You just take a deep breath, walk outside and live and it is glorious. It is perfect for our family because we are always over booked. We need Ogunquit to decompress and get back to normal. Ogunquit pulls my family back off of the ledge where we reside on a daily basis. It’s that good.
We truly spend most of our time at Ogunquit beach. It’s a 5-minute walk from The Anchorage and our girls love to play in the ocean; swimming, boogie boarding, body surfing and building sand castles. Thank goodness for the Snapper Rock swimwear, beach pants and most of all the neoprene wetsuit jacket and vest because the water was freezing in June. Thanks to these cute and durable pieces are girls were able to frolic in the surf without their lips turning blue.
Perkin’s Cove is a short 15-minute walk down the Marginal Way in the opposite way of the beach. It is a quaint little harbor full of small sailboats surrounded by restaurants that serve lobster rolls of all varieties and offer stunning views at sunset. It’s also one of our girls favorite places to stroll after dinner bobbing in and out of shop after shop searching for just the right souvenirs and trinkets to commemorate each trip. If you are in Ogunquit, you have to walk to Perkins cove and look around.
The Front Porch is a restaurant located at the busiest corner of Main street that has great food downstairs and a wonderful piano bar upstairs. Children are allowed downstairs but not upstairs. Upstairs is where the magic happens. You can hear the gleeful singing ringing out into the streets as everyone joins in singing along. It is the place to go in Ogunquit for a good time on your beach vacation.