On a clear day you can see for miles. On a day like this you can see 1/8 of a mile.
I was lucky enough to be invited to stay at a friend's family's summer home in Ocean Park, ME. A few months ago we had been talking about Boston, and she asked if I had ever eaten pizza at Bertucci's. I hadn't, but she said she stopped there every year on her way to Maine. She invited me to come along the next time she went, and we could stop at Bertucci's in Peabody, Mass for lunch. At first I was a little concerned about staying in a complete stranger's home, even though Nikki had assured me over and over again that her sister in law was more than happy to have people over, even kids (which is always a concern). I told my sister in law before I left her apartment in Cambridge that I might be calling her that night to go on the internet and find out how to catch a bus from Portland to Boston, just in case it turned out to be too uncomfortable.
None of us could decide which one we should choose as our free sample. So we took more than one.
But, I had no need. The entire family was amazing.
But I'll start at the beginning! Nikki flew into Boston the day after me, and Trinity and I met her at the airport, where she was picking up a rental car. Let me tell you, it is so fantastic to be headed to the airport in a pair of jeans, with only a backpack, not even having to worry about putting my 3.5 oz sunscreen in a resealable plastic bag! I even had a Red Bull in my backpack! Words cannot describe how wonderful it is. Anyway, we were quickly on the road. Before long we were at Bertucci's. Now I've traveled halfway across the nation just to eat pizza at two different places. I think Mystic Pizza wins out so far. This may only be because I ordered a chicken and vegetable pizza, and they failed to add the chicken.
Marshmallow guns! A pointless purchase. But fun!
It was good, even without the chicken, but I did mention it to the waiter and I got the pizza for free.
The drive was pretty uneventful. It was extremely foggy and therefore, we couldn't see much of anything as far as scenery goes. I got a picture of a bridge, and that was the extent of it. It was mid-afternoon when we got to Ocean Park. The first thing we did was take a walk to the beach, which was one block away. The town of Ocean Park consists of a cafe/tourist store, a small grocery store, an antique shop, a post office, what I think was a library, houses, and the beach. The water was cold but we walked in it anyway. I knew Trinity was dying to dive right in, but our hosts had some other things in mind, which was fine. After a short stop back at the house, we stopped in Old Orchard Beach
and walked along the tourist area.
Inside of a random tourist shop
There were several ice cream shops, a candy store, but mostly places that sold t-shirts and other novelty items. Trinity did get a little sign that said Trinity St. and Old Orchard Beach on it. We don't usually find anything with her name on it, so we had to buy this, of course. We walked along the boardwalk and purchased some marshmallow guns! They are just some pieces of PVC piping placed together in such a way that you can drop a mini-marshmallow inside and then blow on the other end. You can really get some distance with them! It's pointless... but man have we had fun with that thing ever since that night. I hope that our generous guests did not find too many stray mini-marshmallows lying around their yard and their home. After that, we drove to downtown Portland and had dinner there.
At the entrance to the boardwalk
I wish so badly that I had more time in Portland. It's just the kind of city I'd love to explore further. It was evening when we arrived there, though, and I didn't feel that I was in a position to dictate how much time we spend where and when. We walked around and stopped in a few stores that were actually still open at that time, but mostly everything was closed.
When we got back to Ocean Park, Trinity wanted to catch fireflies. It was too cold for fireflies to be out, but we took a walk anyway. The creepiest walk we've ever taken - at least until the following night. It was so incredibly foggy that you could not see ten feet in front of you. It was only about 10:00, but it was eerily silent, except for the sound of waves crashing in the distance. There was a single streetlight on the corner that was flashing.
Trinity poses with the quaint fog.
It was as we were crossing that street that I compared the town to a Stephen King book. I thought of my favorite King novel, (which of course takes place in Maine) IT. That's the one about the clown that eats people, if you didn't know. So yeah! There was a flagpole in what I would call the town square, under it was a park bench, which a light shining on the park bench. I was pretty sure a ghost has sat on that bench and read a newspaper occasionally. Anyway, we made our way to the beach, and, while it was Trinity that ran away yelling "It's too scary!" when we got to the top of the hill and looked over into the pure blackness and fog and heard the sounds of the water, I can't say I blamed her one bit. We made our way back to the house and... did nothing. There was no TV and no internet. I got online with my phone for a few minutes...a choice I would end up regretting as of yesterday, when I realized that I was charged $77 for the roughly 20 minutes I used the internet while I was there. Ugh! We both fell asleep almost immediately... even though I half wished the house would prove to be haunted.