Sunday, October 30, 2011

All Hallow's Eve or New Years Eve?

When snow falls, nature listens.
                 -Antoinette van Fleeff

OK, we arrived home to Ogunquit from our winter holiday on April 1st  only to be greeted by a nor'easter that  punched us with snow.  Today is October 29th, and we are ending our 15th season to another snowy nor'easter. Autumn is not even at the half way mark and we are dealing with wet, heavy snow. Less than three weeks ago we were basking in the warm summer glow of 86 degrees and swimming in the Atlantic.

It is Halloween weekend in Ogunquit which is a festive time. Many guests wait all year to display their creative talents of disguise. Nightclubs like MaineStreet host a mega Halloween party, that is always well attended. However, with the weather the way it is, it looked more like Santa Claus was coming as opposed  to the "Pan Am Flight attendants"

It's hard to believe that this past weekend I went from mowing the lawn, to shoveling the driveway, and firing up the pellet stove! It's apropos that we start our season with snow and end our season with snow!

We did not get too much of the icy wintry mix; maybe three inches. However, other parts of New England received snow measured in feet. I was still able to run at low tide on the beach!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Burial Hill, Plymouth MA

My sister lives in Plymouth, MA. Once or twice a year I like to go down to "America's Hometown" and visit my sister's family. Plymouth is south of Boston and right before Cape Cod starts.

Where ever I go, I tend to run in the morning. So, I decided to run along Plymouth's waterfront, and through Burial Hill on this late October day.

Running through Plymouth, you really get an  understanding why the Pilgrims settled here. There is a harbor, a fresh water brook, and a commanding hill where one can see for miles.
Running in a historic town gives you a different perspective. It is nice to take in tourist attractions, like the working harbor, the Mayflower, museums and historic homes. As I run through the waterfront and up the first street in New England ( Leyden Street), and up to Burial Hill, I get a surreal feeling of history.

The burial grounds are a bit macabre with ancient trees and  slate gravestones of all different shapes and sizes. Its interesting to note that many of the early settlers lived long lives, and yet some had very short lives.  Many of the stones had illustrations of urns, weeping willow trees,  cherubs and skulls. I noticed that there was not one headstone with a cross on it. The early settlers of Plymouth were pious, but did not celebrate many religious holidays, or used many religious symbols like crosses.

It was great to see my family, enjoy a waterfront meal, and just be a tourist in "America's Home Town".


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ogunquit High Heel Dash, Super Heroes for Frannie Peabody Center

What makes a super hero a super hero?

As children we remember stories of characters who do heroic acts: help people, fight bad guys, fight for justice etc.

Everyday, countless people are super heroes. They do kind and generous acts to help others and not themselves.They do good, for the sake of doing good.

                                                                  (Jimmy measures Superman's heels)

The The Frannie Peabody Center is comprehensive AIDS agency located in Ogunquit that helps people with AIDS/HIV or at risk of HIV. The Frannie Peabody Center relies on contributions and fundraising to meet it's objective. The Frannie Peabody has helped countless people in Maine that struggle with HIV and AIDS on a daily basis.

Today, as part of OgunquitFEST celebration, the Third Annual High Heel Dash to benefit the Frannie Peabody Center took place in Perkins Cove. The dash is sponsored by the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce and organized by Ogunquit's Jimmy Lucibello and Frances Reed.

Jimmy and Frances are my super heroes. Both Jimmy and Frances tirelessly work on countless projects that benefit others and not themselves. Toy Drive for needy children and Animal rescue are some of the other  projects that these two super individuals work on.

Well over $1,000 was raised at this event. A thousand dollars doesn't sound like a lot, but to people suffering from HIV or AIDS, this money will go far.

The High Heel Dash is short course race around Perkins Cove. The key ingredient to the race  is that contestants must wear 2" inch heels (5cm) or higher. Contestants are urged to wear costumes, and there is a category for the most outrageous., fastest, and highest heel.

Lance runs to the finish line; and Joanna of Maine Street Cabaret Night Club entertains... Bryan has the highest heels and Rick Barber of Moon Over Maine has the brightest costume....

While, dasher's and dancers may prance in Perkins Cove, and entertainers like Ogunquit's Joanna ( "girl" with a gazillion voices), may hold court; fishermen return to the "cove" in their "punts" after a day of deep sea fishing. Just another day in the little town of Ogunquit Maine where there are many super heroes......

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mt Agamenticus in October

Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.
-Theodore Roethke

October is a nice month to visit Mt Agamenticus. The "Mount" is a mere 7 miles from downtown Ogunquit and a world away. The former ski lodge is a treasure in southern Maine. The treasure being the natural bio diversity and thousands of acres of protected forest land with trails for hiking and recreation.

On top of former ski lodge you can see, Mt Washington in NH, the Presidential range, ocean, and an amazing amount of foliage. There are a viewing stands along the summit of the mountain, and on top of the lodge.

 Autumn foliage peaks around mid to late October. The vistas are a collage of yellow, red and green.

There is an abundance of moss and low lying vegetation on the mountain. The coastal mountain forest is unique because it is where the northern and southern species meet.

Remnants of the former ski lodge from the 1960's remain on the mountain, as time capsule to the past.

The Details:
From Ogunquit Beach Inn, go to Route One south 3.3 mils to Mountain Road (across from Flo's Hot Dogs), Mountain Road for 4 miles, follow the signs.
Open every day from Dawn to Dusk

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Columbus Day 2011

Monday, October 10th is Columbus Day. This creates a three day weekend in much of the US and Canada (where it is Thanksgiving holiday). Many schools, business and government buildings are closed for the Monday Holiday.

This autumnal holiday is usually celebrated with apple picking, hiking and leaf peeping. However, this year is different. Thanks to global warming, we are enjoying the amazing warm summer like weather.
Columbus Day weekend temps are the 80's ( 25c). The weekend in Ogunquit is full of revelry with beach goers, theatre patrons and others enjoying the last breath of what summer has to is actually hotter this weekend than much of August....

The holiday was always nostalgic for me; an early autumn break from School, and a parade celebrating Columbus in the Italian neighborhood of East Boston (after all the Irish have St Patrick's day and a parade..). Growing up in the Boston area, the Italian neighborhoods always made a big deal of Columbus Day.  The Italian-Americans are quite boastful in claiming the Genovese navigator that sailed for Spanish crown as their own. Known in Italy as Cristoforo Colombo, and Cristobal Colon in Spanish speaking countries, his legacy is widely celebrated and criticized. After 500 years,  historians still debate the ramifications of his "discovery".

Instead of "leaf peeping and apple picking, I am hitting the beach, like others in Ogunquit maine....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ogunquit Tides

majestic tides sweep the shore 'round the clock every twenty-four
waves so high, they break against the sky,
as birds and marine prey look for daily delights,

the sunrise flows above the waves,
and shines beneath the clouds, cycling yet another day.
slowly, the waves inch on shore, and sift the sand slightly more.

shifting tides into the day, brings a new surprise,
as the northwest wind roars on by,
with beachcombers, fishermen and castaways look for a prize.