Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Side trip to Provincetown!

The season has started, and soon we will be real busy here in Maine.  However, this year, we decided to close down for four nights and visit family and friends in Provincetown.

World famous Provincetown is located on the tip of Cape Cod 195 miles south of Ogunquit. Like Ogunquit, it's roots are in the sea, and salt is in the air. Like Ogunquit, it is a tourist destination filled with artists, gays, and general tourists. The quaint town is dotted with restaurants, art galleries and a variety of lodgings ( Inns, B&B guesthouses etc).

My good friend Jay has a house on Cook Street in the East End, and my nephew Eric also lives in the same neighborhood. Jay's house is a typical Cape Cod shingled contemporary duplex. The top floor has a sitting terrace which overlooks Cape Cod bay. The unit has three bedrooms, a large living room and two bathrooms. It's a perfect place to spend a vacation with family and friends. It's also for rent,  Ptown Vacation Rentals

Third floor terrace view from Jay Crickett's  Three bedroom rental house in the East End. 

Cape Cod National Seashore, miles of trails perfect for running and nature watching. Every morning I ran through some of the trails and byways. Michael and I also enjoyed hiking through the dunes and estuaries.

The "Breakwater" is a 1.2 milestone jetty that connects crosses Provincetown harbor to Wood End Lighthouse. Michael and I crossed the rock dike at low tide and went to the expansive deserted beach. The beach is a long stretch of sand and there are two lighthouses at both ends. The Wood End Lighthouse is now solar powered.

While hiking along the quiet secluded beach we heard a sound of something exhaling. we looked to the sea and we saw a whale that was swimming along the shore line. As I was beach combing, I found a lobster buoy, to my surprise it was from Maine!!

There is plenty to do in P-town during the day, but at night, the vibe is much different than the serene National Seashore. Commercial Street is alive with tourists and sightseers. The famous "Lobster Pot Restaurant"  is a must if you are visiting Provincetown.

This long expansive Ptown institution serves hundreds of pounds of lobster and other sea fare daily. To my surprise they now have a gluten free menu, which is quite expansive and satisfying. I had the baked lobster in butter.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Back to Ogunquit!

The ride to Maine was much easier this year with stop-overs in Savannah, and Rehoboth Beach, DE. Nevertheless, it's good to be home and out of the car.....It's good to be back home in Maine!

With morning lows of 30 degrees ( -1c) and afternoon highs of 50 degrees (10c) , you know it's April in Maine. Like other migratory birds, we have returned to our beloved little town-by-the-sea, Ogunquit Maine! Our endless summer is stalled, while we have a brief visit of Spring ( a Maine Spring, that is!).

Beautiful crisp days with bluer than blue skies, wild ocean waves and a dawn chorus of cackling birds! It's great to be home!  The sign is up to welcome guests to our 17th year as the owner/innkeepers of Ogunquit Beach Inn!

Michael has made the first batch of our famous Blueberry muffins for our guests this weekend!

If you are thinking of coming up, give us a shout at 1.207.646.1112 or email us at: ogunquitmaine@gmail.com . www.ogunquitbeachinn.com

Panoramic view of King Suite, a two room suite that sleeps two.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Next stop-Rehoboth Beach Delaware

For over 16 years, We have been busy in Maine during the summer, and do not have the opportunity to visit other summertime resrot communities. After leaving Savannah, GA we drove over 650 miles (1045km) to Rehoboth Beach Delaware.

While driving north, we took the Chesapeake Bay Bridege-Tunnel; a 23 mile long  bridge/tunnel that connects Virginia and the Delmarva peninsula. The bridge is engineering marvel and a $12 toll road. We drove from the Virginia mainland across the tunnel/bridge to the peninsula.  The peninsula is on the coastal plain and features rolling sand dunes and preserve areas with an abundance of ocean fowl.   About 160 + plus miles up the Delmarva peninsula lies the resort town of Rehoboth Beach.

Rehoboth Beach is a resort town located on the coast. Like Ogunquit it is a gay destination, dotted with gay B&B's, restaurants and bars. However, Rehoboth Beach also has the quintessential beach honky tonk feel, with a mile long boardwalk, taffy, funnel cakes and a wide range of visitors. Some of the Gay B&B's, restaurants and shops are located on the quiet tree-lined street Baltimore Avenue.

On Baltimore Avenue we dined at the charming Rehoboth Beach haunt called Blue Moon  Restaurant. The Blue Moon is located in a craftsman styled house (similar to our Ogunquit Beach Inn). Adjacent to the restaurant is the Blue Moon Bar, a dance & entertainment venue which features gay acts like the illusionist/magician Cashetta. The restaurant offers gluten free/vegetarian and contemporary American cuisine. We opted for the canard, which was outstanding.

 Rehoboth Avenue is the main thoroughfare in the beach area. with a wide array of businesses: pizza-by-the slice, soft serve ice cream, shell shops and the iconic "Dolles" salt water taffy that greets you at the beach adjacent to the boardwalk.

 The boardwalk which is adjacent to the beach is well a mile long, and is used by runners, walkers and beach goers. The wide beach is perfect for sunbathing and ocean activities. Rehoboth Beach also hosts many races and there is even a running store on Baltimore Ave!

                 Runner friendly Rehoboth Beach calls itself the "Nation's Summer Capital"

Next stop, in @ 500 miles, Ogunquit, Maine!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Northward bound! WIth a stopover in Savannah!

It's that time of year when we depart the warmth of south Florida and make our journey back north. This year we decided to make a few overnight stops at two destinations and take and be a tourist.

(enjoying the last day in Florida sun)

After 7 hours of driving we stopped in Savannah, Georgia at 12 noon. Many of my friends raved about Savannah. I honestly had not expectations. After spending the day and night, I was actually quite impressed with this hip college town.

(Architecture, hip restaurants, and lots of SCAD college kids)

Michael and I took the "trolley tour". Living in Ogunquit, we have trolleys, but these trolleys are mainly used for transporting masses people to the beaches in Ogunquit. The Savannah trolleys are actually used for touring. Savannah is quite a historical city with layers upon layers of history, and the trolley was quite helpful and informative.

(faux Paula Deen & Greg-being a tourist)

We also had reservations for Paula Deen's restaurant, "Lady and Sons"-again, my expectations were not high, but again, I was pleasantly surprised.

Make no mistake, Lady & Son's is a tourist destination with long waits, and crowds in the gift shop adjacent to the restaurant. To my surprise, there was a "Gluten Free" menu! Who would have thought, a southern soul food restaurant with GF options!

My meal was yummy with rice, seafood (scallops, shrimp and oysters). Michael opted for the Chicken Pot pie. This was a prime example of southern soul food ala Paula Deen. A pie the size of a dinner plate with puffy braided crust and mounds of chicken.

The city is fun and lively, pedestrian friendly. I went for an hour run through several neighborhoods. I think Savannah will be a new stopover on our treks back north!

Friday, April 5, 2013

US Route One

Its a bit of Americana history. US Route One. It stretches from Key West Florida to the Canadian Border.

Originally called the Quebec-Miami international Highway in 1911 and renamed the Atlantic highway in 1915. It has  many names throughout the eastern seaboard: Post Road, Main Street, Boston Post Road, Lincoln highway, Federal Highway etc.

The historic Route One is 2,369 miles ( 3,813km), from Fort Kent Maine (at the Canadian Border ) to Key West, Florida.

The Overseas Highway, connecting the the tiny keys like a kite tail....
Much of Route One in Maine is a coastal highway that weaves through villages and town centres. It's often called Main Street in some towns. In Ogunquit it is Main Street.

We decided to re-visit our old friend, US Route One. We drove from our Fort Lauderdale home (US Route One bisects much of the city, called Federal Highway).  From there we went through Miami, and then the overseas highway gain (aka US Route One).

There are lots of little beaches along the Keys along US Route One.
Our Route One pilgrimage took us to some of the most beautiful vistas in the Keys: aquamarine sea with shimmering coral. Tropical birds, and numerous shell shacks, (too many to count); and seaside eateries with an abundance of mid century roadside America! -Gotta love it!
Route One in Ogunquit Village Centre

Our journey ended at the ceremonial start of Route One in Key West. Amongst the partiers, revelers, day trippers and other assorted travellers, I took my turn at mile marker 0 and had my obligatory picture taken!

This is where it starts....
As many people know, Key West is an Island to itself. The very end of Florida, but barely Florida. Out in the sea, but not quite foreign. A former haven for bootleggers, smugglers, pirates and other assorted shady characters, Key West has welcomed them all. One unique feature about Key West is that during the Civil War, the island was part of the union. While Florida was firmly planted in the south.  Most likely due to the fact that the island was a major port during that time, and navy base.  To me, that free spirit lives on this small Island that the Spanish call Cayo Hueso ( Bone Cay or island).