Sunday, August 24, 2008

Popham Beach Vacation!!!

We went to Maine for a week's vacation again this year, this time to Popham Beach instead of Harpswell, as we had done for the previous 5 summers...it was a spectacular place to stay...instead of driving and eating out, we stayed at our house for the entire week, and enjoyed family and the beach and sun and reading and take-out fried clams from 2 spots within walking distance of our house on the beach...

There are lots of pictures (too many?) in the following blog entry, and some may seem repetitive...that's due to our enjoyed the same pleasures time and again during the course of our week in paradise...

  • sleeping until we wake up
  • bringing coffee out onto the low-tide beach for a morning walk on the hard and flat sand
  • looking for pretty shells and such
  • hanging out inside or on the screen-porch or on the beach reading and talking and playing games
  • eating great food in our casual dining room watching the sea and sky go through its changes
  • drinking frosty beverages in the hot sun
  • watching movies or the Olympics or read after the sun goes down
  • cheering the blood-red moon up over the horizon while chasing mosquitoes away with cheap cigars


Lots of beach-reading with sandy feet...


Pretty views from our living room...the first day was a little foggy when we arrived, and it rained a bit on Tuesday, but outside of that, we had the nicest weather of the Maine summer...


Lots of places to sit and enjoy the changing color and breezes of each sunny day...


Knotty-pine and nautical fixtures filled the house and dining room...


Lots of comfy spots to sit and read and play and nap...


A nice kitchen with great counter space and a dishwasher...


A super screened-in porch for reading out in the ocean air and away from bugs...


We got got beautiful sunrises and sunsets facing East, and this pretty rainbow...


It was hard to capture with my low-tech camera, but we had spectacular moonrises each night, blood-red or orange over the ocean and beach, while we sat out after Ben had gone to bed...


Cool mornings, damp grass, strong coffee, infrequent shaving, violent novels of fiction...near perfection...


The cottage was comfortable and roomy and solid and had everything we needed/wanted for a week of peace...


All of the windows in the house were open to the breeze for the 10,080 minutes that we were blessed to be there...


We got up early (by most standards) every morning, and took advantage of well-timed (lucky) low-tides to explore the vast planes of hard sand (and cool shells and dead sea-beasties) that the departing tides had left for us...


Here's our house from the beach in the morning light...


Our stretch of beach was at the mouth of the Kennebec River, downriver from the Bath Ironworks...imagining huge ships cruising down this narrow and gorgeous inlet was bizarre...


The water seeping out of the higher parts of the beach left the lower flats shining in the sun like a sheet of glass...


Ben loved running up and down the beach, finding cool stuff that he would either keep or chuck back into the briny deeps...no middle ground...


Ben's library and game-zone got lots of use during the course of the week...


All of our walks on the beach began and ended with crocs...we'd wear them to get down through the dunes and grass to the beach, and then take 'em off...


Sunday, our second day at Popham, was the day of our annual Gibson Family Picnic...this year, like others, we had a bunch of people come and we all spent the whole day eating and drinking and talking, with the bonus of being able to enjoy all of that on the best beach on the planet...the picture above shows Ben's cousins Alexis and Max...

Ben loved me hauling him at high speed at the water's edge on a boogie-board...his favorite part seemed to be the wipe-outs and waves crashing over him...


Everyone had a nice time in the wonderful heat and breeze combination on the beach...


Gibson Clan Beach Circle...not unlike Stonehenge in many ways, except for brighter colors and an abundance of small dogs...


We had lots of great food this year, as in other years, including what my sister ("Anti") Sarah called Hellboy hot-dogs...she made me promise to put her picture of them in this blog entry (please note the grape tomato included for color comparison)...our thanks to everyone who helped to make the potluck feast a success...


Later in the day we headed down to Fort Popham, a short walk down from our spot on the beach, with Steve and Susie and Max and Lucas...it's a really cool old fort that has been used in multiple eras to control the mouth of the Kennebec River...the boys had a blast running around and exploring the nooks and crannies and echoes...


I performed the time-honored reach-around picture of Sarah and I, with the traditionally rewarding results...


Pretty moonrises came to us every night...


Hanging on the beach was a big part of every day, and was even fun for me, a person normally not excited about beachtime, because the heat was always balanced by a cooling breeze (which also kept the flies away) and the option of instant hypothermia in the ocean...


Ben got lots of reading time with everyone...we all got lots of reading in...


The owners of the cottage had invited us to raid their garden, which we did a couple of times for fresh carrots and green tomatoes, which I love to cook/eat fried...I slice them thick, dredge them in salt and peppered flour, fry them really hot/fast, and sprinkle them with Tabasco sauce...they are summer-tastic...


When you live at the beach, as we did for the week, you have lots of time (the time that you normally spend driving places) to sit and enjoy the scenery...


We walked the beach at low tides every morning and evening during the whole week...


Some mornings or evenings were cold enough to warrant jackets, but we'd still go out and enjoy the sun and light and wet and cold and smell and feel of our ocean paradise...


There were multiple lighthouses within sight and sound...on foggy nights and mornings we could hear the horns going off...



Ben likes it when I spin him hard enough have his legs swing straight out from the centrifugal force...it sometimes scares onlookers who suspect that I may lose my grip...the house in the background of this picture was an island at high tide, and we often walked out to explore the rocks around it at low tides...


My sister Sarah was able to come and stay with us for a few days, and we had a great time...I love my sister...


During low tides there were enormous fields of tiny puddles that invited exploration by Ben, and contemplation/observation by the adults in our group...



Sarah loved getting a break from the oppressive heat and humidity and giant flesh-eating wombats of the urban jungle she normally swings through...bed, bourbon, and books in adundance made her vacation...one could do worse...


Gail and I depleted Maine's supply of tiny sand dollars...sorry...


Ben's cousin Max came over for a 2-day and 1-night playdate, which was awesome...the boys only see each other once or twice a year, but the always get along and have fun when they get together...


They had a great time exploring the low-tide beach...and brought back bushels of shells each time...


You can just see them (click on the picture to see it bigger) running into the leftovers of a gorgeous sunset...


We had a pre-birthday party one night for La-La and Ben...


Ben got La-La a pretty necklace, and La-La and Uncle Steve gave Ben a wonderful Yamaha keyboard (Ben's been talking about piano lessons for awhile) which I unfortunately didn't get a nice picture of...you'll see it soon if you keep watching the blog...


Ben and Max enjoying breakfast after the sleepover...yes, they have stylish pajamas...


Another day of running the beach for treasures...


It was a great visit...


Gail helped with some sea-beastie identification...


Ben loved, and doubted, the fact that barnacles were really alive...


On the way back from one of our walks, out by the island-house, we were almost caught by the rising tide, and had to cross through knee deep waves...here they can be seen cooling down from the excitement...


Ben celebrating/enjoying our last night at Popham with a run to see what lay around the bend...


It was a gorgeous night, and we stretched our walk until we almost had to find our way back home in the dark...


This week at Popham was, without a doubt, our best vacation in Maine...ever...we hope to come back again next year...


We took a nice walk all the way to the State Park, pack/loaded our stuff into the car, cleaned the house, and drove home with sand between our toes...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nature Girl says
Spectacular photos! Gotta love Maine.

Laken said...

Nice photos!! You must have enjoyed your beach vacation trip.

I LOVE YOU said...
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