Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

The Sun's Supposed to Set Over the Water!

We've headed to the Atlantic Coast, and while we've stayed near the water before, we haven't actually found a hotel Right On the water before this trip. We went south in Vermont, through New Hampshire, met up with archangelbeth and her Io-chan and Spouse for lunch, and then headed out to Maine and the shoreline just south of Portland.

It's a little bemusing to be so close to this other Portland which we know not at all when we know the one in Oregon so well.

We got up early to say good-bye to everyone as they left for their flights or had to drive home, and it was nice to be able to stay long enough to just say good-bye to everyone that's we'd stayed with until Friday. The good thing is that Anne and her daughter are going to be coming to our house in August to set Eryn up to go to Nuropa College in Boulder in the Fall. So we'll get to see them again and get to host them, which should be fun.

Io-chan and Jet
The truly funny thing is that even as we were pulling out of the driveway we had no clue where we were going. Other than toward the Coast, I ended up calling archangelbeth and asking her if we could meet up with her for lunch and where. We ended up saying we'd meet them at Portsmouth simply to have some idea as to where to go, and she came up with a lovely Chinese Buffet right off the freeway.

Lunch was fun. We all got to talk, and Jet and Io-chan got to play together, and the Spouses got their heads together and John came up with a plan as to where to go and what to see.

So after lunch we headed north for a little, and then out to the coastal highway, which is, amusingly enough, also called the 1 out here. *laughs*

I have to admit and call out the fact that I love the Maine advertising motto: "The way life ought to be."

We ended up touching base at York Beach.

The Union Bluff Hotel
York Beach is known for it's "kisses" which are actually salt water taffy pieces and showing all the candy being made in the window. There's beautiful little diners, lots of touristy things like duck pin bowling right on the beach, a mini-golf indoors, and an arcade with old-style games. The thing that riveted my attention, though was this hotel. The Union Bluff Hotel, huge, posh old place, but the building itself is like the beach building that reoccurs in my dreams, kinda...

This is obviously old, solid, posh, and costs just about what you'd expect for a hotel right on the beach. It's actually far more reasonable than some of the stuff in La Jolla or LA; but it's solid and refurbished and beautifully appointed and private for the folks in it. The huge old, white Victorian in my dreams is half open to the sea air, with meandering hallways and connected rooms, and the air is always full of clouds and mist and wind. *laughs* So not exactly the same, but the architecture and the number of stories is the same as in my dream.

I kept doing double-takes and finally had to take a few pictures.

The rest of York beach was a very friendly tourist trap and not the secluded cove the three of us found the time we visited nearly six years ago.

We might have to find that on the way back to Connecticut on Wednesday. Instead we just kept going north and ended up outside Portland, at the north end of Old Orchard Beach at Pine Point. I'm amazed at how many names there are for itty-bitty tiny places here. This is one of the first beaches in Saco Bay south of Portland. I mean, you could pinpoint us by the names. Whew.

Dinner at the Clam Bake
Found a little hotel at the end of the street, away from the craziness of central Old Orchard Beach, and it's quiet here with little traffic, a private strip of beach, and a lobster pound within walking distance. *laughs* Couldn't be better. Jet wanted to eat at the Clam Bake instead of the lobster pound as he discovered on the last trip that if we went to a lobster pound he didn't have that many choices on food. Or any choices for that matter, so we hit the Clam Bake and the portions were just enormous!

Though I'll admit that I was pretty happy ordering 'just one lobster' for my dinner, with a cup of clam chowder, not exactly the most balanced of meals, but it was tasty. John got the baked halibut and scallops and Jet got salmon fish and chips, which he liked, but they served him a huge portion for the "kids meal". Next time we could even just split a couple of kids meals. *laughs*

The Sun's Setting Over Land!
From there we headed back to the hotel as a thunderstorm rolled in and the sun started setting over the land, which is just wrong for a Left-Coaster. It's funny as with all the years I lived in LA and San Diego with views of the ocean, every sunset was over the water. To have it happen over the land just felt really really odd when I actually have the surf, seagulls, and sand at my back.

We saw the sunset over the land in Atlantic City and that struck me as wrong then, too, as we were walking the Boardwalk and it set well away from the ocean and over the glittering city.

I caught a picture of a lightning strike, but it was a small one, when the lightning was running huge hands fingers of sparks all across the darkened sky. One struck close enough to send the boys back to the room, but I didn't see it. I stood out there in the dark trying, in vain, to get one of the big strikes as mosquitoes latched onto me and made me swear 'cause I had to change what hand my camera was in to swat at them.

That made me laugh. And spread on more anti-itch stuff. I really have to pray a bit that I'm not susceptible to West Nile damage this trip, as I'm just a mosquito pin cushion once again. The room didn't have A/C, but given the weather here I can see why. It's humid and warm, but not that bad, and I guess the winters here are usually much colder. And I was tired enough I slept pretty fast.
Tags: travel
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