A Dark Welcome to York Beach
It was an unusual start to our vacation in York Beach, Maine this year. We arrived on Saturday afternoon, earlier than usual. Our efficient start had paid off and we found that there was ample time after unpacking to go to the beach. As night settled in we noticed a strange absence…the Cape Neddick Lighthouse (Nubble Light) was dark!
I’ve been coming up to York Beach almost every summer for over 40 years. This was the first time I had ever seen, or rather not seen, the light operating. I did what anyone in 2010 does when something strange happens, I checked Google. However after searching for news related to this “outage” I came up empty. The Town of York website was silent on the issue as was a local news website.
The blackout continued on through Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday morning we noticed that the light was back in operation. Whether there was an electrical issue or a burned out light bulb, it was apparently resolved early Tuesday. I sit here writing this particular paragraph on Tuesday evening with the light operating in its typical and (usually) reliable manner. Maybe someday I’ll learn what happened.
Beyond the mystery of the lighthouse, it was an unusually warm week in York. Upper 80s and lower 90s prevailed each day. For several days there wasn’t much wind, at least not a cool wind, at the beach. This is the first year in recent memory where Lisa hasn’t been on the beach wrapped in sweatshirts and towels to keep warm. Complementing the hot weather, the water was about 63 degrees and provided a very refreshing respite from the heat!
The surf provided excellent waves for riding and playing. Michael lost a couple of nose clips to the pounding surf. We upgraded to the type with a neck strap which seemed to solve the problem. Lisa and Sarah took advantage of the active waves and had some good runs with the boogie boards.
One hiccup for the week was a forgotten camera cable. I carefully packed the charger but completely blanked on the computer cable. We’ve been posting digital pictures during our travels for many years so that family and friends can keep up with our travels. So, for this past week we had to largely go dark, just like the lighthouse. During the week I had been reduced to posting a few pictures from my phone since I can download those.
Trying to avoid the heat of the day at the beach on Tuesday, we went into town to bowl (candle pin) and check out a few shops. The bowling alley was very hot. We only bowled one game. We then explored a few of our favorite shops, including The Goldenrod where Lisa purchased some coconut clusters, an annual favorite!
This year we also tried a couple of loaves of bread from the “When Pigs Fly” bakery. We have seen the store several times on Route 1 driving into York but had never stopped in. However, when we went to do our grocery shopping we saw some of their loaves at the local Hannaford grocery store and purchased the “Six-Grain and Pumpkin Seed” loaf. Sarah and I loved it, both buttered or with cheese. Later during the week we got their Sourdough loaf to bring home.
Beyond daily beach bumming, we enjoyed our daily treat of Brown’s Ice Cream (typically Sherbet for Michael and Grape Nuts for the rest of us). We also spent an evening in Kittery to visit Crate and Barrel as well as the Kittery Trading Post.
Wednesday we wandered around York Beach Village where we discovered a new restaurant, Woody’s Brick Oven Pizza. As we walked by we all caught the delicious aroma of the fresh dough baking. We decided we would have to try it out and we did on Friday afternoon. The pizza was great. Lisa and Michael stuck with plain cheese while Sarah and I added mushrooms, feta cheese and hot and sweet sausage. We heartily recommend this place for pizza.
Friday night we attended Spamalot at the Ogunquit Playhouse. The production was super! The two leads, Charles Shaughnessy (Mr. Sheffield from TV’s “the Nanny”) and Rachel York were fantastic! We enjoyed all of the fun music and silly Monty Pythonesque humor performed by stellar and lively cast, musicians and crew.
Present in the audience were several cast members for the next musical they are staging, Chicago. Sally Struthers (Gloria from “All In The Family”), who is part of the Chicago cast, was there as well. Although she has been in several Ogunquit productions, her appearances haven’t aligned with our schedule. So we finally got to see her in person, though not on stage.
As usual, our week flew by, winding down as we met the remnants of Tropical Storm Earl later Friday night. Although there were warnings posted at the beach to watch out for strong currents, we really didn’t experience more than a little wind and light rain.
By Saturday morning the clouds of Earl had mostly cleared out. We fed the seagulls our week’s supply of left-overs and stopped by Stonewall Kitchen for some jams and assorted odds-and-ends. We then headed south out of York and had a nice drive home, stopping by Fuddruckers for our traditional heading-home lunch.