#AtoZChallenge | P is for the Pier at Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach

Amusement Parks are decidedly not a winter activity in Maine. The rides sit deserted and motionless against the cold, quiet sky. The boardwalk is closed as the seasonal shops are locked up and windows shuttered. Only a handful of people walk the empty beaches.

The hallmark of Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach is the Pier but it is especially lonely in the winter. With no people strolling its wooden planks, it appears abandoned as it waits for summer to return while braving the winter storms that batter it.

Sitting on its pillars at it juts out into the ocean, it is fully exposed to the elements. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | O is for Ocean Views along Marginal Way in Ogunquit

We hike a lot and, as I blogged about earlier in the challenge, coastal hikes are my favorite. But, depending on the trail, they can also be challenging and restrictive if you have mobility issues. If you’re looking for a place to go for beautiful ocean views, without putting on your hiking shoes, then Marginal Way in Ogunquit is you’re place.

Ogunquit literally means “Beautiful Place by The Sea” in the language of the Algonquin Indians. It’s truth in advertising at it’s best.

Marginal Way is an easy walk along a paved trail that runs parallel to the shoreline. There are a few inclines, but nothing overly strenuous.  It allows you to get up close to the rocky shore without actually scrambling on the rocks. There are a few access points from the trail leading down to the water if you are a little more adventurous. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | L is for Lighthouse and a Lonely Snowman

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse is more commonly known as Bug Light due to its diminutive size.  Plus, bug light just sounds so much cooler. It is also the place to go if you want to fly a kite as the wind is wicked by the water. I’ve blogged about it before in my post Kite Festival at Bug Light Park, South Portland.

I also returned to the park again when trying to launch a homemade Castiel kite during our Gishwhes Scavenger Hunt this past August. You probably need to be a fan of the TV show Supernatural to understand that previous sentence. Sadly, it’s not even my first reference to Supernatural during this blogging challenge. I’m a bit obsessed. But, you don’t need to be a fan of the show to get the gist.

Bug Light Park is the best place to go fly a kite. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | K is for Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth

While a popular summer destination, I found the quieter winter scene at Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth especially beautiful during a recent visit. The sun gleaming off the water, a persistent patch of snow by the edge of the sand and an abandoned lobster trap make it a true Maine winter scene.

This was my first visit to the beach area at Kettle Cove, but my daughter and I did enjoy a delicious lunch at the Kettle Cove Creamery & Cafe a few summers ago which I blogged about here:  Serendipity and Strawberries lead us to a stop at the Kettle Cove Creamery & Cafe.  Unfortunately, it’s closed during the winter so we didn’t get to enjoy a second visit on this trip. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | J is for the Jetty at Camp Ellis and Winter Storms

When you step onto the jetty and look out, it’s impossible to tell how far it goes as the end blurs with the horizon. Growing up in Saco, I visited the jetty in Camp Ellis often and have scrambled along the rocks towards that end point but I’ve never walked the entire jetty.

I have what is probably a revisionist memory from my one of my early visits to the jetty as a child. My cousins and I were given permission from our parents to walk to the jetty on our own.  We had never gone alone so it was a big deal. It was a short walk up the beach and to the jetty.  Playing on the rocks could be dangerous but we promised to be careful.  My youngest cousin, who is five years younger, tagged along with us. When we were done exploring, she was not ready to leave, so we left her on the rocks. She made it home safely, but our parents were not happy with our decision to leave her behind. Our next solo visit was not until a few years later when we could be trusted to make better choices. Continue reading