Readers of this column know that I’m from Florida, but what may surprise people is that despite growing up 10 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, I don’t like the beach.
Actually, a more accurate statement is that I don’t like sand. Sand is problematic for several reasons. It gets in every little nook and cranny of your body, and if you don’t do a thorough job cleaning yourself when leaving the beach, it gets in every little nook and cranny of your vehicle. For someone who considers themselves a neat freak, having sand all over the place is less than ideal.
In my nearly 43 years of life, I’ve traveled to places with some spectacular beaches, including St. Lucia, Jamaica, Hawaii, Mexico, the Bahamas, and elsewhere in the Caribbean. But in every spot, I found myself sitting by the pool and avoiding the beach. I do love the ocean, so I’d deal with the sand on my way down to the water.
When I first met Kirstin a decade ago and we were planning our first trip to Maine, she talked about going to the beach and how spectacular it would be. I was skeptical — I mean, at that point, I had only been out of Florida for a little over a year. I couldn’t imagine a beach in Maine being anything close to spectacular. What kind of sand would there be? How cold is the water? Will there be a concession stand with snacks and drinks?
Well, after 10 years of being a regular visitor to the beaches of the Pemaquid peninsula, I have to admit she was right. Pemaquid Beach State Park (“Big Beach”) and the nearby “Little Beach” are wonderful places to spend a summer day.
The state park has a new pavilion with a snack shack, showers, picnic tables, and a long path down to the sandy beach. Little Beach, a short drive around the corner, is a bit more secluded and known as a picturesque, quiet spot on a private road that locals like my wife and her family have enjoyed for decades.
We’ve had so many fun times at Big Beach and Little Beach, from dinner and lunch picnics with family and friends and sandcastle building with Evan and Lydia to watching my mom fall out of our inflatable boat and submerge herself in the icy water — it was even funnier than it sounds because she was wearing a T-shirt and capri pants.
I’ll admit I don’t spend a lot of time in the water — I mean, it’s like 60 degrees at its warmest — but I do enjoy floating on a tube or wading in as deep as my Florida blood can handle. I’m happy we’re able to continue my wife’s family traditions down at the beach and look forward to many more summers with Evan and Lydia running and playing on the sand and in the cool Maine waters.