Since it’s been far too long since I posted here, I figured I’d better return with something spectacular. Pemaquid Beach on a perfect July day might just fit the bill perfectly.
The unrelenting sun, the silky white hot sand, the swimmable ocean temperatures, the slight offshore breeze, the swooping vulture-like seagulls, the obvious tourists, the smell of fries and questionable hotdogs, the sticky sunscreened and hatted babies, the sea of beach umbrellas, the mesmerizing play of light and water… these are the blissful days of high summer on our favorite beach.
It puts me in mind of a Bradbury story I’m revisiting, “All Summer in a Day,” though resemblance ends at the title. But it’s like that — you sit on the sand and repeat those actions of applying sunscreen to little noses, shaking out your towels, cutting grape after grape in half, trying to read, making drip castles, admiring the shells collected by an eager 5 year old, the inevitable shlepping to and fro of coolers, umbrellas, and sand toys — all of summer flashes before your eyes like the sun glinting off the turning lobster boat. The boat turns, idles, pulls up another trap, and before it reaches the next, summer could be over.
No, no. Stop. It’s not. It’s mid-July. High-flying flags and kites snap in the breeze and Emmaline spits another cherry pit into the sand. I graze my hand over the seductive and ever-shifting curves of the sand and simply am here.
Nothing is better than this beach in the summer. We mid-coast mamas love it in the off-season too, but nothing compares to an 80 degree day with full sun. Because Pemaquid is smaller and less well-known that some of the other mid-coast beaches, you can easily find parking (sometimes in the shade too!), there is no rude jostling or lines, the staff is relaxed and friendly, the restrooms are clean, and yet there are nice Canadian tourists who offer to pull your over-loaded wagon for you and the concession stand is open and selling tempting fries and milkshakes. Pretty darn perfect.
Pull up a towel and stay awhile. Maybe even the whole summer.