There’s this place.
It’s at the end of a street called Atlantic Avenue, in a town called Old Orchard Beach, in a state called Maine.
Walking east, you cross some railroad tracks, go over some bumps in the sidewalk, and then the road ends abruptly. At the beach.
There’s a sandy walkway between the dune grass, and then you spot the ocean.
As you walk up onto the beach, there is a lifeguard stand ahead and to your left. If you look a little further down to your left you’ll see a pier and a large ferris wheel in the distance. Ahead and to your right are some large rocks. That is, if it’s low tide. Otherwise they would be covered by the water.
If it’s early enough, you may have the beach to yourself. If it’s late morning, there are likely already a number of people sunbathing or swimming, with kids playing in the sand and teenagers playing volleyball or frisbee.
This is my favorite place. This is where I grew up. Every sunny, summer morning, this is where you’d find me. Just ahead and to the right of the lifeguard stand, with my mom, brother, sister, and gramma.
Me, at one.
This is where I brought my own kids, so that they could experience the perfect beach day.
We played in the sand, jumped around in the surf, and climbed the lifeguard stand.
When we heard the train, we ran up to the top of the beach and watched it go by.
When we got hungry, we had a snack. When we got really hungry, we walked down to the pier and got some lunch while we listened to the waves and watched the people on the beach.
On this trip, we stayed in a beach house a couple of miles up the coast, but we had to drive over to spend one day on the beach at the bottom of Atlantic Ave. It truly was the perfect beach day, and I can’t wait until we can return again.
Until next time, Atlantic Ave…