The weekend before Labor Day has become the weekend I'm invited to visit my wonderful friend Eric at his bungalow in Wells, Maine - a convenient distance to the expansive eponymous Beach in Ogunquit.
1) I adore train travel, and my indulgence on this annual visit is to take business class on the Downeaster. It's hardly martinis-and-bridge lush-and-plushness all the way, but I love the wider seats, the proximity to the café car, and the quiet.
2) Fabulous home cooking.
3) Thank goodness I remembered my thermal bag with ice packs this year to keep our beach provisions cold!
4) Piping plovers. Do they really taste just like chicken?
5) These were my very first beach days in the entire summer. It's just before Labor Day! I didn't do this summer right.
6) Saturday tea dance at ye Mayne Street on the roof deck. A person much older than I sitting against the far wall combining all the features of my granny Dimmick, Mother Burnside from Auntie Mame, and the late Jesse Ralph.
7) Seafood dinner al fresco at a rather swish hotel restaurant overlooking the beach, including the second most Yankee appetizer, bacon-wrapped scallops. (The most Yankee appetizer is pigs in blankets.)
8) Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown made me miss 1980s hair so much! Not to mention double-breasted linen suits with shoulder pads and pleated pants.
9) Sea, sun, surf, sand, scenery.
10) Pre-train Indian dinner at ye Tylsy North featuring the best chicken tikka masala in Maine.
11) Got to chat on the phone with Mother for 20 minutes before my return train arrived at Wells.
12) End result of all of the above: gratitude.