I'm currently finishing up a run of "The Music Man" at Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine and, having now spent 6 weeks in southern Maine, I just had to post on the blog about my time and travels here. I didn't know what to expect when traveling up to this part of the country, but was so excited to explore. First, I must say that my experience at the playhouse has been wonderful. It was a joy to work with Ray Roderick and Jeffry Denman on such a beautiful production of this show. My accommodations here have been great, the facilities are wonderful, and the cast has become such a beautiful family. I have been learning so much from pros with multiple Broadway credits and tons of stories of working on monumental productions. I am humbled to share the stage with these folks. Then- I am also performing in the quartet in the show and to sing with these 3 other gentlemen is such a treat each and every day. There are always so many moments on stage where I discover new things and we find ourselves cracking up through the whole show. I have never had to keep myself from breaking so many times on stage, but I am so glad that's my problem! Ha ha!
Beyond having such a wonderful job to go to every day, I also have been able to experience so much beauty and joy up in this area. I just don't know how to cover all, but I'll give it a whirl... The town of Ogunquit (7 min walk from our house) is really charming . It is made up of 3 cross streets (Route 1, Shore Rd., and Beach St.) that form a really nice little square. There are all sorts of cute restaurants, shops, galleries, etc. that make up the main strip of storefronts. There is a great little grocery, outdoor seating for lunch, gift shops, a pizza stop, and my everyday coffee stop, Bread and Roses. It is the greatest little bakery and coffee shop! A walk down Beach Street takes you to.... you guessed it.... the beach. Ogunquit Beach is on a sandbar, so the Ogunquit River flows through as well. The tides here are amazing, making the beach shrink in such a dramatic way. I've never seen anything like it. The river is a great place to float and enjoy a sunny day while the tide is high. I must admit, though... the water up here is FREEZING. There has only been a couple of days when it was even bearable to go in. We'll just keep calling it "refreshing" to make ourselves feel better. Ha ha!
Ogunquit River on the left and Ogunquit Beach on the right.
We usually wander over to the marginal way as often as possible. It's a walking path that goes along the rocky coast of Maine connecting Ogunquit Beach with the town of Perkins Cove. Around every little bend is a view more breath-taking than the last. It's just remarkable to see the power of God's creation at work on those rocks. Perkin's cove is one of my favorite spots in the area. This picturesque town looks like it's right out of a movie set. You wander in and can enjoy the view of all the sailboats bobbing in the cove and then making your way into the tiny loop of the village, there are local candy shops, toy stores, a deli, a coffee shop with jaw-dropping views, and our most frequented meal... Footbridge Lobster. I can't begin to tell you about their lobster roll, but I'll just say for $13.99 you just eat and eat and eat your way through a lobster roll that is meaty and butter and perfect. I love to sit on the dock to eat it and walk along the footbridge over the cove. What a magical spot!
Eating Footbridge Lobster Rolls on the dock in Perkins Cove.
Right over by Perkins Cove is the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, a cute little museum with a nice collection that we enjoyed one day. The real draw of heading to the museum, though, is the property on which it sits. There are great gardens and things, but the rocks behind the building jut out into some beautiful water where you can jump and swim and enjoy the views that just never seem to get old. We spent one day rock-jumping right off those rocks, climbing aroudn and finding our best natural diving board to play on! Here's a video of one of my jumps! It is from "Bulldog Rock", about 15 feet into the water.
We also spent a day in Kennebunkport, the beautiful town just north of us. It is a beautiful stop, very similar to Ogunquit, but with even more stores and cute sites. My favorite part of our time there was the drive along the coast where we happened upon some beautiful homes, a church, and the Bush Estate, where President George Bush Sr. lives. He and Barbara even came to see our show and we got to meet them and the quartet sang "Lida Rose" with the President! What an experience. Another day we went to the nearby town of Cape Neddick and looked at the quintessential lighthouse, Nubble Light. This working lighthouse is practically the symbol of the state and was just as gorgeous as you may imagine! I also made the trek up to Portland one day to look around the Old Port and see what the biggest city in the state had to offer. More of the same... brilliant food, cute shops, ho hum...
The quartet meets Pres. George Bush Sr.!
Probably the thing that has made this contract so great, though, has been the people of this community embracing us so much. We have had so many parties thrown for us by board members, volunteers of the theatre, parents of children in the show, patrons, etc. Some favorites include the barbecue and Greek Feast held at the gorgeous home of the President of our board, Jim Morgan. What a wonderful place to spend an evening and eat GREAT food. Also- the Kingston family just blew us away at the Clam Shack, their restaurant in Kennebunkport. The 3 Kingston girls are three gems in the cast and we have grown to love them and their family so much. They hosted a night for us that I will not soon forget where we gorged on piles of fresh lobster, scallops, shrimp, and ice cream for dessert. They treated us too well!
The barbecue at Pres. of the Board Jim Morgan's house.
One stop after another Ogunquit has been taking my breath away for 6 weeks. I have officially fallen head over heels in love with Maine and I just HOPE that my time here is just the first in a long line of visits to come! There is too much here to see and explore to only visit once.
Love you Maine!