I like traveling solo. There are no compromises to make and you get all the alone time you want.
But I discovered during a long weekend in Ogunquit, Maine, that there are advantages to traveling with a like-minded friend. You can make memories together, share in the driving, and help each other if one gets hurt. Our weekend might have required some compromising over pizza toppings and restaurants, but I still got to run on the beach and read on the b&b porch by myself, and we can both laugh at our shared memories of getting soaked a few hours upon arrival. And let’s not forget the calamari, one those moments for which ‘you just had to be there.’
Ogunquit, ‘beautiful place by the sea’, is a picture-perfect resort town. The beach is endless, the seafood fresh, and the shops quaint. It was my first time in twelve years breathing in sea air and I reveled in it.
The weekend didn’t go entirely as planned as the friend who had invited me ended up spraining her ankle and lost an afternoon to recuperation. Once I’d done all the first aid I could, I took off in her car to do some antiquing.
The next day we went for a drive to the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse, just west of Portland. I could not believe the view around the cape, all black rock and turquoise ocean and wispy cloud sky, contrasting with the concrete remains of the Fort Williams battlement and the emerald green grounds.
That evening, we walked Ogunquit’s Marginal Way, a paved mile-long seaside walkway, from the neighbourhood of Perkin’s Cove to downtown.
On our way home the next day, we stopped for dinner at a chain restaurant my friend had been to and loved called ‘Weathervanes.’ Then followed the funniest moment of the whole trip. The calamari I’d ordered were… strange. Oh, they were yummy–very sweet and not rubbery at all. But they weren’t the rings that I was accustomed to eating in Ottawa. Instead, it looked like I had a plate of… legs. I picked one up near the bottom of the plate and found myself holding a small whole battered squid. It was the most revolting thing I’d ever seen in my life. According to my friend, my expression reflected this thought. But it was her next expression that will remain engraved in my head forever, when I shrugged off the disgust, yanked a couple of legs from the squid, and happily ate them. An hour later, she still couldn’t get over the fact that I’d eaten it! I’m still laughing as I write this… and drooling. Yup, I definitely like squid. And I don’t eat beef?!
I think my friend enjoyed sharing this town and area she loves so much while I enjoyed being able to tag along.
It can be nice to travel with friends, something I rediscovered when another friend suggested we go to Seattle for a day.