Simple Pleasures: Memory from The Dunes

October 10, 2013 in Memories, Uncategorized by admin

Spending a summer at the Dunes on the Waterfront is something of a tradition for many, and a great place to bring the whole family for Maine beach vacations. Here, a longtime guest at the Dunes on the Waterfront recalls summers spent with grandparents and cousins, learning, eating and enjoying each other’s company.

The Dunes will always remind me most of my grandfather, Jack McIsaac, who loved it so much that he spent every summer there from 1942 until his death in 1984. Whenever I think of him, I see him sitting out on the lawn at No. 2 in his navy blue shorts and canvas boat shoes, looking out over the water, cigar in hand, listening to the Red Sox game on a small transistor radio as his skin grew steadily darker. He kept a cot with a small green terrycloth pillow out there on the lawn, and he’d take naps there in the afternoons. I loved to sit there with him, even though we rarely spoke.

My grandfather loved to bring his whole family together at The Dunes, and as I was growing up, the highlight of my summers was the week my family would spend there, ideally accompanied by my cousins. Every day was full of fun: walking or rowing to Ogunquit Beach and playing in the warm pools left by the receding tide, playing croquet and shuffleboard, buying sodas from the Coke machine at the garage. On rainy days we’d stay inside my grandparent’s cottage and play endless games of Go Fish or Gin Rummy. I learned how to row a boat on the river, stomp the clam holes to make them squirt as we walked across to the beach at low tide, and find the periwinkles and barnacles that grew all around the dock.

The family – grandparents, parents and as many as nine grandchildren – would gather for dinners on the porch in the evenings: Ogunquit lobsters for the grownups (we kids were given the claws to suck on), hot dogs and hamburgers for the kids, corn on the cob, rolls and my grandmother’s famous blueberry pie, made with fresh Maine blueberries picked by my grandfather in the morning. After dinner, sitting in the cozy living room, we grandchildren would take turns scratching my grandfather’s head to earn a nickel or (as time passed) a quarter.

My grandparents are long gone, but as I discovered when I visited The Dunes with my husband and daughter last year, the simple pleasures it has offered my family for so many decades — the river and ocean, tidy, cozy cottages and air scented by the ocean mingling with pines – are still alive and well.

- Lee McIsaac

Have your own memories of a Maine beach vacation at the Dunes on the Waterfront? We’d love to hear them.

Cottages overlooking Ogunquit Cottage

Paradise Found: An Anniversary Weekend Memory

September 27, 2013 in Memories, Uncategorized by admin

It was our tenth wedding anniversary, and we were looking for somewhere to get away for a weekend. With the daily hustle and bustle of family life with three young children, we didn’t have much time or money to go away on some fancy vacation. So, at the last minute, I started researching places to stay in Ogunquit. That’s when I came across The Dunes. Luckily, they had space available on our anniversary weekend so I booked it!

Anniversary weekend in cottages overlooking Ogunquit Beach
Even being familiar with, and loving, the area (my family had a camp in Kennebunk growing up), I still wasn’t sure what to expect as I had never been there before. And to our pleasant surprise, we both fell in love with the place as soon as we pulled in. The little cottages scattered across the beautifully maintained grounds, were so quaint and lovely, that I wished I permanently lived in one.

My husband and I felt like two little kids, trekking down with our backpacks to the dock and taking a rowboat out across the river to the beautiful Ogunquit Beach on the other side. It was like an adventure…and the most fun was slogging through the river to get back at low tide. We had so much fun that day!

sunset bench dunes waterfront ogunquit tidal river

Once we had safely returned our rowboat, we headed for the heated outdoor pool for a quick dip, and then to sit and relax on an outdoor bench overlooking the river and beach beyond it. We sat there that day, watching the sun go down, and reminiscing of the 10 years gone by, and how happy we were.

On the way home after the anniversary weekend was over, we were so excited to bring our kids back to experience this magical place, but after we thought about it, we decided to keep this little gem to ourselves for a bit longer. A place we can escape to alone once in awhile. Thank you, Dunes on the Waterfront, and your wonderful staff for making our tenth anniversary one we will never forget!

- Heather and Rob Horn

Waterfront Cottage at the Dunes

Our Happy Place: Memory From The Dunes

September 15, 2013 in Memories, Uncategorized by admin

My husband and I had just celebrated our third anniversary and although we were still “newlyweds,” we weren’t exactly getting along lately and had let our spark fade. The year before, we had celebrated our second anniversary with a romantic getaways in Maine at The Dunes and had the time of our lives, so with our marriage at a current stand still, I thought it would be best to get back to our happy place.

On that Friday morning, I drank my coffee on the couch while he was still asleep and got the best idea of my life to date. I picked up the phone and crossed my fingers that The Dunes had a cottage for us. They were able to put us in a cozy cottage with a view of the water so I quickly woke my husband up and told him to pack, we were headed to The Dunes for the weekend.

Waterfront Cottage at the DunesThose two days at The Dunes on the Waterfront were all we needed to rekindle what we had let go. Simple things like sitting at the table outside of our cottage in the adirondack chairs together or just taking the row boat to the very private beach for the day got us back to where we were supposed to be.

I realize couples have been married much longer than us and have been through much more trying times — so I must say, maintenance is a must in every relationship, whether you’ve been married 3 years or 70 years. For us, it happened to be getting back to our happy place, The Dunes on the Waterfront in Ogunquit, ME.

- Kelly Nelson

Chairs ready for relaxing over the Ogunquit Tidal River

Guests Share Memories from The Dunes on the Waterfront

September 1, 2013 in Memories, Uncategorized by admin

We encourage guests to share memories and vacation stories with The Dunes on the Waterfront.Our cottages and grounds are filled with history — and not just our own. It’s the memories and traditions of our guests that make The Dunes on the Waterfront such a special place, and we always love to hear about what made The Dunes stand out in your mind. When guests share memories, it brings our families closer together.

Perhaps you’ve celebrated a birthday, an engagement, spent some time with family or just savored a relaxing vacation in Ogunquit, Maine — tell us about it! Here are a just a few memories submitted by guests, proving that it’s often in the little things that the best guest memories are made.

“If you have ever gotten up to see the sunrise, you need to quiet a very strong urge to run throughout The Dunes and awaken everyone to see it! The colors on the river are very different with high or low tide. It is always very quiet and always worth the rise out of bed.” — Brian Finn

“When we made the reservations, we weren’t sure what to expect, but we were looking for a place to witness the fall foliage and to relax. Just sitting in the Adirondack chairs, facing the Atlantic Ocean, and letting the ocean breeze roll over us, made it so close to heaven. Perkins Cove and walking the Marginal Way returned us to our youth and gave us strength to face the world again. Thanks!” — Joetta Duke

Share memories from your trip to the Dunes on the Waterfront.

“Beautiful sunrises, low tides that offer an incredible array of birds dancing as they search for their dinner, sunlight sparkling like diamonds on the water, white sails off in the distance, lighthouses twinkling at us each night in competition with the stars and disconnecting from the world that brings a wonderful sense of peace each day that we’re there…”  — Debbie and Kenn Nebel

“We always enjoy the hospitality of the staff and the accommodations. It is quiet and restful. We like that we can cross the tidal river at low tide and be on the beach! It is awesome!” — Paul and Marie Tomberg

Whether you’ve stayed with us once or returned year after year, tell us what caught your interest (and your pleasure) at the Dunes. It only takes a few minutes, and you can easily share memories of the Dunes on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Share memories from The Dunes on the Waterfront.