Aug 9, 2010
About a month ago Miriam decided that for her 18th birthday she wanted to load up our big white van with kids and spend a day on the beach. She convinced Amanda that she wanted the very same thing for her birthday. And she presented her plan to me. So we talked about the precious 15 seats in our van and how they should be filled. We talked about a day. It had to be a Saturday because most of the teenagers invited all work during the week. I hate to take guests into the unknown so I chose Crane Beach as our destination because I have been there several times and I know how to get there. I know what it looks like. I know they have showers and bathrooms. I know it is beautiful. There is hardly anything to worry about when you go somewhere you have already been and know what to expect.
But on August 6 the day before their party I learned that Crane Beach was having their annual sand castle building contest. Something I definitely want to see someday but not with 13 teenagers planning on a beach party. There are tons of people that attend the sand building contest so I knew we had to change our beach plans. And that meant choosing a beach I had never been to before. I am okay heading into the unknown all by myself, or with my family, but when it has to be done when I am trying to entertain 13 other people it stresses me out. Because my number one, totally realistic, priority, is that you have fun.....I always forget that important part that really you decide whether you are going to have fun or not I instead assume it is my responsibility and I take it way too seriously :)
I got online and googled, "top ten beaches in Massachusetts" and started reading. Information can give you power but can also cause you to think about things you may not have thought about otherwise, like beach parking lots filling up before you get there, leaving you stranded with no beach to go to. I finally decided on a beach called Wingaersheek Beach because I called and talked to the people there and they said if the parking lot was full when we got there we could always go into town and catch a trolley to Good Harbour Beach. I do love to have a Plan B. We had already set our time to leave and it could not budge because of paper routes that needed to be done. So we just had to hope that by 10:30, which was our estimated time of arrival, the beach parking lot would not be full.
Saturday was a beautiful day and from exit 5 on the Massachusetts Pike clear up to exit 13 off of Route 128 it took us almost exactly 2 hours. The parking lot was not full. But they did make me pay $35.00 to park my big 15 passenger van. I tried to give them my sweetest smile and use my Jedi mind tricks to persuade them they really did not want to do that to me but they were not going to budge. So I consoled myself with the fact that I could not take 15 people anywhere else for 4 and a half hours for $35.00.
There were three choices for getting to the beach. All numbered. We chose door number three. It was a short walk and we discovered that door number three was just perfect. Numbers 1 and 2 were all more crowded and seemed to be considered more the main beach. Usually when you go to the beach you look out and you see only water. But this beach was in a sort of inlet so you looked out and saw land across the way. That was the only part that disappointed me. I do love to gaze at the ocean. There were huge boulder rocks along part of the shore and water was around them. We had a huge spot around us with no people occupying it. The kids immediately went out to explore. We were all so surprised to see that the water was super clear. You could see your feet. The bottom was sandy and so amazingly clean. We could walk around most of the boulders and have the water come, at the most, up to our thighs. So we climbed on boulders, jumped in the water, and had a great time. The water was very, very cold but hey, that's Massachusetts ocean for you :)
I sat on the beach reading while the teenagers played and played. They kept talking excitedly about the tide going out and I knew from looking at the rocks we had played on earlier that it was going out because there was now no water around the rocks we had been climbing on and jumping off of. But the kids finally got me curious enough to get up and actually walk around the rocks and look and I could not believe what I saw. Usually when the tide goes out it goes straight out from the shore and it was doing that BUT there was a huge, super long sandbar showing that was parallel to the beach. Sadly, you had to be there to get the whole effect. But it looked like a, "Moses parting the Red Sea" moment. This sandbar went clear out and there was water on both sides of the sandbar. People were all walking out to the end of this bar where the waves were crossing. We looked like zombies walking aimlessly to no end. When you got out to the end and could keep walking on this sandbar that still had water on it and it looked like you were walking on water. It was very cool. There was a lifeguard standing out at the end of the sandbar because the actual shore was quite a ways away.
So Wingaersheek Beach was a success. There are always things that could be better...like not having to pay so much to park at the beach :) Can you tell I am still haunted by that memory of handing over $35.00? And the only other bummer was returning to the car to realize they had parked a million cars super close to my 15 passenger van, clearly, not realizing you can not turn those huge cars on a dime :) But luckily I am trained in 1,000 point turns and we got out fine :)
The picture on the left is Madeline and Amanda and the picture on the right is Miriam and Madeline.