Sunday, August 07, 2005

We had an amazingly great day yesterday.

For the past three summers, we have been trying to go to the beach. We've been to the lake in Vermont many times, but the kids had never been to an ocean beach. Two summers ago, we kept talking about going and just never seemed to get to it. Last summer, we had two different days scheduled and the weather intervened both times.

So this year we decided that we would go on the first day that presented itself as a beach day, unless we had something going on that we simply couldn't cancel. Of course, July was out because of my medical situation. Then the forecast came out for this weekend and it seemed to be the opportunity we had been waiting for. Saturday's forecast was for mostly sunny skies, low 80's, low humidity. We had plans to go to a birthday party, but we made the difficult decision to bow out of the party and head for the beach.

So we got up relatively early for a Saturday and got on the road for Sand Hill Cove in Narragansett, RI. This was one of the Rhode Island beaches we went to regularly when I was a child, and I thought it would be fun to take the kids there. There is a large parking lot, a modern bath house (newly built in the '90's, replacing the old one I was familiar with), snack bar, sandy beach and very kid-friendly surf.

As a side note, Sand Hill Cove was renamed Captain Roger Wheeler State Beach many years ago, but I've never heard anyone call it that. Most Rhode Islanders still call it Sand Hill Cove.

We left the house around 8:30 and got to the beach a bit after 10. Traffic wasn't too bad, and the beach was busy, but not mobbed. The kids got right into it, playing in the sand and water and having a grand time. A. and I relaxed in our beach chairs, read, kept an eye on the kids and hopped in the water every now and then. It was incredibly relaxing hanging out on the beach, soaking up the sun and watching the kids. We had packed a lunch and got some Del's Lemonade for snack.

At around 4:00 we were starting to feel the effects of all the sun and surf and started to pack up. We changed clothes and then headed to the legendary Point Judith clam shack Aunt Carrie's for dinner. Aunt Carrie's is a legendary Rhode Island institution, which opened in 1920. I have been going there since I was a child. Aunt Carrie's is famous for inventing clam cakes, another Rhode Island culinary classic. Clam cakes are essentially balls of fried dough, mixed with clams. They are of questionable nutritional value, but they taste really good. Everyone left stuffed and happy for the ride home. I was happy to have gotten my clam cakes and Del's. If I had managed to get in some coffee milk and some New York System weiners, my day would have been complete!

We had such a great day at the beach that we're thinking about going back next Saturday, weather permitting. Here's hoping!


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