This weekend I went to the beach - at the generous invitation of a friend with a house right off the beach, membership in a yacht club with private beach, and a boat. Those are the type of friends you like to keep around. :)
This was my first time in the water this summer, and I had to scrounge around to find a bathing suit in one of my packed boxes. Fortunately I managed to find my red and white striped one, so with blue shorts I even managed to be seasonably patriotic. Sometimes these things work out!
When we got tired of lazing around on the beach (as if), we took a boat ride around the area. Lovely! The fifteen year old son was the skipper, and man he was proud as a peacock to be ferrying around five young ladies.
The husband was also an excellent tour guide, giving us the history of the area and some background on the mansions and who owned them. The area we puttered around - from Beverly (across from Salem and Marblehead) up to Manchester (you could see Gloucester in the distance) - is very wealthy, very old, and very storied. Lots of marine history here - Salem and Beverly disagree on which one was the base for the very first U.S. Navy, shortly after 1776, but whatever the case, this area was smack in the middle of sailing and naval activities. And also shipping and commerce - in one stretch of rocky coast, there is a stairway cut into the stone tucked into a crevice. It led up to a government official's house, where he would have alcohol smuggled in by boat during the Prohibition.
And now, it is prime territory for the rich and famous to have a seaside summer house. Or you know, summer mansion. The lighthouse here is one of the best postings for a Coast Guard lighthouse keeper to aspire to. This area is not far from Singing Beach, which is one of the more well-known beaches in the area. And it's one of the few coastlines that alternates between stretches of rocky cliffs, and sandy white beaches. You can get the best of both worlds - whatever tickles your fancy!
I had a lovely time relaxing - and since I slathered on sun screen, managed not to get sunburnt which is quite the accomplishment for me. Ended the evening with a lobster dinner (good thing I learned how to eat a whole lobster just a few weeks ago!), and went home full and happy.