Have Twins, Will Travel

Front Beach in Rockport

Rockport, Mass – Here’s the thing about the global pandemic… we got nothing but time. We have none of the things that normally keep us busy in the summer. There’s no day camp. There’s no Ferry Beach. And there’s no travel (or travel writing, for that matter). What this means – for my purposes – is that I have plenty of time to go to the beach. AND I finally figured out that I can get my kids to come with me by inviting friends to join us. And so our series of pandemic field trips continues… this time to Front Beach in Rockport.

We actually tried to return to Wingaersheek today. However, the town of Gloucester has severely restricted non-resident parking, so it’s necessary to arrive early to snag one of the few spots. We did not arrive early.

Our friend suggested Front Beach in Rockport as a Plan B. I was skeptical, to say the least. Front Beach is very small and it is right in Rockport Center, steps from Bearskin Neck. It is surrounded by houses and hotels and other urbanity, not to mention people. However, nobody had a better proposal, so we went to check it out.

We arrived at high tide, when the beach is at its smallest. We managed to keep our 12 feet between blankets, but it felt crowded. Fortunately, the village of Rockport requires masks in the restrooms and on the streets and sidewalks. And fortunately, the kids found a way to spread out. As at Wingaersheek, they immediately dispersed to the farthest corners of the beach, where they found rocks to climb on and jump off. (Yikes.)

As the afternoon wore on, the people dispersed and the tide went out. The beach was expansive. The rocks became shelter for tide pools, where the kids found snails, shells, crabs and other creatures. (The tide also left a giant dead jelly fish on the beach, which was a gross source of fascination.) The late afternoon light cast its glow over the ramshackle houses and rocky cliffs, highlighting the New England beach town charm that Rockport embodies. And all was right in the world.

Except for the global pandemic, but we’re not going to let that ruin our summer!

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