There are trips for which you shop and plan and prep for days on end, only to be disappointed by the end result. Then there are those trips, which happen spur of the moment. You wake up late, rinse some grapes while your husband makes a cheese and mortadella sandwich, grab a bag of chips from the pantry, an apple from the counter, throw in a couple of drinks, locate the beach umbrella, and announce “it’s a surprise” when the toddler of the group asks about the day’s destination.
So there we were, at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park, Connecticut’s first, and well, I would say finest, if it wasn’t for a couple of things. Right after where you park is a stretch of grass where people were grilling and blasting music. The music, one can ignore, because the actual beach is far enough and ocean-y enough to drown out that noise. But the thing that cannot be ignored was the fact that the grass was strewn with poop. “It’s geese poop,” says my friend, who is a park regular.
The scene changes dramatically once you set foot on the pebbly sand. The gush of the Long Island Sound sets a soothing tone and you cannot wait to dip your toes into the cool waters. Not too crowded even on a weekend, we lounged in our chairs, took turns to wade into the water, snacked on our hastily-put-together picnic lunch, threw a frisbee for a while, and even took a shot at a nap.
The ocean music, as our son calls the roar of the waves is the only music I want to hear when I am on a beach. I don’t mind a few sharp shells and rocks here and there but kids will do better with water shoes. The sailboats in the distance made for pleasant viewing. The seagulls were well-behaved. The sun was up there the whole time. Our umbrella didn’t make an ill-timed attempt to escape. The grapes were plump and sweet. There was a cold drink in my hand.
It was a good day at the beach.