The Fair Skinned Boy and the Beach

I got lucky last week on vacation and was able to make not only one but two trips to Roy Carpenter’s Beach in Matunuk, RI to visit the Minnesota Crane’s.  Both trips could not have gone better. I do a very poor job of getting to the beach, even though I only live about two hours away from either the Cape or Rhode Island’s shore.  Summer weekends book up quick and the beach just seems to slide down the priority scale for one reason or another. 

I went down on Tuesday and it was touch and go with the planning because of the weather. Western Mass was still getting soaked and the beach had been fine. So, I went for it and it was all good. I timed my departure so I could hit Harry’s Place in Colchester for burgers on the way down. I mentioned this place last summer, Dawn turned me onto it. It was as good as ever! I continued onto the beach and there were many Crane’s present. Adam and Whit, his Mom and step Dad Joe, his two brothers and one of his sister in law’s a couple of nephews, it was a great group. We hung out quite a bit, catching up and got down to the water later in the afternoon for a swim. It was the typical Northeast swimming deal. Walk into the water, dive under the first wave and pop up, not being able to breath because its so cold, five minutes later, it feels delightful. No seaweed around on Tuesday either which was perfect.  Word came down that Saturday was drink day at the beach, an annual event, after a few beers, I thought hey, why not? As I left for the day around 7, I knew I would be back in on Saturday!

I had my run on Saturday morning, headed right home after that and got showered up, packed up the car and hit the package store for my supplies for drink day. My entry was going to be the Painkiller. A guy at work used to do the ski/sun bartender and waiter thing for a few years. His sun times were spent in the Islands. He suggested it, I had never heard of it. It is comprised of dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, splash of Pina Colada mix and fresh nutmeg to sprinkle on type if I had it.  You were also supposed to supply a snack with your drink. I had no ideas there. My friends Sara and Steve were coming down from Barrington, RI, so we combo’d our efforts and they picked up some cookies to go with it. 

I had never been to drink day, so there were a few things I kind of missed out on during my prep. A.) Adam told me to bring enough drinks for 25 people. I figured one drink each, so I bought two handles of Captain Morgan’s, that was a wee bit too much, supposed to bring sample size drinks. B.) This was a really serious thing. Judges were involved and everything and the food was important as the drinks it seemed. C.) The event took place at the cottages and not down on the beach, which I was unaware of.

It was a really fun day. The judges were friends of Adam’s Mom and Joe’s from Florida, a couple of hilarious guys. There was clipboards, point systems, a trophy, the whole deal! The only problem is a new drink comes every 10-15 minutes and its in the sun in the middle of the afternoon.  So, the drinks pile up fast, I have to say, some I tossed right out after a sip. Others, were quite tasty! The food for the most part was excellent. Among the highlights were some very saucy meatballs, prosciutto and melon and mini hamburgers! I got a point total of 16 and landed in second behind a point total of 18, with a drink called the Jelly fish, which I didn’t care but the meatballs came with it! The drink was by Joe’s son and daughter in law. I hope I can get back next year for drink day, it was so much fun.  It was funny, the judges went down for a dip in the ocean about 2/3 of the way thru the contestants. Amusing, isn’t it? It felt great though, when I joined the group.  It really helped with slowing down the consumption. 

After the competition was done, you kind of went back to your favorites during the day. At least I was begging, pleading and nagging for more batches of certain ones. I made several rounds of painkillers, I had a few fans. I never touched the second handle though, left it for Adam’s brothers to put to use when I left on Sunday. Saturday night continued with a clambake that was fantastic. Clams, steamers, andouille sausage, kielbasa, corn and potatoes. The night topped off with a dance right across from the beach. There were a ton of kids dancing and the adults got involved as the evening went along. It was a really great day/evening at the beach!

What is better on a Sunday morning but waking up, throwing on the trunks and taking a walk to the beach for a swim? It was fantastic.  I walked down with Adam’s brother Eric and has we got to the beach and could see the ocean, he goes, “there it is Donny, the big blue pill, it will cure what ails you!” So true.

The Crane’s got a special place at that beach, its a wonderful community and they are the best hosts!

The beach run continues this weekend. I am taking the train to Philly tomorrow morning to see Todd aka, the senior senator from Pennsylvania. We are hitting Cape May for the weekend on the Jersey shore.  The weather is looking great, low 80’s during the day and 60’s at night.

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