On the Beach: Aspen, by the sea | AspenTimes.com

On the Beach: Aspen, by the sea

Nate Peterson

Managed to sneak out of Aspen for a memorable Memorial Day weekend in Boston.Saw the Sox at Fenway. Rode an amphibious World War II vehicle called a “Duck” around the streets of the city, followed by a splashdown in the Charles River. Ate some gelato at Mike’s in the North End. Caught a free concert in the park.And, best of all, caught the train out of the city on Monday for some beach time at tiny Manchester-by-the-Sea.Whatever you’re thinking a place named Manchester-by-the-Sea looks like, double it. The town is only seven square miles, and has a quaint downtown, a harbor that looks ripped from a postcard and a nice strip of beach just a few blocks away from a mom-and-pop ice-cream shop.Think Aspen, with waves. The beach was packed for the holiday, and the water in the Atlantic was cold enough to make the fish shudder.But I wasn’t complaining. Not after a long winter in the mountains. The sand was soft between the toes and the sun overhead was hot enough to make you want to venture into the water (if only for about 3.7 seconds).I love being a ski bum, but sometimes I wonder: Is the life of a beach bum better? Argument 1a: You don’t have to haul as much crap to the beach. All the stuff for four of us – towels, sunscreen, sack lunches, books, a Frisbee and a whiffle ball set – all fit into one big bag.Argument 1b: You never have to worry about frostbite.Also, everyone can be good at being a beach bum. The same can’t be said for some of the hopeless cases who arrive in Aspen each year. Skiing and snowboarding take coordination that lying on a towel all day doesn’t require. Aside from an intense two-on-two whiffle ball game, the only physical activity we undertook during our five hours at the beach was the walk from the train, then back.Of course, we stopped at the ice cream shop before we headed back to Boston.

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