Monday, June 09, 2008

don't lick the cannons

Because it's not just hot, it's "dear God, why are you doing this?" hot, I decided to go to the beach yesterday. "Going" involved three buses: the CW shuttle bus to the Visitor Center, the Yorktown shuttle to, er, Yorktown, and the Yorktown Trolley from the battlefield to the beach. Yorktown, as I'm sure you all know, was the site of the last-ditch battle by Lord Cornwallis to hang onto his toehold in the colonies while being pounded by the Americans from one side and the French Navy on the other. The beach is actually a series of small, semi-circular sand dunes, protected from the waves by rockpiles, that stretch all along Water Street. About a hundred yards behind and upwards is Main Street and then, after that, is, er, nothing. Yorktown is tiny. The beaches, however, were packed. And people attempted to turn Water Street into Fort Lauderdale by driving up and down, music blaring, although this was not as effective since the main drag is about a half-mile long. I found a few square yards of sand, tossed down my bag and towel, shucked my flip-flops and splashed into the water. Ahhhh.

The York River is saltwater, which I was not expecting. It makes sense, of course, considering it empties right into the ocean, but still, the first salty taste gave me a surprise. I had chosen the beach that was mostly taken over by families, which meant all the swimmers were close to the shore, leaving me free to do laps out by the ropes and drool over the Alliance, a sloop that gives tours three times a day. Between dips I read "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman and giggled over the historicalness of swimming on the beach that once held pinned British troops.

Afterward I had a turkey sandwhich at the Water Street Tavern (highly recommended: good sandwich AND air conditioning) and then trotted up the hill to check out Main Street which took, oh, ten minutes. Caught the trolley back to the battlefield, just in time for a display by the Yorktown Fife & Drum Corps. They were quite good, but they had their sleeves rolled up, so I was distracted. So distracted that I totally missed the shuttle back to CW and had to wait another hour. Arg. Luckily I still had a book with me.

By the time I got back to my little house I was tired, itchy from the salt and sore from swimming. But a shower and a little food took care of that. I'm definitely going to go again, that is, at least until the jellyfish start showing up.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Arrg! I can't remember the last time I went swimming! Not like a dip in a hot tub, but real swimming! I think this summer the first chance I get to jump into a river or public fountain I'm taking it.