Excursion: Wollaston Beach, Quincy

It's easy to forget that most of Newton and parts of Waltham are about 10 miles from the ocean. There are a few hints: seagulls are a fairly common sight, and on a few days each year a strong easterly or northeasterly wind will bring the tang of the sea deep inland.

Today we surprised ourselves at how close the ocean is, with a trip to an actual beach -- Wollaston Beach in Quincy -- which was less than 30 minutes away. No, really. At 12:15 we piled into the car. At 12:45 we were standing at the ordering counter at Tony's Clams, ordering a seafood platter. After a meal of fried sea things, we went to the rocky beach and played with the kids for an hour.

It's not the best beach experience -- too many rocks in places, and the water is muddy -- but it was still fun for our littlest one, who had never seen the ocean (and desperately wanted to play with the water!). The seafood was great by New England standards, but we've been spoiled by ethnic food. I'll take Italian calamari, Mexican fish or Chinese shrimp over deep-fried stuff from Tony's any day -- although I'll admit the fried scallops and fries were tasty, and the clam chowder was heavenly!


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