Hours by car, minutes by air. Just don’t count the time to drive to the airport, check out the plane, taxi to the runway…

I flew down to Provincetown this morning to walk along the beach for an hour. I flew around the Boston airspace under the 3000 foot shelf to Marshfield and across the water to Provincetown. I amused myself by remembering all the mistakes I’d made over the years flying on the south edge of Boston (eg, flying over South Weymouth and thinking I was over Plymouth, and starting a sharp climb, and getting a sharp rebuke from a Boston controller as I got close to busting Boston airspace). But now, after five years of not flying, of course I am the sharpest pilot you will ever find. Just don’t talk to that Cape Air pilot behind me on the ground at Provincetown frustrated with me for taking off in front of the Cape Air pilot on a two-hour final approach to the airport.

But I landed at Provincetown, paid my $10 parking fee, walked three minutes to the beach, hid my shoes and socks under an unused lifeguard station, and put my feet in the ocean. It was the weekend before July 4, and it was just me and twenty other people on a long stretch of sand. Somehow, sitting here on the couch twelve hours later, after doing battle with my four-year-old son over his pajamas this evening, the memory of that solitary walk with cool water on my feet and warm sun on my back is not as vivid as I hoped it would remain. But I don’t think I will forget that seal twenty yards off the coast swimming down the shore with me.

At one point during my walk, it dawned on me that I was on a beach in warm sun, and I ought to be making the most of that. As I was taking off my shirt, a trio of high school boys walked behind me, and one said, “Look at that. That is gross.” I’m doing the best I can to convince myself he must have seen a dead fish on the beach.

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