...although not on the beach; the sand gets in my shoes and it feels icky. And it's hard to walk in sand anyway.
I've always liked walking. It's a good thing, since I've been walking to shul from a very young age; first, a little more than half a mile each way, from around age 2-3 or so, and later a little over a mile each way starting at age 5-6. I like to go walking for pleasure and exercise, though in allergy season I have to take some sort of medication before I step outside or I'll be sneezing the whole time. I have gone walking in cities and parks, in the country and through little-trod paths in the woods. I earned my "Poco patch" in seventh grade when my class went on a camping/nature trip and I climbed 4 mountains in 3 days. I have walked over one of the longest bridges in NYC several times. One time, I walked almost 11 miles on a Shabbos when I couldn't carry water (although I stopped once along the way).
Most recently, this past Fourth of July, I called up a friend and asked, "Do you want to do the Tip-to-Tip Trip?" And, to my excitement, she agreed that this would be an excellent way to spend our precious day off, walking for hours on end through the city. :) For those not in the know, the Tip-to-Tip Trip is a nickname for walking the entire length of the island of Manhattan, from one end to the other--from 220th Street all the way to the Staten Island Ferry. That's right, walking 14 miles through the city is my idea of a fun way to spend a free day off.
We had a really nice time--the weather was perfect for walking, not too hot and not too cool, overcast and a little rainy at the end, but overall very nice. We made a few stops along the way, for fun and for lunch and when we ran into people that we knew. Pretty much everyone thought that we were crazy for attempting such an activity, but were duly impressed and wished us luck along our way. It was really cool walking through so many neighborhoods in NYC; we saw places we'd never heard of before or knew existed, places we'd heard of but never seen for ourselves, the way Spanish Harlem eventually gave way to regular Harlem gave way to Columbia University gave way to the Upper West Side...etc. It was such a chavayah--a real experience! I would totally do it again. Unfortunately, we didn't take pictures along the way, although we'd meant to originally. I didn't have a camera, and my friend brought hers and took before and after pictures, but she got so caught up in walking that she forgot to take them along the way. Nu, next time... :)
Then, this past Shabbos, I walked about 3 miles each way to visit a friend I hardly ever get to see, and it was totally worth it. The people I was staying by thought I was crazy--they were actually placing bets on whether I'd come back for seudat shlishit, with odds 4-1 against my return (good thing they weren't betting money, or they'd have lost!)--but I had a really nice time visiting and catching up with my friend, so I have no regrets. And I got another 6 miles of walking in; that makes 20 this week. :) Not bad, huh?
So, if anyone knows any nice, normal, single guys who like long walks...send 'em my way!