So, as you can imagine, a week at the beach is just the thing for me. Camping on the beach in Carpinteria has been a summerly experience that was started the year I was pregnant with Elliott. That means we have been enjoying "the world's safest beach" every summer for roughly 8 years now. And this year was no exception.
It was an adventure on the way down to Carpinteria, in that we weren't sure where we would be sleeping when we got there since we had left a day earlier than the reservation Dave's parents had made for the week would begin. But we headed down anyway, confident that we would find a one night camping spot somewhere along the way at one of California's many state parks. But we didn't. Not a single spot anywhere could we find. I wasn't worried about it, though, until I was made rudely aware of the fact that it is illegal to sleep in your car on the side of a public street. What??? After that, I started to feel a little bit homeless. But we continued to Carpinteria anyway and got there around 5 pm. We hit the beach and the kids gladly romped around in the water and sand after our 6 hour journey finally landed us at the shore. We ate dinner at a mexican restaurant and when Dave asked me, "Do you want to sit inside or outside?"
I promptly replied, "Inside!" as the uncanny feeling of being homeless was creeping more and more into my consciousness. So we spent quite a while there after finishing our meal, because after all, where would we go??? But it turns out we know people in the area and we know people who know people in the area, so it really wasn't anything much to be worried about--we were bound to find a driveway somewhere where we could park and sleep in the back of our little SUV. But we didn't need to do that after all, because a sweet friend had an extra room and we got to sleep under a real-life roof for the night. We woke up early the next morning, snuck out of the house, and went to a cafe named "Esau's" for breakfast. Then we hit the beach again while awaiting the arrival of Dave's folks to claim our campsite for the week.
The rest of the week was as you would expect a week of beach camping to be. Elliott was braver this year and spent most of his time in the water--surfing, swimming, and (he newly discovered) boogie boarding. We hunted sand crabs, dug giant holes in the sand, biked to the candy store quite a few times, roasted marshmallows, and played games. By the end of the week we were happy, fat, and tan.
And then the way home was an adventure of its own. Elliott's window in the back of the car got stuck rolled all the way down, so we had to drive the 6 hour drive home on the 101 highway in 95 degree dry heat with the windows down and the incessant fluttering of the wind whipping by the windows of the car.
By the time we reached the bay area, the wind was much colder and the blankets came out. The kids didn't complain at all, surprisingly, but still, by the time we arrived home, we were all thankful for the cessation of all that noisy wind! Finally--Peace, quiet, home!
I printed a few pictures of our beach week and stuck them on the fridge tonight in hopes that the warm and sunny days of vacation linger in our minds and bodies just a little bit longer as we now face the more frigid few days of summer we have left in Berkeley.
Vacation was great, but it is good to be home. School starts in a week and a half. Elliott and I are kind of nervous, but Caiden is just plain excited.