Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Coastal Cruise

This year, for my birthday, we went on a cruise.  Not by water, but by land.  
Yes, we broke out the RV, after two years of lonely idleness.
AND for my birthday, Mark pledged not to lose his temper, or get all stressed out, as we prepared to hit the road.  If you have ever taken on this type of venture, you know that this was a huge commitment on his part.  One I valued very much.
So off to the Central Coast we went.  First, we hit Pismo Beach.  We were a band of six--our four, plus Scotty and Megan. 

 After weeks of triple digits, the cool coastal air was so invigorating!

This is the moment when Abigail realizes that there are lots of squirmy creatures in the sand!
Then, we headed up to Avila Beach, which was a bit warmer.  We spent the day with Amy (Tuggle) Haycraft, her two kids, and their cousin, Kai.  Here is a little trick we played on Kai.  See the bucket?  What is underneath?
Argh!  A head!!!

The tidepools at Avila are always an adventure!

We did spend one unhappy day with truck problems, but Santa Maria Dodge was fantastic, handling us on a Friday, staying late to make sure we got back on the road.

Not surprisingly, no pictures of that day.

But THEN, we went to Santa Cruz.  Actually, we stayed up in the redwoods, near Henry Cowell State Park, which we strolled through.  Mark's brother, John, and his kids Amanda and Zachary, came to spend some time with us.


Amanda and Mae.

Megan and Abigail.
In the forest, we had this encounter with a group of drummers. 

They were expressing their happiness and spirituality by drumming with the trees.


In direct contrast to the peace of the forest (aside from the drumming, that is), we jumped into the human tide at the Santa Cruz boardwalk.  Even John and Amanda had never seen it so crowded.  Of course, it WAS a Saturday afternoon.

We rode a ride.

And snacked on cotton candy for the full boardwalk experience.

The next day, we went up to a beautiful beach up the coast.  It was a bit too cool to swim, even for the kids, and we weren't sure of the tides in any case.  But we could still do many of our fun beach activities.

We did some exploring...

And some kite flying.

Those little ants on the log are my people (minus my babies).  We stayed behind and held down the fort.

And of course, what is a trip to the beach without a ritual burial in the sand?

Here is our site.  Yes...a little crowded.

But we were so happy to be in that setting.

We finished our trip with our traditional visit to Denny's.  Love me my Ultimate Skillet! was a wonderful birthday.  Maybe a new tradition???