Welcome to the beach.
In August we piled into the cars, somehow we got stuff for 4 people for one week to fit into Matt's Subaru.. it made the cost of gas much better, but it was a tight fit. Good thing we like each other. Driving for a couple days, stopping in Nevada for a night's rest, we made it to Laguna Beach to spend a much needed vacation with the Smith Family. To say we were excited would be a huge understatement.
We got settled into our shared, with Nate and Shana and their boys, condo at Aliso Creek-which had a pool right in our back yard, and walking distance from the beach. What more could we ask for?
We headed down to the beach the next morning, and enjoyed the fresh air, seagulls, rocking waves and even a little contaminated water.....
The beach was split up by this "creek" that was bringing water from the city to the beach. To say that it was clean would be a a huge mistake, and they had labeled it contaminated. Which of course scares everyone. We decided that the beach was less crowded on the other side of the creek, which makes sense- people weren't willing to cross- and the waves were better. So with lawn chairs, towels, and children in tote we decided as a large crowd to head across the creek.
Lindsey and I were bringing the rear of the group and both noticed about the same time that no one was really noticing that the tide was coming in. We jokingly said, "They better hurry, or the waves are going to take them out!" Within seconds, kids were flying through the air, sand castle buckets were being pulled into the contaminated water, flip flops were lost, and Abby, Coasten and Aunt Pete were taken out!
Parker lost a flip flop during the run, but was running so fast that he didn't even look back to get it. He was the first, to make it across-maybe the rest of the group should have been more willing to make that sacrifice. Nate swooped up Coasten and saved him quickly, Abby jumped to her feet and ran over to Parker, and Aunt Pete-while loosing her shoes made it back to the safe side with a smile on her face, and a ruined cell phone. Watching it all unfold was hilarious. I am sure being one of the victims it would be another story, but watching things fly into the air, everyone screaming and us scrambling to gather our belongs I am sure was such a site to see. So much for not looking like the tourists from Utah.
After making ourselves comfortable, we tried calming down the victims, and enjoyed a great day at the beach. Saige and Jake didn't waste any time burying Saige.
Coasten was still a bit hesitant to make it over to the waves, but was the best sand castle helper and made sure that Saige was packed in their tight.
During the mornings at the beach, the marine layer was still there and the mornings were still pretty cold. But for some reason this little boy didn't care. He wanted to follow his Dad wherever he went.
Schedules were pretty relaxed. I actually had time to read a book, we didn't hold to much of a routine-which sometimes is hard for our kiddos, but they were a perfect age for this trip. Old enough to adjust well, but small enough that they still need Mom and Dad.
Mermaid bikinis were on the agenda for Saige, and I am sure would have stayed there the whole trip. Oh that Saigey girl is one of a kind.
Milo's trip was pretty relaxed. Finding seashells with Gramps, going out in the waves with Matt (a few times not telling us where he was headed until it was too close for my liking), stealing swigs of Dr. Pepper, and making sure to play a few tricks on everyone was all he wanted to do.
One late afternoon, Matt, Jake, Lindsey, and Amanda decided to swim out and surf in the big waves. I decided I would join them and asked if Scott and Lisa would watch over the kids.
As we swam out, I could hear our kids screaming. I looked over to see both Saige and Milo scared that Mom was out in the ocean. Glad to see that they were worried about me, but also a little alarmed that they didn't know what to do cause Mom was out in the water! (Tells me I need to get in more!)
With lots of sandcastles to be built, Lindsey and I showed the Smith's how a sandcastle is really made. Okay so it really wasn't our best effort but it took some serious time, and we had a good time.
I enjoyed the conversations while building the sand castle just as much as making the castle.
Although, trying to find the perfect spot-you know close enough for the water to come into stream that we built to go around the castle, and go through the bridge but not close enough to wipe out the whole civilization- made us take a few attempts at the castle. And the help with all the kiddos always presents a challenge, we managed to make a castle we approved of.
Thanks Lindsey, I will take your help any day. And your cartwheels put me to shame!
After some hands-up stands-up, Frisbee, relay games, and sandcastles, we decided to head out for some exploring. There was a great little place close to our spot on the beach that had star fish and some really amazing little fish living in. Matt took this as a great teaching experience for our kids.
Matt has always had a huge love for animals and creatures. He has a great knowledge of things and doesn't miss an opportunity to share that with our kids. I hope they develop a love for nature like Matt has.
Aren't I lucky? This is my family!
After a great lesson on fish and tides. We decided to head back.
Making our way through this natural tunnel, and making sure to take in the beautiful landscapes. Wishing that we could be here more often, it was just perfect!
With mornings at the pool, afternoons at the beach, evenings back at the pool, couple trips to the "healthy" frozen yogurt shop, shared dinners with the family, night games of rummy, dancing by Lindsey, a great visit from Katie and her kids, Gramps joining the IPhone club (thanks to Pete's persuasion and ruining her phone in the contaminated water), chats out on the lawn chairs, a great trip to Disneyland (more on that later), spending time with Matt, Saige learning how to swim (almost) without floaties, Gramps jumping in to save her, learning that a "stocked" kitchen is not what I thought it would be, and learning that yes we can still make a meal with limited kitchen items, Lindsey making us all feel lazy when she shows up after her morning runs, yoga at the beach at the Montage- and that dang old man that killed us and put us all to shame, chatting, chatting and lots more chatting. I would say this was a good trip. (Smith crew-what else did i forget?)
I was able to get to know family members even better, spend time together, and prove that the huge misconception of "terrible-in-laws" which maybe for some, but is not the case here! I consider myself to be pretty lucky!
Thank you Scott and Lisa for yet another wonderful trip to the beach. It was just what we needed, and couldn't have asked for a better time.