So, last weekend we went camping with our good friends, Cathy and Benjamin, and their kids, Jackson and Sofia. We left on Sunday, and had the campsite for Monday and Tuesday nights. Refugio Beach State Park is about 100 miles north of LA, just past Santa Barbara. We got to the site and set up our area. Then the kids all insisted that we go to the beach as soon as possible. Cathy and I took the kids while Chris and Benjamin set up the tents.
The site was about a 5 minute walk from the beach. The girls were tentative at first about getting in the water - the waves were powerful, especially for Nadia. Maya got her bearings pretty quickly, but Nadia was being tentative. We spent most of the afternoon at the beach, heading back when it was time for dinner.
Dinner was cooked by Benjamin (as were all our meals): tritip, potatoes with onions and spices, and hot dogs and chili for the kids.
After dinner, we all went down to the beach at night to look at the stars. Wow, it was a clear night and millions of stars were visible. Chris laid out a blanket and we all laid down to look up at the sky. Chris and Maya were lucky enough to see a shooting star!
And Jackson had shooting farts. Nadia couldn't stop laughing. LOL
We put the kids to bed around 10pm and the adults stayed up for a bit longer chatting. We were also by a railroad, and at about 2am, a train went by that was LOUD. The kids slept right through, while Chris and I woke up briefly. After the train was gone, I could hear the waves on the shore...it was pretty cool.
The next day, Monday, was spent mostly on the beach. Maya and I took walks to find rocks and shells. We even found an intact tiny sand dollar! She also spent a lot of time in the water with Jackson. We took a break for lunch after Cathy and I drove to a nearby store for lunch and dinner supplies. After lunch, it was back to the beach! I laid on the blanket while the kids played in the sand and in the water. Cathy and Benjamin went for a swim in the water. Chris took a long nap in the tent (he is a not a beach guy!). It was just a lazy and truly relaxing day.
That night we had burritos. Cathy and I picked up marinated carnitas, tortillas, and all the fixings. We had some left over potatoes from the night before - great dinner!
After dinner, we had smores! And got out the glowsticks for the kids. And we went back to the beach for another stargazing session. We were able to see the Big Dipper!
Our last day was Tuesday and we hit the beach one last time in the morning. We didn't get into the water, but rather we took a long walk, looking for more shells and rocks. Maya really loves the beach and the water - I could see it in her eyes (and she said it about a million times too). And the stars captured her imagination too. She now has a goal - to one day live at the beach! I really want to take her to the tide pools closer to Malibu.
We left the campsite around lunchtime and had lunch in Santa Barbara with Cathy and Benjamin and their kids before heading back to LA. On the way back, we had a delay in traffic due to some brush fires that came right up to the 101. We could see the burnt signs and brush. It probably delayed us about an hour, but after that, it was smooth all the way back. We spent the rest of the day lounging at my inlaws, thoroughly beat from all the sun we got all weekend. Chris and Maya had sunburns, Maya's was pretty bad, but hers stopped hurting the next day. One good thing about it though - she now always remembers her sunscreen!
Another reason I'm so glad to be back home. We had a wonderful time. All of us can't wait to go camping again!
The gallery of all the pics in the slide show are also here: Camping - August 2008