|a nearly ancient photo I took of Morro Rock in Morro Bay in 2003|
Late last Friday afternoon we piled the girls and all our gear into our car and began that long drive up the coast of California - the drive that should take three and a half hours but really takes us six. In all honesty I wasn't very keen on making the trip this time. We usually see a lot of family when we visit Morro Bay and Cayucos, but this time there would only be Jimmy's Grampa Al, who is 96 (or so I thought - he said he was 97) and having more and more trouble leaving his apartment, and Jimmy's cousin Dylan, who is graduating this weekend and who has, you know, a life, and who probably didn't need a family of four crashing his last high school weekend.
But we went, and it was wonderful. It was extra tiring to be away from home without all the built-in babysitters we usually enjoy when we visit family. And we missed everyone so much. It was so good to see Grampa Al, though, and so good to see Dylan - Dylan who actually spent time with us voluntarily, without complaint, and on more than one occasion. He either genuinely enjoyed himself, or his mom gave him a really nice bribe. Either way, though, we won. He was great company, Grampa looked as happy to see us as we were to see him (very happy!), and Auntie Barbara came home and hung out with us the last night of our visit. So good. We got to see family after all.
We also got to see some stunningly beautiful land on Saturday. We have another family member who showed us around some private property above Cayucos, up in the hills, past miles of dirt roads and cattle gates. The property was just gorgeous, perched on a high hill, covered in barn swallows, and the girls had a ball. They explored outbuildings and chased cats and climbed fences. Jimmy caught a lizard for them to hold, and another lizard snuck into the car only to appear on Evie's lap later on. Thank goodness she didn't even see it, particularly while we were driving! I saw it after we stopped and shooed it out (and then I worried about more lizards in the car during the whole ride home. Obviously!).
And on Sunday we hit the beach. Idyllic. Two California girls, that's what I have. Lena who looks like she was born to live on the beach, and Evie who is determined to learn to surf as soon as humanly possible, DAD. (Pay attention to your swim classes, baby, and maybe it will happen!) As a Midwesterner, it baffles me to be raising beach babies. But it's the best thing in the world, too. Beach babies who chase cats on farms and swordfight with sticks on mountaintops and who prefer to wear wetsuits on the beach because it means they can play in the little surf for that much longer. It's all just the best thing in the world.
We had a fantastic time last weekend. How about you?
|photo credit - Jimmy|