Just north of Laguna Beach a valley emerges on Pacific Coast Highway, with sirens calling to weary travelers to stop, park and explore the expansive backcountry, numerous tide pools and underground passage to miles of pristine sandy beach. We saw this park on our exploratory drive up the coast a few days earlier, and it immediately landed on my bucket list.
Crystal Cove State Park did not disappoint. After a foggy start to the morning, the sun broke through and cautioned us to watch for rattlesnakes. Gratefully the snakes stayed off the trail, but we did see a few lizards and a coyote. The struggle was real up the backside of the mountain,
Jake's absence really bummed me out that morning. He would have loved the challenge of hiking up an actual mountain instead of the wimpy hills that grace our paths in Wisconsin.
We stopped in Laguna Beach on the way back to the condo for a little romp down memory lane.
Day four, and pathetic Mr. Sicko stayed in again. We tucked him in on the couch with some netflix and headed out. This time we ventured locally, on a path just several yards from the condo we rented. Why hello, lovely bird.
Mr. Musky found it. Theeee one. His dream deck....
Welcome back. If you're in the midwest effing tundra, I apologize.
We decided to take a page out of the locals' book and walk a different route back to the condo. The pictures don't do it justice, but see that road in the background?
Not that there's anything wrong with brandy and curds. I could go for some now.
Conversely, Californians easily reach 12,000 steps on their Fit Bits by noon, to return home to dine on the worlds best sushi. Ever.
Day Five. My Mommy Guilt reaching all new highs, we ambled out without the ailing child yet again, but remained close to home. It really does stink to have a sick kid on vacation, but it had to be even worse for him.
This time we drove to the harbor and sat on "Baby Beach" - an adorable little wave-free beach area where all the kayakers and Stand Up Paddleboarders launch. Mr. Musky wasn't down with the SUP experience, but Jake would have been so I guess we will just have to go back.
We did get a little SoCal drama up front and personal, however. Some men were fishing off an elevated dock into the bay while another gent on the shoreline drove his remote controlled speed boat all over the harbor like a maniac. The boat tied up one of the fishing lines, pulling the entire pole right into the ocean as the fisherman attended to another line. A shouting match ensued, and the next thing we knew...
I chuckled. Midwest brawls are brash with plenty of swearing and fists flying. This was an easygoing disagreement with plenty of "Dude" salutations. And the Sheriff came. Over a toy boat and a fishing pole.
Proof that Californians thrive in California.
After a bit we wandered around the backside of the Ocean Institute to check out the rocky shoreline north of the harbor.
We meandered back to the condo, lounged by the pool for a few hours, administered medicine to the invalid, then cleaned ourselves up for dinner. We ate in often, but also planned for a few special meals out. Notice...