Starting our normal lives. Or something like that.
It is amazing how quickly things can get out of hand when we are living at home. I mean that in the most mundane way possible. We don’t have extraordinary lives here in southern California. I still work from home and Ava goes to preschool a few hours a day while Mila hangs out with us at the house. But for some reason, time just seems to get away from us. Since we got home from our trip, things have changed a little bit.
For one, the girls are not riding 3 feet apart like they are in the GMC Savana. They actually got close enough to hold hands while we drive in Marlene’s car.
At home, they have more space than they know what to do with.
And even stranger than that, they have friends to meet up with for a dress up play date.
Or a little tea party.
We now get to see family much more often than we did on the road. This is a delight to Ava and Mila’s great grandma Dinka.
Although home life has its benefits, we are now road people. Being cooped up in one place now gives us this strange uneasy feeling in the pit of our stomachs. We had to get away; Even if it’s for a short little trip. Everything being relative, a short trip for us now is getting away for at least a week. Anything less than that is just not worth the effort. I know, we are spoiled little brats.
Our first local trip after getting back is a leisurely drive through maybe some of the most congested freeways in the country. San Onofre State Beach in northern San Diego county being our destination, we had to drive through Los Angeles County and Orange County in their entirety to get there. I would prefer driving straight through western Texas than to have to do this during peak commuting hours.
Last time we were here in San Clemente we stayed at the partial hook up sites on the mountain side of the freeway in San Mateo Campgrounds. This time we are actually staying on the ocean side in the dry camping area which is new to us. We are now seasoned campers so nothing phases us any more.
The first stop we had to make is to La Tiendita Mexican Restaurant that we remember fondly last time we visited. The burritos were huge and the chips were salty. What’s not to like. They even have the monster size bottles of Tapatio hot sauce.
After we filled out bellies with beans, rice and carnitas, we are ready to set up camp for the week. We are now starting the transition from ‘faux timers’ to weekend warriors. That means we are busting out all the goodies. Awning, outdoors rugs, the E-Z Up canopy and maybe even a camp fire later tonight. Of course I had to do it all while drinking a cold one inside my magnetic beer cozie. It might just be the best invention ever.
San Onofre State Beach is basically a long stretch of frontage road along the bluffs over looking the Pacific Ocean. It does not have direct access to the beach and there are no hook ups what so ever but the spaces are fairly large to accommodate our setup.
We took a stroll down the nearby trail to get our eyes on the Pacific Ocean. Our house is less than a mile from the Pacific but for some reason, we hardly ever go when we are at home.
We couldn’t be happier to be out of the house. Can’t you tell by the look on Ava’s face!
One of the neat things about going camping locally is that we get to meet up with our friends. Our friends Dan, Michelle and their kids Grace and Cole showed up shortly after we arrived and Ava decided to give them a tip on camping. After all, she is as professional as they come as a 3 year old.
She finally got to play in her Dora tent that she got for her birthday shortly before we left for the cross country trip. Along with a bunch of her other Christmas and birthday gifts, it was too big to take a long with us.
I also got to bust out my secret boon docking weapon that got to stay home due to its heft and size. The Portable Battery Bank. Staying here 7 nights without hook ups is going to take everything I’ve got.
Once we got all settled and comfortable, we headed all the way down the trail for a little splash in the water. The air was warm and even the Pacific had heated up enough for the kids to douse themselves in it.
I got a chance to paddle out on my longboard and catch a few ripples. I’ve gotta be honest with you, those beignets are taking a toll on me. That burrito at La Tiendita earlier didn’t help either.
Ava is even brave enough to let me fly her new kite knowing what happened to her last one in Albuquerque.
She doesn’t have it in her to look at it. “Come on! Ava! Give me some credit. I learned my lesson and I promise to not let it go this time!”
Our other friend Nicole met up with us here too with her 2 nephews Eli and Briar. Ava loves to play with them and even better yet, it is Nicole’s birthday week and Ava loves nothing more than birthday cake.
That’s a lot of candles
Another visit we made while down in this neighborhood is an afternoon trip to south Orange county to see my dad and to go to my sister’s high school graduation. He currently lives overseas and doesn’t get to see the girls much so he was glad to have a chance to spend some quality time.
I can’t believe how quickly my sister Catherine has grown up. By now she has been in college for several months and I can clearly remember her at Ava’s age. I am so screwed. Someone has got to start playing the lottery so I’d have a snowball’s chance in hell to pay for the girls’ college.
Didn’t I just say time flies? Well, the week went by even faster. On our way home, we passed this awesome polished, vintage Chipotle Burrito with a BBQ grill hooked to the back of it. This thing probably costs as much as a couple of semesters worth of a college education…
Look at the polish job on this mama jamma. Someone has a lot of free time on their hands.
Well, back to the grind. Time to start dreaming about the next road trip…
over and out,
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