Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beating the Heat....

One of the most wonderful things about California is that no matter how sweltering hot it gets inland, the coast is always cooler. When we lived in Studio City, the sun beat down at blistering 100+ degree temperatures. We'd hop in our car, get on the 405 and head to Santa Monica (less than 10 miles away, but an hour away, thanks to LA traffic). In Santa Monica it would be 30 degrees cooler and we could relax on the beach without needing an IV drip of fluids to keep from dehydrating.

Here in the Bay Area, its pretty much the same thing; the drive still takes about an hour, but its closer to 30 miles. Thank you, not-LA traffic. The early part of this week felt more like mid-September instead of mid-June. September is our horrible hot month here; the 30 days that you have to close up the house at the crack of dawn to keep the cool night air in as long as possible and by mid-afternoon its too hot to be outside and you're sweating inside, even though you're stripped down to a tank top & a pair of your husband's boxers and you just don't care if someone comes to the door, you're not putting on more clothes (well, you will, but you will not be happy about it). That's September here. Except it's apparently also the 3rd week of June this year. Ugh.

After suffering through Monday's heat, Ethan and I awoke on Tuesday morning with a plan. A plan that included MUCH cooler temperatures, a bunch of junk, the beach & some strawberries.

We started out at Half Moon Bay, a sleepy little coastal town, complete with a plethora of surfers, marinas, chowder houses & art/junk/antique shops. My junk shop of choice didn't open 'til noon, so we ventured down to the marina for a little picnic, which consisted of peanut butter crackers, rice cakes and gatorade, because I am the most awesome mother ever.

I'm really good at taking pictures of the top of my kid's head, right? He was digging for dinosaur bones here.


The saddest looking fisherman ever, Ethan, and a chihuahua's butt.

At noon we went to Half to Have It, which is, hands down, the coolest found-treasure (ie. junk) shop ever in the history of junk shops.

Seriously, where else can you find a happy, cheering Buddha AND.... old motel sign? Seriously.

Or maybe you live on a Fairchild Street & this would be awesome in your entry way? Or you love mermaids? Some people do love mermaids. Or perhaps you have a penchant for planting succulents in abalone shells? Not bad as penchants go?

As Ethan is neither in the market for abalone shell NOR an old motel sign, he found climbing the giant rock in the middle of the yard more to his liking.

Oh, and did I mention they sell glass? By the pound? That I let my kid play with? MOTHER OF THE YEAR!!!!!!
Before you call CPS on me, these pieces of glass are rounded like marbles. No sharp edges and very unlikely to break. He happily sorted them & dug in them while I ooooh'd & aaaaah'd my way through the yard.

And when he got tired of playing with glass, he played with the terracotta vats of seashells.

How many scoops you want?

After we got our fill of tchotchkes & broken glass, we headed to a farm in Pescadero, just a bit down the coast. There we were greeted by....

plants in antique washing machines...

...and antique farm equipment...

Oh, California, you hide kitsch in every corner. I love you.

We attempted to pick strawberries, but the fields looked kind of like this (cue the Debbie Downer music):

wauuuuuuuw wauuuuuuuuaw waaaaaaauuuuu....

We sang a few choruses of "Strawberry Fields Forever," (even though it was more like "strawberry fields for about 10 rows before the beans start"), picked a couple handfuls of pink/white berries, and shelled out our $7 to pay for the berries I knew would go from unripe to overripe & rotten in the heat of the car on the drive home.

As we left the farm, we noticed the "marine layer" (that's fancy Californian speak for "fog") was rolling in. The temperature was a delicious 65 degrees, so we decided to stop at the beach on our way back home, because we knew we'd be heading into the inferno of the inland temperatures if we didn't linger on the coast until at least 5pm.

So we ran races up & down the dunes.

He is tireless, people. How is it that he is never, ever tired?

Well, maybe a little bit tired...

Then we did some sand construction....

This was a 3-lane highway. He was very disappointed we weren't equipped with our rush-hour-worthy supply of matchbox cars.

And then we had to go foraging around in the driftwood and flowers to see what we could see.

Turns out, what we didn't see was the rock that Ethan stepped on on his way back off the driftwood....

Ethan was adequately impressed with his non-boo boo and concerned about the risk of infection ("did we bring the neosporin, Mom?") that I was able to convince him that perhaps it was time to go home.

On the drive home, munching on strawberries and inspecting the non-boo boo (pretty much at the same time, which is oh-so-super-hygenic, I know), Ethan noted "Mom, we had a really fun day!" Melt. My. Heart.

Yes, little man, we did.


Chiconky said...

You're inspiring me to explore a bit more around here. I'm super jealous of your junk shops!

Becca said...

That's the perfect day!! How nice to have the beach so close by to get out of the heat. We are flying for six hours next week to attempt the same. ;)

lonek8 said...

you are a way better mom than me.

I am also totally jealous of your super cool junk shops - we have nothing like that around here. Of course, we have nothing cool at all around here either, which probably explains why I never take the kids anywhere besides the gym and the grocery store.

Eat naturally said...

You're the best mom ever!! Those sand dunes reminded me of the countless ours we would spend in them playing Barbies. Did we even see the ocean? HA HA! You're the greatest!