Monday, November 26, 2012

Beach Friday 2012

This year we continued our tradition of going to 17 Mile Drive in Monterey the day after Thanksgiving. It was our fourth year. The first two years were extremely chilly and windy, but not this time. On this day the weather was absolutely perfect: breezy and warm.

It was an amazing day. The kids were happy and mellow. We parents sat and talked. The boys splashed in the water. They played in the sand. One kid built a city in the sand complete with multiple walls, building, cars, and and a moat. The other built bombs out of sand. If you know the boys, I'm sure you can guess who did what. 

We explored tide pools. We warned the boys not to touch the anemones because they might sting (I have no idea if they actually do, but I figured it was better to be safe). The kids went into panic mode. For the rest of our time at the tide pools, avoiding anemones was a matter of life and death, and they would start shrieking if they got near one. Our kids are normally not fearful about things like this, so it was a little bit funny to see them act this way.

We also saw thousands of hermit crabs, some as tiny as a lentil and some as large as a silver dollar. We encouraged the boys to put one on their hand, but after the Anemone Incident, it was difficult to convince them that they wouldn't hurt them. After much coaxing, Tommy was brave enough to let a tiny hermit crab crawl around on his hand.

The thing I love so much about 17 Mile Drive is the diversity of beaches in such a small area. It has everything from beaches with tall rocks to climb on to sprawling smooth sandy shores to run around on. Below you can see Mark flying a kite with the boys. The wind was so nice that he was able to bury the line into the sand and walk away while the kite stayed in the air for the next thirty minutes. It was fun watching the drivers smile as they saw the kite soaring high above them on the road.

After 17 Mile Drive we headed to nearby Carmel. Our aim was only to find a place to pick up some hot chocolate. But when we parked and walked around a bit, the tiny town was so enchanting in the dusk light that we ended up staying for a few hours, just strolling and poking around. We stopped in shops and admired the unique items that local crafters and artists were selling. There were several times the kids would spot something and breath a reverent "Wow!" We stopped in one art gallery and noted with a little amusement the gallery keeper following our children closely with his eyes. (No, they didn't touch anything). Eventually it got dark and then we were surrounded by trees and arbors covered in white twinkle lights. It truly was a magical little town.

The rest of our holiday weekend was full of a mix of chores and relaxation. We spent a lot of good times together as a family. It was exactly what we all needed.

See more photos of our beach trip here.

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