Sunday, November 28, 2010

Small Business Saturday

Just wanted a little record of the fact that I managed to squeeze in a trip to my favourite yarn store yesterday, and that I now have 4 different balls of yarn that might be appropriate for me to knit my mother a boob for Christmas.

The lady that helped me at the yarn store had never heard of a thing, but became very enthusiastic when I explained what I was doing. She even was able to make several recommendations of yarns that I might try for making a perfectly itch-free version.

So. Small Business Saturday. I hope that my little purchase helped to keep at least one Small Business afloat this holiday season.

There are a few other places I would have liked to go, but I was limited by errands that were required. And besides, I shopped at those places on Black Friday instead:

So here's to you, Toque Blanc in Half Moon Bay. Thanks for your great customer service, and for having exactly what I wanted.

And here's to you Half Moon Bay Feed and Fuel. You also had a nice assortment to choose from.

And Crystal Springs Produce. That was a great price you had on passion fruit. I hope it's ok that I bought out your stock.

After I get lunch cleaned up, I hope to put photos up here of the yarns that I got.

(and wouldn't you know it? When I got home, I started decorating the house for Christmas, and the first box I looked into had three skeins of yarn that were completely appropriate for knitting a boob. It's a knitty-boob bonanza! If I could just get down to business, my mother won't know what hit her when the mail arrives in a few weeks.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Ride

I just realized that this diary is turning into a "Watch my daughter ride horses on the beach" tale of epic epicness that excludes our sons.

Deal with it.


It's just that this weekend is kind of a horsey extravaganza.

So, when last we spoke with our little girlies, they had kissed and made up (although I still need to debrief Kelly about this, because it sounds like, from Alice's mom, that there were forces afoot that I was unaware of, which paints Kelly in a less-than-good light, and doesn't unearth the underlying awkwardness where Kelly confided in me that she had caught Alice in some bad behaviour of her own. Which, when all is said and done, could be 'this is how a 10 year old perceives things that are really completely innocent'. Of course, when I chatted with Alice's mom while Alice was getting her overnight bag together on Wednesday evening, I was a complete chicken-liver, and didn't mention the bits where Kelly was crying that Alice was lying about stuff at school. We will deal with that later, when I'm certain that I have all the facts. But for now, they are all buddy-buddy, and I will be keeping an eye on two OTHER of Kelly's friends, who have told Alice (to her face, says the mother) that they don't like her, and they don't want her to be around Kelly. Eek! The drama. It's like a soap opera without the paste jewelry and constant stream of weddings)

The girls had a very successful sleep-over, and were up at the crack of dawn, raring to go. That's when I stole a few minutes to write the little entry with photos from their Wednesday afternoon ride.

Thursday morning?

Hello, single-digit (OK, it was single digits in Celcius. But that's still stinkin' cold) temperatures.

Fortunately, we were well-stocked with scarves and gloves (with little half-fingers, so the reins could be held)

And I couldn't believe it, but Kelly and Alice were the ONLY people at the ranch! I mean, people! What's up? You've got the DAY OFF! Surely not ALL of you are slaving over a hot stove all morning, on such a glorious morning, nursing the turkey into golden oblivion.

But I was happy that we had rushed out to get there early. The girls got their choice of horses.

And you already saw the wonderful moon that was parked in the nearly cloudless sky.

I do love me a good beach-photography morning.

I love this shot of Alice on her horse.

But this one is my fave...

OK, *this* one is my favourite:

Or maybe this one...

Although there's something fun about catching them just as they come back to the ranch, full of stories to tell...

Mom! You wouldn't believe what a BUTT Eddie was on the beach! but I still love him.


OH mom. Eddie's being a butt again! Can you help me?

Oh wait. It's ok. I've got it. He's fine...

And this all happened before I even STARTED putting Thanksgiving dinner in the oven.

Imagine what I could do on Black Friday...

Black Friday

It's 4am on Black Friday.

Do you know where your Canadian-trying-to-masquerade-as-an-American friend is?

Boo yeah.

I'm getting too old for this.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Horsey Thanksgiving

Horsey Thanksgiving, everyone.

I am up at an unearthly hour, considering it is a holiday.

Of course, many of you American ladies may be already up, getting the ceremonial bird ready for its long sauna session, and preparing your house for the onslaught of guests.

I guess I have those tasks ahead of me. (Well, not the turkey part. I decided to tempt fate, and am in danger of deportation because I am doing the un-American thing of serving a beef tenderloin instead of the American Turkey.) But right now, I'm up early not for a Thanksgiving Reason, but for a Horsey Reason.

Yesterday, Kelly and her very BFF in the WWW (whole wide world) mended their fences, and have been getting re-acquainted.

It's been so freakishly freezing cold in the mornings that I have been cursing my 'gave away everything I didn't need when we moved 14 years ago' lack of fore-sight, because I don't have an ice scraper for my car, and I thought "I have offered to take Kelly and BFF to go horse back riding early Thursday morning, but honestly, it's going to be FREAKISHLY cold for these parts tomorrow morning, so maybe we should do an afternoon ride in the wonderful sunshine instead."

So after school (half day yesterday) and going out for lunch (the kids voted for the local sushi place), we collected Alice, and I dropped the boys off at home to play Halo, and I took the girls over to the coast for a (potentially warm-ish) trail ride in the late afternoon sun.

We got to the ranch, and a group was just returning. It was pretty un-busy, and Jorge was nowhere to be seen. But the guide recognized us, and, in his broken English (note to self: Really, you would be so well served if you just learned a FEW words of Spanish) pointed the girls to Jorge while he got the horses back on the line.

Soon, Jorge was back from the pasture, and I was signing the girls up for the afternoon ride.

"We came out today, Jorge, because I watned the girls to get a ride in this weekend, and i was worried that you might be closed on Thanksgiving"

"Oh no, we'll be doing the Early Bird Special before we go to do our Thanksgiving dinners. We have to take care of the horses every day, anyways. But if nobody comes, we'll just take care of the horses, and then go home."

I smiled, and decided to indulge the girls ever so much more, "Well, then, we'll be there with bells on. I know the girls love riding on the beach."

He looked at me, as I put down $120 on top of the paperwork ($55 for each hour-long trail ride, plus the tip) and said "Oh, keep your money. This ride is on us. Just make sure you tip the guide, ok?"


A free ride?

Have fun, ladies.

So now, we're up at the crack of dawn (and a beautiful, chilly dawn it is), so we can get out there before all the horses are gone (assuming that there is a Thanksgiving Rush), and it's back to the ranch.

Time to start making new memories, ladies.

I guess it really is a "Thanksgiving Day" today, after all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Laundry, Library, Lens

This is my morning.

I have got to get stuff done.

And with a mnemonic, I am so much better at remembering.

So here's my morning:


I did 5 loads over the weekend, but didn't fold or sort anything. So far, I've folded 150 pieces of laundry (Why yes, I *do* count them when I fold them. I'm WAY too ADD otherwise, and I'll end up folding 1 or 2 things, and then see my feet, and say "I wonder what happened to those blue shoes that I used to have" and the next thing you know, I'm rifling through my closet, looking for shoes from 1997) When I count as I fold, I keep on task. And it makes me feel more of the Family Martyr when I can sit down at the dinner table and say to the children, "While you were dancing around at school, playing with your friends, I was folding EIGHTY FIVE pairs of underpants, so you won't have to worry if you get hit by a bus this week..."

Anyways. So... 150 items folded so far. Still a load in the wash, and one in teh dryer, and socks that aren't paired up (but that's Skip's job now). And I'm ironing. Three shirts down while on the phone with J-jumping, who is back from Bolivia with a butt-load of stories to tell, and 5 shirts to go.


I'm getting those stern automated phone calls from the library about over due books. I'd better get my act together. And I borrowed 2001: A Space Odyssey for Skip to watch last week, and forgot it was a 7-day loan, so that's gotta go back, too. Probably 25 things that need to go back. And when I finish at the library...

Lens! is having a Thanskgiving week sale where if you rent for 3 days, you get the item for SEVEN!

So I'm gonna head down to their World Headquarters, and see what's leftover. There's a lot of mail-order business, so I'm just going to be gleaning from what wasn't picked up. It looks like the weather should be nice by Thursday (it's bright and sunny now, but it's supposed to be raining until late Wednesday), and it would be fun to send Kelly off on the horses on Thursday morning before the giant food-fest that will be Thanksgiving supper at our house.

I'm thinking the Tamron 200-500. Nobody seems to be renting that (at least it never seems to be unavailable on their web site)

But before I get to go play with camera gear, I still have shirts to iron, and laundry martyrdom to attain.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Knitty Titty

I just got an email from my mommy.

She's doing great, and her mastectomy site has healed enough so she can have a deep tub bath, which is something she'd been missing out on since she had her first partial mastectomy at the end of September. She's got such a great attitude, talking about the 'learning curve' for wearing clothes now, and what types of camisoles she can wear and can't wear, and how she's now thinking about a prosthesis (where she wasn't before) just because of the convenience aspect of dressing and wearing normal clothes. She said that she now sees the benefit of having *something* in that one side of her bra, and has found that a pair of ankle socks often fits the bill, but is a bit lumpy.

So she's now talking about how long it might take me to make one of 'those knitty titties that you talked about a while ago".

Hmm. I sure hope I archived that pattern way back when I made that first one for Jackie's friend.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the horrrible storm of the night has given way to brilliant sunshine, and I'm thinking of taking a quick trip over to the coast to see if the trails are passable enough for a horse ride.

And while I'm out there, I may look at picking up some baby-soft alpaca to make my mother a boob.

Wow, I never thought I'd be typing THAT sentence.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


So, the tile that I put in the back of the van yesterday is rattling around, and making quite the racket.

Skip is still home from school today.

I had a meeting this morning, and got there early, so thought I would make use of the extra time, and get in a little exercise, so I went for a walk in the hilly neighborhood... and lost track of time. Ended up semi-lost, with 3 minutes to make the meeting.

I was late. But everyone got a good laugh at my expense when I arrived.

I tutored at Nate's school, then pulled Nate from school early (half days, anyways for conferences), and went over to Kelly's school to sell ice cream during their lunch hour. Something is up between Kelly and her (former) best friend. I just hope it's the speed bumps of middle school, and that things will smooth over as they get older. But right now, it's awkward with a capital AWK! on the playground. Ah, girl drama, how we loves it.

Nate and i got home around 1:30, and had a little lie-around with Skip (whoops. I forgot to phone the school today, and just got a call from the High School District about his 'uncleared absence'. Ahem. Delinquent!) and watched Top Gear until it was time to go get Kelly and Gail (her friend that I take care of on Thursdays).

Well, that tile was rattling around so much that when the girls got in the van I said "You guys up for a detour?"

And off we went.

Gail had never been to the Horse Camp ranch, so Kelly got to give her a bit of a tour once we unloaded all the tile left over from our remodel.

Oh look, you can see Kelly's blue hair, too. Not the best shot of her, but she was having SUCH a great time with the horses.

The ponies KNOW that we have treats. (photo not uploaded yet - I had to use the phone camera today, and I'm having some connectivity issues) But it takes a while for the horses to believe what they're seeing.

And oh, Eddie. What a sweet heart you are. it's like the very light of heaven shines down on you.

Hello, Samurai. You smell the horse oatmeal cookies and carrots, don't you?

And so what if Kelly still has a mountain of homework... she got to have a surprise visit with you guys, and that makes it all better.

The weather was amazing.

I think it's going to be atrocious by the weekend, so I'm striking while the iron's hot.

Bye bye, fuzzy friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Horsing Around

Man, I have got to get back into the routine of writing.

Lately, it seems that I just can't be bothered unless there are photos to tell the story around.

And honestly? There are WAY more stories in our house that are not photo-documenaries.

So here's a few things that I've been meaning to remember:

Skip was invited to a math competition at Santa Clara University on Saturday.

Of course, he managed to remember to tell us on Thursday evening. Good thing that Ken was free, and could drive him down to the Uni at Oh Dark Thirty on Saturday morning.

He thinks he did fine. Of course when I asked him if he answered the Tie Breaker, he said "but it wasn't one of the questions..." Yeah, Mr. I'll Come In Second Because I Didn't Read The Instructions. But considering he's still a Sophomore, he's got a few more chances to catch the golden ring.

Ever since Nate got promoted to Red Belt at kung fu, he's discovered a new level of internal discipline and concentration. He's setting an example for the brown and black belts that he's working with now. And he's one of the youngest kids in the class.

Skip, too, seems to have a renewed sense of purpose, now that he's just one belt away from that prized black belt.

(yup, it's true, sometimes I get lucky and can get a photo of my eldest child)

Maybe the math competition was too much for him, though. When I picked him up after school on Monday, he looked like death warmed over. He just flopped into the passenger seat, and was nearly asleep by the time we got home. And his forehead was hot.

Not good.

He ended up staying home from school on Tuesday and today, and I'm still debating about whether I'll send him tomorrow. I just don't know if he can stand to miss three days of school without falling pretty far behind. He's emailed his teachers, and has been working, off and on (more off than on, actually) on trying to keep up with what's being assigned.

**update** Well, Skip put himself to bed at 9pm, which is about 3 hours earlier than he usually tries to have his bedtime. I think, if he's got any sleepies in the morning, I'll be keeping him home again.

I took Jewel to school yesterday.

He was going to spend the morning with Mrs. Henderson's class (Nate's teacher from last year), but when I walked into the classroom, there was a sub. Whoopsie. Looks like I might have passed on the lung ick to her before I was totally healed.

But I know the sub (mom of one of Kelly's friend), so the kids got to have a little bit of time with Jewel, but I didn't stick around for long.

Jewel was very well behaved, and only pooped on the carpet (white carpet) and on Mrs. Henderson's favourite chair.

The horse camp place is getting a bit of a face-lift.

But it's nothing official. The ranch manager, Jorge, is a very self-motivated guy, and he sees that there are lots of things that need to be repaired before winter, so in his free time, he's been doing carpentry, and fixing up the place, building shelters for the aging horses that may not make it through the winter without a dry warm place to be, and he's also decided that the Horse Camp clubhouse is in need of renovations,.

When we were out there on Saturday with the girls, we noticed he had pulled up the (old, rotting) floor, and was re-joisting it. I asked what he was going to do, and he said that he'd been asking around, and was getting small bits of salvaged lumber here and there, and was hoping to cobble together something by the beginning of next summer.

I looked at what he was doing, and thought "I've still got leftover building supplies from our remodel. And all they're doing is taking up space in my garage', so I asked him if he'd mind if I brought out the leftover lumber. He seemed thrilled at the idea, and kept saying "You don't have to! You don't have to!" but as I looked at what he was using, salvaging, to put together the clubhouse for the girls, I thought "My daughter spends much of her summer here, and if I can hand over something I'm not ever going to even use, what's the cost to me? Nothing!"

So Toni and I started talking about what we had left at home from our remodels (Toni and her Ken redid their kitchen just before ours), and by the time I got home, I was all gung-ho to empty out the garage.

But then I looked in the garage, and all the lumber that I *thought* was there just... wasn't.

Over dinner, Toni and the Kens and i were talking about all the fun that our girls had had over the years, and we thought "Hey, why don't we just donate some good quality lumber, so that Jorge can work uninterrupted on the clubhouse, and at the end, have something that's going to last.?"

So that's how, on Monday, after working out at the gym (first day back after the whole pneumonia thing), Toni and I found ourselves loading up Homer with the sparse collection of stuff I found in the garage (leftover laminate flooring from doing Skip and Nate's rooms nearly 5 years ago - yes, when was I planning on using any of that stuff again?) and heading over to the coast.

When we got to the ranch, we found the guys working on a shelter in the small pasture. It's Jorge's idea to have a shelter big enough to house the ten oldest horses on the ranch, who will benefit the most from having dryness and warmth during the winter storms. We unloaded the van, and then grilled Jorge about what, exactly, he needed for the clubhouse flooring. Once he'd told us, we took the seats out of Homer, and headed over to the local lumber yard.

"Two women walk into a lumber yard." There's a hilarious joke there, somewhere.

Anyways, we were able to fit all the plywood sheeting into Homer, as well as a half dozen 2x4's, just for added fun, and when we got back to the ranch, I drove Homer right in among the horses to get close to the clubhouse so we could unload the van without having to trek the plywood across the parking area.

Today, I realized that I had about a dozen and a half tiles left over from our remodel. Nice big beautiful porcelain floor tiles. We'll never used them, so after I picked up Nate and Kelly from school (Kelly was supposed to be having basketball try-outs, but the coach was off sick), I dropped Nate with Skip at home, and Kelly and I loaded up the van with the tiles, and we drove over to the coast.

The fog is starting to roll in.

I don't think that the weather will be as nice, come the weekend. But it was pretty darned nice this afternoon.

Alas, when we got to the ranch, the gate was locked, so we drove past, pulled into a beach parking lot, and turned around. Kelly was a little bit sad that she wasn't going to be able to visit with the horses, so I'm tempted to pull her from school on Friday morning to help me deliver the tile. I could get her back to school by second period. i'm still toying with it.

Nate had his conference yesterday.

Ken came in from work, so it was the three of us with the teacher.

I'm just not getting ANY friendly-happy vibe from her. She's pleasant enough, but just not going to make any sort of personal connection. And when asked for input about his work, we got a lot of "hm-mmm, yes" from her, and very little "Here's what I would like to see happen" Which, I suppose, can be a good thing. I just kind of wanted to have some insight that I didn't already know.

Oh well.

I was playing guitar at the library this morning, and I kept getting distracted by my reflection.

Yes, I guess I was a little bit vain.

But who could blame me? The window I kept seeing myself in had been installed at an angle, or was slightly curved, and it made me look So Freakin' Thin! You wouldn't believe the effect. I couldn't take my eyes off my suddenly-slimmer self.

In fact, I was so distracted by Thin Me that I lost my place in a song, and had to feign that I was having a coughing spasm.

Somehow, I've gotten onto the mailing list for B&H photography.

Their winter catalogue just arrived in the mail.

Oh, if I could win a lottery...

There are 37 days until Christmas.

I have this sudden urge to rifle through my (substantial) knitting stash, and pull out some heathered orange wool that I stashed in there several years ago, so that I can make a sweater for Skip.

Um yeah. First? Hello, Mrs. Weaseley.

Second? Thirty Eight Days? Right now, I doubt I could make a dishcloth in that amount of time.

I have started writing reviews for trip advisor. I figured I should weigh in on a few places that I thought were good, but that were getting slammed with bad reviews, and I should weigh in on places that I thought stunk that seem to be smelling like roses for some reason.

We'll see how long I keep up that momentum.

Catching up on a backlog of DVR tv shows.

Oh man! NCIS is a To Be Continued...?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gorgeous Saturday at the Beach

Yesterday, it looked like the weekend (or at least Saturday) would be shaping up to be a remarkably nice day.

Toni called, and wondered if we were up to taking the girls for a beach ride first thing in the morning.

Who am I to say "No"?

So we agreed to leave our house at 730 (don't want to be getting to the ranch when all the horses are already gone...), and Toni said that she and Carrie would be at our house around 720.

In my brain, I figured that I could get up at 710 if I had all my ducks in a row before I got to bed, because really, how much time does it take to get ready to go hike on the beach? And I would need all the extra minutes of sleep, as we had a house full of company last night. There were 17 of us for supper, and the last guests left close to 10:30.

So, imagine my surprise, when I was coming out of the bathroom at 712, and Kelly poked her head in to say that Toni and Carrie had shown up at 703.


Needless to say, we were able to leave early to head over to the beach.

We got there in plenty of time, and there were very few people there. In fact, there ended up being only 6 riders on the Early Bird ride. That's less than a third of what there was last week.

And the girls got to pick their horses.

No surprises with Kelly's choice...

Hello, Eddie. You have VERY dirty legs. Have you been rolling in the pasture again?

Such a shame that the girls don't like riding at all...

The girls went off down the trail, and Toni and i went to Starbucks, and Safeway (gotta get a big bag of carrots), and then went off to the beach to wait for them.

It was a gorgeous morning. Lots of spindrift.

(sorry for the drunken sailor angle on this photo. I don't think I can take a straight photo to save my hide)

And the waves were crashing!

Here come the girls:

Eddie is afraid of the water, so he makes sure that another horse is always between him and the water.

And here they are coming back up the beach, and you'll see that Eddie is still keeping Alex (the part-arabian horse) between himself and the waves.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Hello Wrangler.

Wrangler is the new Ranch Puppy. He's just young, and exuberant, and so full of energy. And he's got the softest coat ever. If he can survive all his ill-chosen dodging around the horse hooves, he will be a great addition to the ranch.

And here he is, playing with Lupita. Some of you may remember her from the summer. We called her Lupita the Poop-eatah, because she had a penchant for nibbling on the nuggets that the horses poop out.

She is teaching Wrangler her tricks, because we caught him sampling the wares...


Here come the girls back from the ride. They're helping the ranch hands get the horses back on the line.

Eddie is blowing bubbles in the water trough. It's pretty funny.

The horses all have their shaggy winter coats, and the extra insulation makes them work up a bit of a sweat on the long beach ride. Kelly and Carrie's horses are quite sweaty and dirty, and it is suggested that maybe their horses need baths.

Oh! The humanity! The girls have to give the horses baths? Is there anything more tragic?

Alex is not so happy about her bath.

Eddie seems to really enjoy his, though.

And he wants to help. Or maybe he just wants another drink in Kelly's carrot-flavored hands.

And to thank the girls for their work? Why, do they have time for another ride?

Oh man, you don't have to ask them twice.

Eddie and Alex were still pretty wet from their baths, so Kelly and Carrie picked other horses to ride.

And while they were on their second ride, Toni and I went into Half Moon Bay and picked up some special horse treat cookies, and snagged a tray of tamales for the ranch hands.

Gotta keep your benefactors happy, right?

So the ranch hands got lunch, we got to have a lovely day of exercise and fun, and Kelly and Carrie got more than their money's worth of horse-time.

Oh, and the horses got carrots and oatmeal-raisin horse cookies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me.

Being a Remembrance Day baby, I spent some large portion of every birthday growing up standing in the snow, or freezing rain, somewhere at a cenotaph, remembering.

It's a good thing to do. Remember.

But I don't recommend doing it while getting a head start on the season's frostbite crop.

There don't seem to be that many cenotaphs where we live now, so today, instead of remembering, I decided to give the kids some things to remember.

So you'll understand that there was no surprise when I said "Let's go SEE THE WHALE!"

But first, there were presents.

See? We are like tourists. And see how thrilled Skip is!

Oh look! I got a keytar!

Oh, tell me you're not having 80s hair-band flashbacks!

But there is no time to linger. Before Skip gets lured back to the computer, I insist that we head off to the beach!

All that is left of the beached blue whale is a deflated whale-balloon hide... and lots of residual stink.

Those waves have not been gentle to it.

And yet still, it floats and beaches with the throat facing up. Fascinating.

Ah look, only a few minutes away from the computer, and Skip's happy inner child starts breaking loose.


...excuse me. Suddenly there is a strong smell of decomposing whale about me, and I think my shoes must go and live outside overnight. Ick.



The kids had fun at the beach, and there were no camera-happy tourists to be seen.

Kelly brought a friend.

Nate had fun digging...


and escaping with his life...

Skip didn't need friends. He had Cheez-Its.

I re-created a photo that I'd taken 13 years earlier...

The original has Ken and Skip walking up the same beach. Ken's mom has it framed in her living room.

I think I just scored a great Christmas present for her.


More cheerleading:

More running

Then it was time to go to another beach. Skip wanted to go to a beach with a creek, so he could re-route the creek, or dam it.

Gazos Creek seemed like the perfect choice.

While I was waiting for the girls to cycle through the outhouse, Skip went to check out the beach.

But before we were done, he'd already come back and said "I'll just wait in the van. Did you see the sign?"

Hmm. I should have taken a photo. Apparently, the creek is contaminated with coliform. It is highly recommended that you not come in contact with any non saline water.


So off we went to find another place to visit. The kids were starting to agitate for going home, but I wasn't done yet. So we kept going south. One of the guys in the Gazos Creek parking lot had said there were lots of cool things to see just a little ways down the road. Beaches, dunes, drift wood, etc.

I missed a few pull-outs, and was just thinking about turning around and heading for home when I saw a wide pull-out, and went in to take a look.

Hello Cascade Creek.

Skip decided he would just stay in the van. I mean really, how long would we be? He had the latest Discover, and Popular Science magazines, and he was ready for some down time.

So Kelly and Adria and Nate and I headed off down the trail.

Very cool ecosystem. I bet it's a HOOT in the spring. We will be back.

And at the end of the half-mile trail, a beach like none we'd seen before.

Now, if only we could find a way down the bluff from the dune to the beach below...

Oh, here's a path.

And what a lovely beach.

Not a lot left at high tide, but still...

OH look. They're not paying attention, and that big wave is going to surprise them.

Ha ha ha, it's really rolling in now...

Oh, this is good. I'm going to get a great shot when... hey... what's that sound... WHA...?

Ahem. I guess I should have realized that I was not standing THAT far up the beach from them, and was in just as much jeopardy as they were.

Everyone will be happy to know that the camera did not get wet.

And then I found this cool rock.

And then I realized that Skip probably thought we were dead, so we ran back to the van.

And then I nearly fell asleep on the way home, because that was WAY more exercise than I'd gotten in the last 2 weeks combined.

Or it could be that now that I am thirty-sixteen, I have to start taking naps.