Friday, December 7, 2018

Thanksgiving in California: Attack Seagulls and Sea Doggos

What to do when your brother-in-law is getting married completely across the country from one kid's Very Important Nutcracker Rehearsals?

You send your husband and the other kid to go party without you, sigh... No fancy clothes for me and Syd. No fancy dinners. No dancing. No wine (well, there may have been a little wine for me after she went to bed, but still. Wedding wine is better). While Matt and Will flew out to California together to hit the beach and do fancy stuff, I drove Syd back and forth to hours of daily rehearsals, and in between we did stuff like hike through the frozen, really freaking cold landscape that we were stuck in:

Seriously, that's an actual ice storm. Meanwhile, Matt and Will were flitting around California's wine country in short sleeves.

Jealousy is a legitimate emotion, Friends. It's okay to feel jealous as hell when your husband hangs out in paradise while you stay back in the frozen wasteland to chauffeur your kid and walk the dog.

But even The Nutcracker has to give its ballerinas a Thanksgiving vacation, so at 2:00 am on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, approximately 8 hours after Syd's final rehearsal before the break, up she and I got ourselves to drive to the airport and get on the first flight of the day to San Diego:

Here's what the Long-Term Parking shuttle shelter looks like at 4:00 am. It had a button to press for a space heater that would function for exactly 10 seconds before shutting off again. I got VERY good at pressing that space heater button exactly on time.
We found the sunrise on the way to our Phoenix layover. 
 We were able to get to California in time to tag along on the last 24 hours of post-wedding festivities, and then it was time to start our own, personal Thanksgiving vacation! First on the to-do list was to head down the West Coast back to San Diego, checking out every beach and tide pool on the way.

We did a pretty good job of it:

We started at Scripps Beach, then hiked north all the way to Black's Beach, far enough that we could see the Mushroom House funicular before turning around. We did NOT hike all the way to the north end of Black's Beach, where I'm told that clothing is optional...

Syd's first time in the water on this trip--doesn't that make a nice change from those ice storm photos from two days prior?!?
You can take the ballerina out of the ballet studio, but...

I'd say we were happy to be warm!
This girl was well used to the beautiful weather by then, but she still loves the novelty of digging in the sand.

Matt's always taking photos of me doing something dorky. Here, I'm investigating a tide pool.

Yep, another tide pool. You can't see something right unless you get your face in it!
And here, the children and I have found a total stranger to tell us all about the California sea hare. You can take the homeschooler out of her homeschool, but...

This is the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier. It's very photogenic!

 Next on the list was sea lions (thanks to YouTube, we can't stop calling them "sea doggos." Seriously. Pause here, go to YouTube, and search for "sea doggos." You can thank me in the comments). We drove a little further south, stopped for sandwiches (and saladitos, which I had never even seen before and I can't decide if I liked them or not, but still I couldn't stop eating them), and thanked our lucky stars that we were able to find a parking spot within a mile of the Children's Pool--Sundays in La Jolla are CROWDED!

We lucked out even more to score a bench on top of the cliff, overlooking the ocean (when I say "score," I mean that I saw people getting off a bench off in the distance and instructed my children to sprint for it to claim it for us. I'm very good at delegating), so before hiking and exploring, we sat down to eat our sandwiches in peace. It was a pretty crowded area, like I said, with lots of the whole variety of humanity there, so in the middle of my first bite of sandwich, when I suddenly felt a "Whoosh!" an inch from my face and I got knocked forward on my seat, I thought that somebody had come up behind me and had tried to punch me in the back of the head. Instead, what had really happened was that a seagull had swooped down and neatly plucked the entire top half of my sandwich out of my hands AND MY MOUTH. Like, I was BITING INTO MY SANDWICH, and a seagull came and stole half of it!

Matt and the kids saw the whole thing, and we basically just blinked at each other until someone noticed the seagull sitting just a few feet away, gulping down my delicious sandwich and then eyeing me for more. We spent the rest of our lunch with Matt standing in front of us to guard us from further attacks.

I mean, WHAT THE HELL?!?

After our lunch, we hiked and explored more of the coast--

--making our way to Children's Pool and the seal rocks just south of the seawall that encloses it:

We found the sea doggos!!!

Here, Matt and Will are at the far end of the sea wall, overlooking Children's Pool.

And then it was off to meet the grandparents, who were hosting us in San Diego, for dinner. Next time, we do all things San Diego, including the Navy Base!


Tina said...

Now I am even more excited to move to California!!!
I'll keep an eye out for crazy sea gulls.

julie said...

And don't forget the sea doggos! I am prepared to be super happily jealous for you of your gorgeous, warm, adventurous California life!