Skip to main content

California: Beside the Sea

What comes to mind when you think of California?  Surfing!  So we strapped Toby to a surfboard and pushed him out to sea...


Actually, it's pretty difficult to engage in watersports when holidaying with a toddler.  Sometimes it feels like it's pretty difficult to do anything when holidaying with a toddler!  But one thing they do tend to enjoy is getting lovely and wet and sandy.  So a beach is a good place to be.


Toby was delighted to discover an apparently endless sandbox, and amused us by running in circles, rolling around and even acquiring a sand goatee!  His favourite game was for Graham to bury a small ball in the sand so that he could dig it up again.

One of the most relaxing afternoons we had was at Goleta Beach Park, just north of Santa Barbara, where we were staying.  The air was cool but the sand was pleasantly warm, and the sky was partly cloudy, helping to mitigate the panicked impulse to slather on as much sunscreen as possible every five minutes.  So I could just stretch out and close... my... eyes....


At least, until Toby discovered the sea.  Look Mum, I'll just dip my toes in!



Well, maybe up to my knees...


Hey, this is fun!


It got me!

He was having a blast, giggling like crazy the whole time.  Meanwhile I was digging my toes into the sand and hanging on tight for fear he might dash straight into the sea and never be seen again!

We finished that afternoon with a breezy walk along the pier and dinner at the Hollister Brewing Company.  This occupies an unlikely site squashed in among a McDonalds and Home Depot, but inside serves house-brewed beer and some great food.  I tucked into a tasty beef stew, while Toby was entertained with a colouring sheet and as many fries as he could cadge from Graham.

Back in Santa Barbara the following day, we were delighted to discover that the town boasted a real British chippy.  With mushy peas!  And baked beans!  And proper British chips!  Well, you've got to have fish and chips by the seaside, haven't you?  With the sun going down we even had the proper level of chilliness to complete the experience, missing only the waterproof jackets and driving rain.



Santa Barbara also has a marina which is well worth a stroll around.  The harbour wall gets pretty exciting when the waves are splashing over it, and we spotted crabs, starfish and even a ray in the water.











Of course, we didn't spend our whole vacation on the beach, though it would be easy enough to in that part of the world.  More on our inland activities next time...

Comments

Sally Eyre said…
Proper chips in newspaper - I want some. I am so jealous!

Popular posts from this blog

Advent 2022

It's the first Sunday of Advent coming up, and for once I feel fairly well prepared! Of course, the proof is in the (Christmas) pudding - whether I actually do all this remains to be seen. If you haven't even thought about Advent yet, do grab an idea to join in with. None of them require any advance preparation except for downloading, printing or book ordering - and one of them doesn't even start until 20 December. Something to do I recently went to a Mindful Advent workshop, run by the lovely Stacey and Ella from Create and Connect . We spent a happy couple of hours folding origami envelopes to make our own Advent calendars, with a few mince pies to nibble as the November rain poured down outside. I'm filling my envelopes with a short activity for each day, a Bible verse from the Christmas story, and a tiny treat for each of us. Thinking of 24 different activities was harder than folding 24 origami envelopes! Mine range from "listen to your favourite Christmas car

Catching up

I know some of you appreciate the family news I post on here, so here's a quick summary of what each of us has been up to over the last couple of months. Toby - went to his first Cubs meeting on a night when they were eating hot dogs and marshmallows, loved it, and was very proudly invested as a member just before Christmas. - spends his spare time writing stories, designing vehicles, and playing Super Mario Bros. - has a large collection of beer bottle caps (any donations welcome, as his primary provider was an ex-work-colleague of Graham's). - plucked up courage to go on a zipwire at the playground, and discovered it was great fun. - enjoyed Lego, lots of books, penguin pajamas and a remote control car for Christmas. Theo - likes playing on the bikes and in the home corner at school. - is now right at home with phonics: "I can spell cat!  Cuh, Ah, Tuh."  He's also been telling us about digraphs, at which point Graha

Matcha Green Tea Cake Mix

Some blogs are full of posts which start: Recently, *big company* sent me three pairs of expensive shoes / five bars of delicious chocolate / a free holiday ... This is not one of those blogs. But, recently, a company so small I'm not sure it really exists yet sent me a free cake mix, on the condition that I filled in a survey about it and took a few photos.  Blogging about it was not a condition, but just in case the owner makes it to the big time, you heard it here first! So the Hope Makes It Easy Matcha Cake Mix popped through my letterbox on my birthday (good timing to start) and the rather pretty package sat on my counter for a few days until I'd assembled the ingredients.  Most cake mixes require a few extra ingredients, but this one needed milk, eggs and butter, plus cream and possibly white chocolate for the icing.  Not exactly all-inclusive.  On the plus side, it helpfully provided a cute origami cup for measuring the milk, a line to show you how much butter