Saturday, January 21, 2017

December 12-14, 2016 California Dreaming on a Winter's Day

Monday Dec 12th
After scrambling all over southern California the past four days, today Chrissy and I are relaxing for the rest of this trip. So we headed south on the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped in Laguna Beach. We walked around and did some Christmas shopping.

I really liked the Christmas themed artist palettes posted around town.

All I want for Christmas is some waves to ride.

 We continued down the coast highway to Dana Point to meet my cousin Mary for lunch. We got there early and took a short hike along the beach. 
 The tide was low so we could walk further out below the cliffs. 

We just walked among the rocks checking out the tide pools.

This one must have caught something to eat.

The ocean was very calm today.

Here's a couple of texture shots.

I love spending time at the ocean and today was exactly why I feel that way. The smell of the salt water, the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks and the peaceful feeling of being the old man and the sea. 

Did someone order a Christy on the Rocks?

We didn't have time to hike out to the cave but any time spent on a beach is time well spent. And so were the four hours we spent with my cousin Mary sitting in a restaurant booth. We spent the entire afternoon catching up on each others lives and trying to make sense of this crazy world we live in. Then we drove back to my parents and had dinner at The Corner with them. I got to hang out at the beach and spend time with family. It doesn't get much better than days like this.

                                               Tuesday Dec 13th                                           
We started our day at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. We took a short hike near near the visitor center but didn't see any birds. So we drove up to Seal Beach. 

We walked out onto the pier....

...and found this public service message.

Are you familiar with the Christmas seal?

Fishing at your own risk here.

Palm Trees and Christmas Trees...Must be Southern California.

Seal Beach has a great downtown with mostly local independent shops...

...and an Irish Pub of course.

Santa dressed for the weather.

We stopped at Wahoo's Fish Tacos in Huntington Beach for lunch on our way to Crystal Cove State Park.

This is a big coastal park so Chrissy and I found a short trail to a beach access trail down the cliffs.

I always appreciate information about the flora and fauna in the parks.

The view of the beach looking south from the top of the cliffs.

Hiking down to the beach with the sun shining on a smiling Chrissy.

We spent the next couple of hours walking up and down the beach. We took a lot of pictures, enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the warm weather and spent some time relaxing on the rocks. We took our shoes off, rolled up our pants and let the ocean tide roll over us. There isn't much to add so here's the photos we took.

Pelicans flying over the beach.

Mussels anyone?

One of my favorite shots of the afternoon.

Look closely this is a waterfall at the bottom of the cliffs...notice how much green is in this photo.

This might be a sea hare out of the water...

...this could be one in the water.

What a great way to watch the setting sun...but we couldn't stay. We headed back to Huntington Beach for their Tuesday Night downtown street fair. Then we joined my family and my friends Kathy  and Joel for a wonderful dinner at Pizzeria Ortica. The drinks, stories and laughter flowed all night long. Good night California, thanks for a great day.

Wednesday December 14th

Since we have a flight home this afternoon, we decided to bike from my parents house in Huntington Beach to Newport Beach's famous body surfing location known as The Wedge.

The ocean has been calm the for my entire visit. Here are some paddle boarders on the small waves today.

Here's Chrissy representing Chicago and it's sports teams.

I had to move Chrissy to my left just so you could see her in this photo of my extremely large head.

Houses on the beach in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach was calm and empty this morning.

All the fishermen were still out fishing, so no fish yet.

I'm a Springsteen fan. I had to stop here.

We biked through some very nice neighborhoods to finally reach The Wedge at the end of the Balboa Peninsula.

Across the entrance to Newport Harbor is where the beautiful people live. Actually the live on this side of the harbor too.

Not exactly the best waves for surfing. Actually no waves. I've seen bigger waves on Lake Michigan this past year than I've seen on this trip.

We had this beach to ourselves too.

Relaxing on the rocks at The Wedge.

The Balboa Pier

A SoCal favorite, this one is the original on the Balboa Pier.

We had breakfast here on our way back to HB.

There was plenty of free parking...

...and a tasty breakfast...

...right on the beach. We have a plane to catch so back on the bikes and no more stopping for pictures.

This church is near my parents so I have seen it for years. I always joke about the Surfer Jesus on it. So I stopped to get a picture today. Then it was on a plane back home.