Thursday, June 20, 2013

More Beach Time

Enjoying a picnic at Zumba Beach in Malibu

The third and final post from our long weekend driving up and down the California coast is all about water, sun and sand. Auntie M and Uncle T spoiled us by taking us to Zumba Beach in Malibu, a jewel of a spot that made for a perfect day.

Nieve loving the firm sand found at the water's edge

Nieve excited by the incoming tide, while Ronan practices his wave riding

Nieve loved to spend her time in the sand at the water's edge where she could dip her toe and play 'catch me' with the waves but not get herself too wet. She clearly loved feeling the coarseness of the sand in her fingers and toes.

Ronan on the boogie board

Ronan testing the boogie board for surfing capability

Ronan liked the sand as well but was engrossed by the waves at Zumba beach. We brought a boogie board and Ronan's first go ended in a spectacular crash (with lots of swallowed water) that scared him. This prompted him to throw an angry tantrum, blaming the boogie board, blaming us ("You're trying to kill me. Is that what you want?"), and making impassioned claims that he would never go in the ocean again.

A happy boy, at home at the beach

But like he did when learning to ride a bicycle, Ronan mustered up the courage to give boogie boarding another go and ended up loving it. He remains tentative in the crashing waves but his desire for mastering boogie boarding is winning the battle against his fear.

Our friends Curt and Michelle and their children joined us for the afternoon

In addition to spending time with Auntie M, Uncle T and Cousin D at the beach, our old friends Michelle and Kurt brought their children Tyler and Madison to enjoy the beach together. It was fun to watch Ronan and Nieve to spend time with Tyler and Madison; they all were loving the waves, the sand, and each other.

A picturesque lineup of palm trees at Refugio State Beach

The following day it was time to say thank you and goodbye to Auntie M, Uncle T and Little D. We drove north along Highway 101 and decided to make a stop and stretch our legs at the windy but picturesque Refugio State Beach. A line of palm trees, white sand, and a sparkling azure Pacific welcomed us.

This is how Nieve rolls, her game face on when prepping for beach play

Nieve looking for sand crabs

Rather than having a quick rest stop we decided to get suited up and spend a few hours on the sand. The kids were seasoned pros at this point, quickly jumping in their wetsuits and making sure any exposed skin was lathered with enough sunscreen to last the entire summer (thanks to Mom).

Ronan combining the seemingly mutually exclusive "Hang Loose" and "Rock on" with some level of effectiveness

The crew and their sand castle masterpiece

Ronan and Nieve played in the water until their hands and feet turned blue. When the pain of the cold set in the two decided it would be best to build a large sand castle than to simply dry off and head home. Mom joined them for construction and soon there was an impressive fortress with four towers and impenetrable walls.

Construction kept Mom, Ronan and Nieve busy

Eventually we had to pry Ronan and Nieve from our perfect rest stop and finish the drive home. Having a (almost) halfway point makes long trips manageable; next time we head to the south to visit family and friends we'll be sure to stop at Refugio and spend a few hours enjoying it's charms