January Beach Weekend

So what did I do on this wintry weekend? I went to the beach with my family, twice!

Beaches are, after all, scenic year round. And most of the many fun things you can do at the beach, such as making sandcastles, looking for seashells, twirling around on your tippy toes and giggling, can be done in any kind of weather. So on Saturday, while Neil had to work on a school project, and Peter worked on the quiz for Atomic Avenue, Kelly and I went to Capitola.

I thought finding a place to park near the beach would be a cinch: after all, who besides beach fanatics like us would go to the beach in January? Well, it was a spectacular day at the beach: sunnier than it usually is in summertime, and no colder than late summer. People were all about, enjoying the view from benches, exploring Capitola’s boutiques, and having refreshments in the beachfront restaurants. Nonetheless, I did snag a coveted beachside parking spot, and when parking time ran out, another one nearby. The beach itself was boarded off, but like many others, we just climbed over the barricades to get to it. I certainly wasn’t the only parent with a beach-mad toddler.

I, however, had the only beach-mad toddler who wanted to frolic in the ocean. Luckily, I’m wise to this now (Kelly + open water = getting soaked) so I’d brought Kelly’s bathing suit, and put on shorts myself. Kelly frolicked and frolicked


until to the chagrin of some moms, their children started running into the ocean, too.

The next day, Peter had set aside some time to spend for the family, and we headed to Pescadero, where the beaches are cold and windy, perfect for kite flying. However, on this day of all days, Pomponio State Beach was still and sunny. The waves are a lot higher and come in unpredictably fast, so Kelly and I quickly got soaked, while Kelly squealed with glee. She and I spent the rest of the afternoon braving the waves. Peter and Neil gave up on kite flying and explored the clay cliffs and rocky outposts instead.

As the fog was beginning to roll in, they decided to check out the southern end of the beach, which required crossing a shallow stream. Kelly and I had no problem wading through, but Peter and Neil were still wearing shoes. Despite my suggestion to take off their shoes, they decided to try fording the stream at its shallowest point, which also happened to be within the zone of incoming waves. And yes, that’s Kelly in the foreground.


Needless to say, Peter and Neil got soaked, too.

When the fog thickened we left and squelched into Cameron’s in Half Moon Bay. It’s a British pub, with a vast beer selection and cholesterol-packed food. Moreoever, it’s the perfect place to go after a day on the San Mateo Coast, but we’ve never actually ever walked into the place with dry feet. It also encourages a good long stay with trivia cards, a corner in which you can browse British food, and local gossip.

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