Saturday, July 3, 2010

Summer Vacation: 4th of July Weekend-Day 1

What do I want to take home from my summer vacation?
T I M E.
The wonderful luxury of being at rest.
The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander.
The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are.
Summer is my period of grace.
~ Ellen Goodman

With my office closed for the holiday weekend, no camp for the boys and no hockey clinic...the 4th of July summer vacation weekend started off on a good note yesterday; though it did take me a little while to "chill"! The night before, we decided that we were going to go to a beach for the first day of our holiday, I basically got up and got going; I was on the "get around" mode so that we can be on the road early. Well, I was the only one with that mentality as DH & the boys were on their typical summer schedule which has become their morning routine:

8:30am - eat a leisurely breakfast, get dressed, make beds
9:30am - go out into the garage and practice their hockey shots & drills
10:30am - take the dog for a walk up the hill, to enjoy some apricots right off a neighbor's tree while enjoying the view of our city
11:30am - "ready to go" for the day

Since I have typically been leaving the house around 8:30am to go to the office, I have not been around to observe the "morning routine" and, nor, did I realize that the "guys" were going to do the FULL "morning routine". So, all prepared to go with the basket of towels, sunscreen & books pulled together and a grocery bag packed with a change of clothing and the bathing suits...I was ready to go. Mumbling under my breath all morning at the thought of getting to the beach after noon...I stomped around the house muttering "how stupid it was to leave the house so late in the day to go to a beach in the middle of the afternoon, only to have an hour or so to veg before having to drive all the way home."  Nevertheless, I did take time out from all the stomping and mumbling to enjoy the walk up the hill with the guys & dog...and did enjoy the ripen apricot off the neighbor's tree - now I am officially part of the Apricot Club and, during the walk, felt the layers of resentment peel off allowing relaxation and the enjoyment of being with the family start to sink in.

Around 11:00am (the boys cut some of their routine short), the dog was back in his "house", the car was packed and we all hit the road and headed northwest to Stinson Beach (this beach is located near the famous Muir Woods on the famous Highway 1). After about an hour and a half...and 15 minutes of severe twisty-turvy, narrow roads that Hwy 1 is famous for...we stopped to take our first look of the Pacific Ocean and our destination below (and to give Matthew's & my stomach a little rest from the windy, twisty, turvy of the roads)

You might be able to see the windy road on the first photo...we still had some twisting to endure.
We finally got to Stinson Beach and stopped at the Parkside Cafe for a bite of lunch. Matthew's stomach settled enough to enjoy some penne pasta "plain" with the marina sauce on the side; I enjoyed an organic green salad with mangos, goat cheese and roasted almonds; Robert had the fish-n-chips and DH enjoyed a fancy juevos rancheros. While enjoying our lunch, we decided to stay at Stinson Beach...for the true plan was to head a little further up the coast to the hidden town of Bolinas and plop on the beach there (the city of Bolinas is very interesting - it is like an old hippie town; and the locals don't really like visitors, so they have a habit of taking down the sign on Hwy 1 that points you to the city). Stinson Beach looked very inviting and not as crowded as you might expect for the beginning of a holiday weekend (I guess it was only Friday afternoon).
With the boys adorned in their bathing suits; the towels, sunscreen and books in our arms, we headed to the beach.
To the "left" was the People ONLY the "right" was the Dog Friendly side. Even though we were sans dog, we decided to find a spot on the Dog side and veg out. As soon as the spot was picked, the sunscreen was applied and the towels laid out - the boys ran for the water allowing DH & I to veg-out with our books.
It was truly a wonderful afternoon! I enjoyed reading some of my book, "Amazing Grace" by Sherryl Wood, relaxing in the sun and watching all the people and their dogs. DH & I also enjoyed a long walk together while the boys dug a deep hole in the sand (I am sorry to say that I do not having any beach photos, for I locked the camera in the car so that we didn't have to worry about leaving it on the beach). We were so relaxed and had so much fun, that we were surprised to look at a clock and find out that it was 5pm. After 4.5 hours on the beach, it seemed like a perfect time to depart and head back.
DH had me drive home, as I drive like a "grandma" on the windy-twisty-curves; which made the drive back a little more comfortable for all those who have weak stomachs :) And Matthew even said that he enjoyed the ride back better than the drive there :)
Since both boys fell asleep on the ride home, we decided just to do dinner there instead of finding another restaurant to eat at. This was a perfect idea, as it allowed everyone to get home and showered before eating.
Before bed, we walked up the hill again...with the dog...and perched above our little city. From this vantage point we watched the last of the twighlight darken into a starry sky while enjoying the 4th of July firework display the Alameda County Fair does for Independence day. It was a perfect way to end the first day of our 4th of July holiday.

BTW...I came home with these:

Sand-Quarter, Sand-Dime and Sand-Pennies...guess the bad economy has hit the beaches hard too :)

Enjoy your weekend and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa


Kathy A. said...

What a great vacation post. Glad that you had such a wonderful day.
I laughed when I read the "guy" schedule.
My DH is retired and his routine every day is like that. Drives me crazy!!! I'm ready to go at 8 and he's ready to go at 11:30 or after lunch!!! I so know where you are coming from.

Susan said...

Great pictures - you live in such a gorgeous part of the country, Lisa. I'm totally envious!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful 4th of July.