July got away from me - in a really big way. But on the whole, it's been lovely and relaxed with lots of adventures. I love summer exploring with my children!
Here goes Part 1 of July...
#1 - San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are doing horrible this year. Which is fantastic news for us because ticket prices have plummeted. Yay! Greg's work had a smashing deal with all you can eat drinks, hot dogs, popcorn, and peanuts. We jumped on it!
#2 - SD Staycation
My parents graciously agreed to let us have a mini-get-away at their house for 3 days. It was exactly what I needed. I didn't want schedules, friends, errands, etc. I just wanted some uninterrupted time with our family. In the words of my clever sister-in-law, Lynnette, I made everyone sit on the couch and stare at each other. Haha!
I didn't take a lot of photos. But the photo below with Bubbs speaks for itself.
#3 - Stu's Visit
This time it was James' bff from Idaho. (Word to the wise - Idaho is full of bffs)
Stu came out for 4 days and we packed them full. Point Loma, Hodads, Ocean Beach, La Jolla, Midway, Old Town and lots of video games. We had the BEST beach day with him! This was in the middle of the minor heat wave that hit Southern Cal and the kids I spent almost 2 hours surf diving in the ocean. Wildly fun!
Our ultimate motive in this whole Stu scheme was to make his family crazy with envy so that next summer, the entire Eliason clan will make their way to San Diego. Stay tuned...
#4 - Back to Miramar Reservoir
We went back and it was just as fabulous the second time around. We finally took James. Followed by free slurpies at 7-11.
#5 - Summer Swim Team
I didn't think I would like something so scheduled during the summer months, but I am LOVING SUMMER SWIM TEAM!!!
The kids practice in the evenings - usually around 5:00. And when they get home, they're exhausted, so we crash together with movies on my bed or walks or reading or a late night dessert. This has been the essence of summer for me.
Andrew and Pretty Girl had their first swim meet in early July while James was off at Lake Powell. I have to admit to a bit of obsession over my daughter in a swim cap and goggles. She looks gorgeous! A complete 180 from how her mother looked (and still looks!) in the same get up. Too cha-cha for words and I'm eating it all up!
Roo on the other hand - it's like looking at a mini Greg at that age. This kid has so much swimming blood in him, he has no idea. We've finally talked him into trying jammers instead of trunks. But in the fall, he'll go back to volleyball and cross country.
BTW - Pretty Girl came in 1st in backstroke. This girl is an astounding speed demon on her back! Who knew?! Now if we can just stop her hitting the lane lines when she goes off course...
#6 - Sand Castle Festival
Imperial Beach held their annual sand castle festival this month. And because I'm a woman who has severe anxiety about parking, we went early. On Friday instead of Saturday. I didn't think this would be an issue since the festival started at noon (we got there at 5). But while all the booths and festivities were ablaze, there were only TWO castles completed. TWO!!
Kind of lousy.
But on the flip side, we got the best empanadas! They were so good I made them for dinner the following week.
#7 - Crystal Cove
A girlfriend of mine from way back in Connecticut now lives in Los Angeles. I follow her on Instagram almost religiously. I love her adventures. Crystal Cove was one of them, and I messaged her afterwards for the details. But that was back in January. I've been waiting months to do this hike.
There are 4 hiking paths - easy, moderate, difficult and strenuous. We chose difficult (or "the one less traveled by" - because I kept thinking of Frost most of the hike). Either way, it was perfect. It took us up on the ridge and back towards the ocean. I couldn't stop taking photos of the view during the home stretch.
And to conclude the hike at the beach!! I'm not going to lie - Pretty Girl and I had blisters. The cold ocean water had never felt so good. I could have stayed in that surf for hours. It was heaven!
And thank you annual California State Parks Pass. Our visits have now paid for you 2x over.
We ate at Laguna Beach - another little side bonus to our excursion. Driving to Crystal Cove takes you through Laguna Beach and Dana Point - darling coastal towns. Andrew got fed up with so many art galleries. I was enchanted.
#8 - A Random Date Night
Can you believe we're coming up on 20 years of marriage this month? 20 years of being married to this amazing, handsome, heart-stoppingly breathtaking, clever, funny, brilliant specimen of a man! I love being married to him.
We're not celebrating officially yet. This was just a sweet date night in Ocean Beach. A lovely way to soak in a summer evening in July.
#9 - Everything Else
It was all done for the free chicken dinner.
Goodbye James! Be safe in Lake Powell. Give the Astins love from us and we'll see you in a week!