Beach Bums 2009

God makes me smile every day.

Yesterday, for example, this is what I saw out my minivan window.

Snow. Lots of snow. A world shrouded in white and gray.

(It wasn't quite so bleak this morning. Behold six inches of pure white under a sparkling sun.)

But neither of those shots can match up with last Thursday.

That was the day we spent at the beach.

We started the morning at our favorite breakfast restaurant in the country, and that's saying something, because we love to discover new morning eateries.

What makes Hash House A Go Go so fabulous? Their flapjacks.

I didn't edit that shot or have Corey shoot it from a funny angle. Their flapjacks are enormous. But we don't love Hash House for the size of their portions. It's the taste and flavor combinations. Pictured above is the blackberry granola flapjack. I got that on our second trip to Hash House last week; we find it necessary on our first stop to order the banana brown sugar flapjacks with the bacon-avocado-onion-swiss egg scramble. Every time. (We don't eat for the rest of the day.)

Other flapjack flavors include strawberry frosted flake, mango coconut, snickers and butterscotch almond. Come to mama.

After a breakfast like that, we naturally decided to go hang out with the other beached whales. So we made a course for Coronado, where the beautiful turn-of-the-century Hotel Del is located. (It's the Disney-esque building with the red roof.)

We hung out on the beach for about 20 minutes, inhaling big lungfuls of salt-encrusted air (which hurt a little, because our stomachs were taking up all the room our lungs wanted to fill), when we thought: It's too nice to just stroll along the shore today. We need to get the kids swimsuits, grab some beach toys and make a day of it.

So we did.

Since our hotel was further north, we ended up spending the afternoon at 15th Street Beach in Del Mar. (This is a shot of the grassy knoll above the sand. That's what makes it such an awesome beach -- sand AND turf.)

This beach is dripping in nostalgia for Corey and me; we used to come here every Sunday afternoon when we first moved to San Diego and watch the surf, take a nap on the grass and generally bask in the greatness of the beach culture of Southern California. How amazing is it that we're now bringing our kids here?

It wasn't exactly a warm day. (Although, along the coast in California, it rarely is. Thanks to that offshore flow, the temperature varies from sixties in the winter to seventies in the summer.) But the kids didn't care. They put on their swimsuits and got busy.

Natalie looked for shells.

Connor kept busy bowling the beach rocks.

Teyla ate a fair amount of California sand. (Free souvenir!)

Then, for dinner that night, we met my brother and sister-in-law for a cookout on yet another beach. (This time, it was Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, in case you're interested or keeping track.)

Connor and Natalie are the oldest kids in our extended family, so they take great delight in keeping their younger nephews (and -- coming soon -- nieces) entertained. I'm not sure who's having more fun here -- Connor, one-year-old Jordan or Teyla.

While we waited for the burgers and hot dogs to cook, I may or may not have eaten two cups worth of fabulous guacamole made by Julie. Teyla helped herself to an apple.

We finished the night by roasting marshmallows for s'mores and gaping at an incredible sunset.


Like I said, God makes me smile every day.

His gifts leave me breathless.


  1. Love all the pictures. Another great day in San Diego!

  2. We're engulfed by gray skies and scattered showers - no beautiful sunsets here! But i get happy just looking at yours - thanks for sharing such great photos!

  3. The Hash House looks FABULOUS! Next time I'm in San Diego I'll have to try that rather than RW's.

  4. great pictures of San diego! I've never been but would love to if only to go to the fabulous breakfast place!

  5. I can't believe the size of that pancake! Your vacation sounds like it was so relaxing. It's nice that you've lived somewhere that is such a great vacation destination so that you know your way around and know everywhere where to go while your there. Also, as Minnesotans the 60 and 70 degree temps had to feel balmy!

  6. Ok that pancake is ENORMOUS! My days are a bit more California-ish, but I love the look of that snow :)
    I love that your kids went swimming in the cold water. When I was an Oregonian, I would swim in Calif water in Feb. But after 6 years in the desert, I thought it was freezing even in summer. It's all perspective.

  7. He makes me smile too. It's March 1 and we are suppose to get snow NC!

  8. Sigh. Thanks so much for sharing such beautiful pictures. If I close my eyes, I can almost hear the waves...and the sea gulls...

  9. I am so happy ya'll are having a wonderful time!

  10. Great pictures! I do not think I have seen a pancake that big before at a restaurant. Wow!

  11. Hey, I'm so glad you enjoyed SD and blood oranges! ;) It's a beautiful place that I feel lucky to call home.