Then the Ocean...

Well, that took forever didn't it?!
Sorry to leave you all hanging, I have been a pretty busy at work and was bitten by the book making bug. Not only did I customize those journals but I also finished up making a blog book for each of the past two years of this little blog- there has been so much to document and remember. I am so excited to have those in my hands! To see my posts and photos in a book is going to feel really great.

Oh and if you are holding your breath to hear the winner of the journal giveaway I will be using the random number generator and posting the lucky names on Friday evening some time. Thanks again for such kind words about the journals and I do hope that if your name isn't drawn you will consider picking up one or two for holiday gifts (or a treat for yourself!)
At any rate, I wanted to take you on our little trip to the ocean. After playing in the redwoods we wound our way down the Santa Cruz mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The sky was clear and blue and after setting up the tent and gathering a few snacks we headed down the trail to the beach.

moon rise
New Brighton State Park/Beach is a great spot. You can hear the waves from your campsite and easily walk down to the sand in about 5 minutes or so. There are lots of dog walkers and joggers as well as beach combers and people just hanging out, like us. We set MrO down, bare footed and let him at it. Sand is a little tricky for walking but he managed to make his way, step-step-plop-step-step-step-plop.
my boys on the beach
We opened a beer (for us, not the kid)and got out the snacks.
Um, note to self-- snacks + baby + sand = a messy baby boy.

After the sand had been brushed away we let MrO loose on the beach. I love to stand back and watch where and what he will explore. Giving him the space to discover is really important to me.
beach play
There was playing and a first (unsure) step into the ocean.
First Touch of the Ocean

On Halloween day we made our way into Santa Cruz proper.
spidey songs
Checking out the Boardwalk and going into our favorite t-shirt shop to get the obligatory tourist-y sweatshirt.
sparkle seal
(I always tease Daddy-O that he does his best clothes shopping in the biggest tourist traps). Half of the boardwalk was closed due to construction and with MrO in the carrier we really couldn't get on any rides (he is still to short to go on any as well). But we checked out the carousel and finally wandered to the arcade.
round and round
I had heard a rumor that they took out all the photochemical photo booths and I was sad to find that this was true...
kissing booth
It had been a tradition to sit in the booth at the Boardwalk since Daddy-O was a wee thing with his parents. But we hopped in the digital booth and had fun just the same. We wandered out on the pier for lunch and seal watching. Clam chowder, calamari and a paper cup of beer, mmm beer.
Andys Bait 'n' Tackle

yellow boats

After lunch we hopped back in the car. We heard that down town does it up for the holiday and that there would be a "parade" of costumes. Our little land shark fell asleep before we made it there though and so we just took a nice drive up HWY 1.
There is nothing quite like seeing acres of agriculture fields with the ocean in as the backdrop.

tractor siloute and pumpkins

On Sunday we packed up camp, MrO played for a good long time in the back of the car and then I put him in the ergo carrier where he fell asleep as I helped Daddy-O pack the up tent and the car. He was out until we made it to Freemont where we stopped for lunch at a good friend's house. They hadn't gotten to meet the Kid-O yet and we hadn't seen their two littles in a long time so it was a very short but sweet visit.

Back in the car to watch the moon rise and the land become steep as we made our way from the coast to the mountains and then the high desert once more. It was such a lovely little trip. We needed to get out of town and we picked a perfect weekend for it. Thanks for coming along for the ride!


  1. Oh Vanessa, those photos are really amazing.

    I love the tractor one and the ones of your husband and boy on the beach with the sun glare.

    I'm glad that you had such a wonderful trip.

  2. Wow, so pretty. Sounds like an incredible time, and wow that carousal picture is fabulous.

  3. Oh! Awesome shots! Especially love Mr O jumping over little one, spiderman and Andy's Bait sign. Luxe loves the carousel... naturally!

    Happy Weekend!

  4. i loved reading and seeing about your trip to the ocean! bummer about the photo booths - digital just isn't the same. but the shots were still cute!


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