Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sand and Surf

By Wednesday, M was feeling good enough to venture down to the beach (!), but it was overcast and windy. We went to Zelda's for lunch, because I was determined to fit in my Bloodies by the Bay, but it would have been nicer had it not been so chilly. Still, she colored and I listened to the ocean, and it was pretty good. We'd left behind such hot, baking, awful weather that I didn't want the weather gods to think I wasn't grateful to be at the beach.

They must have looked down on my poor little sick kid and felt sorry for her, because not long after we went down onto the sand and set up the beach umbrella, the clouds parted and the sun came out. This doesn't always happen; I used to spend lots of time at the beach when I lived in the Santa Clara Valley, and it could have easily been cold and grey all week. Happily, it was not.

We were able to make a smallish sand castle and decorate it with the flags that M made. She is so fair that I have to be careful about how much sun exposure she gets, regardless of how much sunblock she wears. Wednesday, she was too tired to do more than putter in the sand, but she was happy doing it. Yay!

Thursday, we had a nice day on the beach again, and had the most delicious chi-chi chicken quesadillas at the Paradise Beach Grille (with an 'e'). They were made with sauted red bell peppers, grated carrot, carmelized onion, fresh avocado, and sour cream, and were well worth the Touristy Inflated Prices that everything costs. Plus, they were only a little scandalized by my bringing my daughter in to their "posh" restaurant. I always feel a little smug when I get those looks. Yeah, I worked in the business, too, and I know that children are usually nightmares. I also know that they take a look at a kid and a single woman and think they won't get a decent tip. We are just embassadors of the Unexpected! My daughter is quiet and well behaved in restaurants and I generally tip 20%.

Anyway, on Friday, our last day down at the beach, we checked out of the hotel and headed down to Monterey for the Aquarium. M loves the Aquarium, and was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, it was the Friday before a big holiday and everyone else had the same idea. I knew I was fucked as soon as we got close to the Aquarium and I saw the parking situation. I hate crowds. It was too crazy busy, and I'd have loved to have not been there. M was cranky and not her usual self, and I was not thrilled about the amount of people. Still, the Aquarium is an awesome place and we enjoyed looking at all the fishies. The jellyfish exhibit is captivating. I didn't take too many pictures, though, because of the crush of people.

At 3, we headed back to hell - I mean Auburn - and were home by 6:30. (The stretch of freeway that runs through Fairfield is enough to make you want to commit suicide by car, but we finally got through it.) Considering that my daughter was feeling so crummy for most of the trip, we had a good time. A change of scenery, cooler weather, and no need to watch the clock are always worth a little inconvenience.

Next week: Yosemite!


  1. I'm glad that y'all had a sorta good time, at least.

  2. I can tell that M. looks a little under the weather. Glad some sun came out for you.

  3. She's still not back to normal. It was good to get away for a while, though.

  4. Looks like a nice trip despite the sick kiddo!

    What must it be like to have a quiet, well-behaved child in a restaurant? I'm the mother who spends her whole meal begging, pleading, and threatening to keep her kid semi-under control. Then I get to crawl around and pick up all the dropped food. Then I also leave a huge tip. Yet they still hate me. *sigh*

  5. Bev: The cosmos tossed me a bone, that's for sure! ;)

  6. M looks like the sweetest thing! I can't imagine ever misbehaving:) (Said the mom of the oh so cute 6 yo boy who can be a complete nightmare at home and an perfect angel everywhere else LOL)

    I had no idea the people at restaurants look at single mom's and think no tip! Of course, I never really thought about it cause I always tip. And, like Bev, I always try and make sure our table is not a complete mess when we leave.

  7. Are you kidding me? There's MORE I've missed? Ugh! I don't even want to continue on.

    Ok, those quesadillas sound super yummy! And I totally get you on the "looks" you get. And, having also been in the business, not only do I tip well, my son has excellent "restaurant manners."

  8. Samsmama: of course he does! All it takes is multiple nights of crawling under the corner booth chasing french fries to develop an acute sense of needing to teach your own kid not to do likewise. ;)