Saturday, April 26, 2014

5:25 PM
I packed in the rain.

I loaded the car in the rain.

I drove down Highway 1 in the swirling, gusty rain, staring out at an angry looking ocean.

Question to Self: Why oh why did you not check the weather before you booked a last minute camping trip for us? 

Self: Maybe because we are in the midst of a record-breaking drought and it never occurred to me that we would be getting slanting rain in April. Maybe because I was desperate for another mini-getaway after the success of our bike trip two weeks ago.

Question to Self: Should you just just be reasonable and call the whole thing off?

Self: I think we should push through - there could be a break in the weather and we'll just make the best of it. Look, we are almost there and I think it is lightening up.

Self: Let it go, Let it go....[joins kids in singing Frozen songs at top of lungs]

And so on.

Pamping in the Rain
The kids were pleased as punch to be scampering around in the drizzle as I unloaded our stuff into our canvas tent. We had come to Costanoa - a place where you can "camp" in a comfy bed with an electric blanket, eat delicious food in the on-site restaurant, and hike, bike or beachcomb to your hearts content. It is less than an hour's drive from our house, but might as well be a lifetime away for the sense of escape being there provides, rain or no rain.

And as it so happened, my gamble paid off. No sooner had I finished unloading the car than the rain stopped, the sun came out and we found ourselves scootering around the looping roadways to the organic veggie farm, to see the horses, and down to the grassy lawn and play area to find other little urchins to run around with.
Adventure Hiking
My husband arrived at 6PM (somewhat incredulous that we hadn't aborted due to earlier weather conditions). We had an awesome dinner (wine, salmon, Ghiradelli chocolate brownies), a beautiful sunset walk, warm showers, and then the four of us snuggled into bed by 9 PM for a cosy night together while the rain poured down outside.

The sky was blue again this morning. After a hearty breakfast (again at the restaurant; this was intended to be a completely hassle-free trip), we set off on a bike ride through the adjacent Butano State Park. One of the little known gems of the California Coast, this park boasts huge and ancient redwoods, a lush understory, and gurgling creeks. The mountain biking is relegated to duff-covered fire roads, but with kiddos in tow that was perfect (and plenty steep). After about forty-five minutes of climbing, and wildflower and banana slug counting (25 at the turnaround), we headed down out of the park to bike along a sunny backroad, blazing yellow and white with sun and wildflowers.

Riding Among Giants
Fields Awash in Color
Less than 24 hours later, we were back at home, half the weekend still ahead of us, all the benefits of time spent in nature instilled, and amazingly, still dry.

Soul Train
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