summer #adventureswithcj (part tres)

Last we left things, we’d hit the water. I just can’t talk about it without getting all nostalgic … which I think takes at least three months so I’m actually right on time. #amiright?

I remember driving up California’s southern coast and although amazing, Oregon trumped. Sorry, California. It’s not you, it’s me. The water was stunning with tiny white caps cresting so gently all along highway 101. The sky was full of milky clouds and all around us on the curvy stretch were beautiful trees and falling, er, giant rocks. It might have helped that by the time we got out there, we were nearing sunset so not only were we likely easily mesmerized but all the colors were that perfect mixture of awesome.

That first light house we saw stopped my heart for at least 10 seconds. And following that were other amazing little turnouts that revealed small-ish monoliths as well as opportunities for us to stretch our feet for 35-40 seconds (just long enough for a few photos).

I sweet-talked CJ into a stop at a place I’d been dreaming about as a result of Instagram for several months. They call it Thor’s Well. We parked across the street and trekked farther than I think Connor may have preferred because … college campus tour; but when we’d made it, holy man, #winning.

Apparently, a lot of people know of this place and come prepared with water shoes and tripods. Ever the planner, I ensured we were in flip flops to deal with any wet feet and my camera said, ‘Stac, where we’re goin’, we don’t need no stinkin’ tripod.’ So we snuck into the mix of folks and took our seats for the show. I’m not kidding. It’s a show and if you time it just right, you can get some amazing shots to keep forever and ever.

I thanked Connor up and down for allowing me that visit. It felt like one of those moments I would never forget. He was climbing all around the rocks with me snapping photos with his iPad and it warmed this mama’s heart to share that with him. Oh, and ‘be careful, Connor’ was said no less than ten times. Promise.

We only had a short bit (this is my new lingo for 40 minutes or so) to get us to our next airbnb stop. And this one? Was amazeballs. It took me a while to land on night 2’s stay because I wasn’t sure exactly how far we’d get but as I tried my darndest to measure out the day, I figured Newport was a safe bet. I found a place just a block away from the ocean; a fairly contemporary space where we would have our own room but a shared bathroom. There was mention of a loft bed, too. I wasn’t super excited about sharing a bathroom. Do I have to tell you why? Didn’t think so. But, I read more and reached out to the owner and would you guess that she is a wait for it … marine biologist?! Score. Night 2 booked.

When we got there, Britt wasn’t home so we read our warm welcome letter and toured the place. It was absolutely beautiful and Connor fell in love with the loft bed. We both climbed in and looked out into the dark which became even more dark as clearly the water was just across the street. Aren’t we lucky?!

When Britt arrived home, I quickly climbed down so I appeared as an adult and we chatted for a good, long while about her schooling and foray into working for the state as a marine biologist. She gave us a recommendation to go to the local aquarium and answered Connor’s questions about sharks.

We were totally zonked and grabbed a quick bite (read: grocery store dinner) and got under our covers in our shared bed before another busy day.

We woke early and headed out for a walk to the lighthouse in Newport. We had heard we might see some whales there so we were keeping our eyes on the water at.all.times. Because. WHALES! Guess what we didn’t see? Whales. Guess what we did see?! Well … I’ll tell you. There were a couple of dolphin in a little cove we stumbled upon and on the fourth second mile of our trek, we walked around the lighthouse and were heading back towards our home away from home when I saw something splash in the water. I whisked Connor back towards some stairs and down to a very rocky beach. We tiptoed towards the splashing only to be surprised by a school (?) of baby seals! They were literally the sweetest little creatures I’d ever seen and I wanted to take all of them home. We watched them play for twenty minutes or so until my face started hurting from smiling and I decided it was time to get back. It was a much warmer morning and we had to get back and ready to go explore more of what the Pacific coast had to offer.

But first, some photos of our lighthouse visit and Britt’s fun pad!

Come back soon. The end of the year is here and I’m going to finish talking about September. I promise!


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