A little something new for us today...we started our day off driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in California! How's that for different!? We drove into Long Beach at about 9 p.m. last night. It's a little harder to get your bearings in a place you've never been before, in the dark, when we're both tired...but after making sure that we were in a safe enough neighborhood, we stopped for the night. Now getting ready for bed in Long Beach was a horse of a different color...stealth parking in a city, a beach city, is a whole other animal in and of itself! First, you have to be discreet, this means: no regular talking only whispering, no tele, no lights, be as still and quiet as possible, making sure Savannah also abides by the rules...not the easiest task when we have to put the bed down along with the boards and everything else that has to be shuffled around...plus, it's Savannah's favorite part of the day! Oy vey! Second, finding a spot takes time. You have to make sure where you park, you're allowed to be there the hours that you need to be parked there. For instance, you can be on the East side of this street except between the hours of 5 a.m.-9 a.m. on Wednesdays for street sweeping and on the West side of the street you cannot park from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. Every single road has about 3 different parking signs with different days and hours for different things: school zone, street sweeping, bus stop, loading zones, etc. All we did was try to find a decently level place near an apartment building...not someone's house, too intimate for us...or some other kind of building or wall or landscaping that we could just blend in with our surroundings and so far so good!
We parked, did our duties in the dark, went to bed, laying there about 9:30 fiddling with all of the thoughts in our minds and this morning we were up and Joon was moving by 7:00 a.m., right along with the morning traffic. It's the perfect 'crime' haha!
We needed to truly get a grip on where we were and where we were going to spend the next leg of our journey, so today would be Beach Boppin' Day! We started our journey in Long Beach driving through and marking spots along the way, right 'next to' Long Beach is Huntington Beach, where they have a great dog beach!
[caption id="attachment_4226" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Driving Long Beach[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4227" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Huntington Beach Pier[/caption]
Driving South on the Pacific Coast Highway, we were looking for beach parking, street parking, FREE parking, all of the above and more! After driving a little past the dog beach we pulled into one of the many State Beach lots to get some info on this whole State Beach/State Park thing. The gal gave us a lot of good information along with a map of all of the parks/beaches and when we asked if there was any free beach parking, she even threw in some places around Newport Beach (that she said we would have to scout out)...thank you kind lady! To park at one of these State facilities it is $10.00 for the day and the day only, you have to be out of the lot by 10 p.m...not bad if you're a millionaire...or if you have a pass...gonna have to look into one of those!
We drove into Newport Beach and parked at a meter! haha We really just wanted to get out and walk on the sand before our day got too far ahead of us and it was still early enough that Savannah could come walk on the beach with us. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m...we were just in time!
[caption id="attachment_4232" align="aligncenter" width="350"] At the beach![/caption]
We parked and paid our $1.50 for an hour and started walking down to the sand. We walked the beach for a little bit, getting the sand in our toes and salty air up our nose, then hit the boardwalk. The beaches sure are beautiful here. We walked the boardwalk with other walkers, bikers, roller-bladers, dog walkers, strollers, etc. There are many vacation properties that are not full right now, so the beach is totally empty.
The breeze still has a chill to it, but it makes the sunshine feel that much better touching your skin. As we walked we approached an Elementary school...on the beach! Now, how rad is that!? Some of the kids were in P.E. class playing kickball...how fun! There were also basketball courts and a playground right on the sand...I couldn't get over this! The kids bicycles were outside, locked up side by side...even their cute little backpacks were hung on cute little hooks outside! These kids are pretty lucky and probably don't even know it.
[caption id="attachment_4231" align="aligncenter" width="350"] The school[/caption]
While walking we did see quite a lot of parking spots that we could use for day and/or night parking, so that was comforting to see. Savannah did pretty darn good on the walk, especially with all of the commotion of bicycles and runners passing us from front & back. I was a proud mama! After our stroll down the boardwalk, we wanted to see what else this whole *Cali-fornia Coast* had to 'offer' us, so....we drove. Driving was a good thing. We saw vastly different scenic views of cliffs, beaches, shopping, landscaping, people...all very interesting and beautiful...yes, even the people! We drove up the coast passing beach after beach: Newport Beach, Balboa Island, Corona del Mar, Crystal Cove, Emerald Bay all the way down to gorgeous and luxurious Laguna Beach.
Once we drove in and around Laguna Beach, we decided to call it a day on the driving, we could just drive all day...but our wallet can't! On our way back to Huntington Beach, J' pulled off on a side road...just because...which put us into the most beautiful neighborhood. We drove up to the top of the hill of the road we were on, putting us in front of a neat little place called, Inspiration Point and with the view that we had, I could definitely see why it's named that!
[gallery columns="4" ids="4235,4238,4237,4236"]
There were ladies hula-hooping, people laying in the grass, walking their dogs, meditating, hanging out, gazing at the beauty surrounding us...what a priceless little find! As much as we wanted to stay for hours, we still needed to get back to Huntington or Long Beach to find a place to lay our little snoozers tonight.
Wish us happy (and peaceful) hunting, we'll probably need it, at least for the next few days while we're still sorting everything out!