When I was a kid we lived in Nova Scotia so the beach (the real beach..as in long stretches of rocks and sand with waves from the ocean crashing onto them leaving trails of jellyfish, crabs and sea shells) feels much like home. I was so happy to be there!
We spent a few days in Disneyland this week, and I figured since we had come all this way I'd like to take an afternoon and introduce my kids to the ocean. They were so excited they ran right in without changing.
The plan was to check out of Disney and head to the beach with a pitstop in Hollywood.
The kids hated Hollywood. It was hot, there was a lot of walking, and nothing of interest to them.
There was an awful lot of groaning.
When I was 19 I went to Hollywood with my parents and 3 younger siblings, and my mum took a picture of me with my hand in Jack Nicholson's handprint...I wish I could find the picture to compare it to today :/
This next one was a super fun find:
It's Sir Cedric Hardwicke's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! It's Q's great uncle here's his IMDb.
Once we were done, I googled for a beach that wouldn't take too long to get to. Santa Monica came up and - knowing nothing about it - set our GPS course. All I needed was a patch of sand and a piece of the ocean I could thrust my kids into for an hour or so before we headed back to Phoenix.
We got more than we bargained for. We were thrilled by what we found - a gorgeous beach with an amusement park on the pier - and ended up getting a hotel on the beach for the night.
Charlie has anxiety. It drives me nuts. For instance, we walked past a wall with vines and purple flowers climbing all over it. I put a flower in Elly's hair. Charlie became very nervous that we were going to attract bees and tried to insist we take the flower out. So when she questioned me on sharks in the water I assured her there were none, and they charged on into the waves.
The girls think they're surfing :)
There's a classic family story from our Nova Scotia beach days that I got bit by a shark when I fell on a rock and got a huge scrape down my thigh that looked like a mouthful of sharp shark teeth had dragged across it. We giggled about the story, and all was well until Rachael came running in from the waves, Charlie and Max by her side, yelling about seeing a shark swim past their legs. I was annoyed knowing how Charlie stresses about these things, and wished that Rachael wouldn't be so dramatic.
"Do you think I'm lying??" she asked me.
"No," I answered, "I'm sure there was something, but it wasn't a shark."
A few minutes later while I was out wave jumping with Quinn, I looked down and there was indeed a shark swimming right past my legs.
Other people on the beach assured us they weren't dangerous, and we all lived to tell the tale :)
Also seen: pelicans, cranes, and a lonely seal swimming past us towards the pier.
It was wonderful and a completely unplanned, unexpected addition to our trip. Possibly my favourite part :)