December 29, 2010

San Elijo is the Choice

Boy meets Dog

In the last post, I made a comment about a sad dog story. For those keeping score, here is the story so far: Andy brought home a stray for a few days, we found the owner and then Andy asked for a dog for Christmas.

Tired Puppy
We went looking at the local shelters and were chosen by Shasta, a seven-month old shepherd-rottie mix. She is fixed, with all of her shots, and has an awesome temperament. She was actually born at the shelter in May, adopted out in September but returned to the shelter by the previous owner for whatever reason.

Since she isn't potty trained yet we took her with us on our annual between-the-holidays beach trip. We had a full hook-up at San Elijo State Beach, which is our favorite beach. It is kind of funny that Elijo is Spanish for "Choice." Here is why San Elijo is our choice:

San Elijo State Beach

That building on the left is the best damn taco joint on the planet (Bull Taco: shark tacos for lunch). That short little RV, five spaces from the showers is our campsite. The beach is awesome for surfing and beach-combing. On this trip, Andy rescued a slightly damaged surfboard from the dumpster! The Cedros District in Solana Beach is a great place to spend the afternoon. Plus, there is a nice upscale market a short walk away. The only downside to this place is the drainage in the rain. The whole campground is on a gentle slope from the bluffs on the north end, to the sand on the south end. During a storm, the camp road becomes a culvert and those spots on the south are a mud bog. During the winter, I would definitely aim for the bluffs.

December 21, 2010

Waxing Poetic

Maybe it is the rain. Maybe it is the sad dog story we just went through. Either way, I stumbled upon a hundred-year-old book, recently translated into English. Nature Stories will be tucked away in a cubby of La Rana for campfire reading. Jules Renard describes a donkey as "a rabbit who's grown up" and a butterfly as a "love-letter, folded in two, looking for a flowery address." Sappy, I know, but in the right setting, it beats reading the AAA maps in the glove box.

December 11, 2010

'Tis the Season

We're in the middle of December and it was nearly 80 degrees today. Even so, I spent the morning up at Snow Valley helping out with plans for their "Ski with a Naturalist" programs. While that kind of sounds like naked skiing, it is actually a guided nature walk on skis. I was invited up to help scout out the journey and identify some of the natural history that could be included in the program. Since I don't ski, this was a ski lift to the top and a hike back down the mountain.

Last weekend we hosted the annual Messick Family Reunion at our house. It was a great success, with more uncharacteristic weather for December. Even so, the backyard fire ring was a favorite destination during the party.

With just two weeks until Christmas, I'm running out of time to vacuum out the Yosemite dirt from La Rana before we start packing up for the bluffs at San Elijo. This is my favorite beach destination: full hookup, gourmet food cooked by somebody else, and the cool little town of Solano Beach nearby.