Tag Archive | beach

New Year & New Findings

As we enter 2019, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year.

Behold I will do something new. Now it will spring forth. Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

-Isaiah 42:19

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Beach

On the first of January, we had the day off so our family took a drive up the coast to a new site.

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We grabbed a mocha at a new coffee shop for us: The Verve and headed to Shark Fin Cove.  It is a quaint cove with gorgeous coarse, cream colored sand with a rock formation shaped like a shark fin protruding from the sea.

20190101_115449Afterwards, we jumped in our car and drove two miles north and peaked over the bluffs at beautiful Davenport beach.

We bumped into our friends Bill and Linda who were also enjoying the warm Fall day and caught up on each other’s lives.

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Restaurants

The same two friends gave us a generous gift card for Christmas with one stipulation; we were invited to go on a triple date night at Crow’s Nest. It was a great night of food, fun and fellowship. It was a first in 20 years.

friendsRandy, Annette, Bob, Bill, Linda & Me

We received another Christmas gift card from other friends to a brand new restaurant in Capitola.

We headed over for an early dinner and then attended a Saturday night church service. We enjoyed the endless breadsticks, soup, salad and delicious pasta!

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Exercise

My daughter invited me to join her exercising via a YouTube video. I had never done pilates before and rather enjoyed building core strength.

What did you do for New Year’s?

Blessings, Rebecca

Road Trip

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This past weekend, we took a road trip to drop off Austin and Alicia to summer camp in Santa Barbara. I had never been there so we made an adventure of it.

Our first stop was in San Luis Obispo to grab a coffee in town. We walked around a bit and my daughter really liked the “vibe.” I may have to bring her back down again some time soon to see if she would like to attend Cal Poly.

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Our next stop was at our camp site at Rancho Oso RV park. It was a blistering hot day and we reserved a special tent. {See below}

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We were eager to sight see. So, we headed downtown to the State St. There my daughter found a three story Forever 21 store. As you can imagine, she loved every inch of it. Also, we strolled along the Sterns Wharf.

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Another stop we made was in Solvang; a cute Dutch town for a delicious meal at the Viking Garden Restaurant and danish treat at Olsen’s bakery. Randy and I finally got to visit this adorable spot after many friends’ recommendations.

windmillWe then headed back to our campsite to take a dip in the pool and was pleasantly surprised they had a DJ playing music which made for a lively evening of entertainment.

The next day, after breakfast, we headed to the Santa Barbara Beach, played in the water and rested under a shady cypress tree. Afterwards, we went into town and ate at Mesa Pizza restaurant. From there we headed to Westmont College to drop the kids off at Frontier Ranch camp. The campus is quaint landscaped with beautiful trees and gardens.

Beach

On our return flight,  I was merging from the fast lane on Highway 101 into the slow lane when my husband and I felt the car get sluggish. We pulled off the highway and noticed our front passenger tire had blown. We prayed for safety and quickly changed our tire. In a few short minutes, we were on our way again. While working on the tire, a car full of college students stopped to make sure we were okay. That was very kind of them. We noticed our spare tire only had 29psi and it calls for 42psi. So, we prayed again, drove gingerly to the neighboring town and put air in it. Thank the Lord we arrived safe and sound to both destinations.

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Have you taken an adventurous road trip? Please share with us…

Blessings, Rebecca

Personal Life Goals Check-In

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Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the Earth.  –  Psalm 8:1

Happy Leap Day! A Leap Year is recognized every four years wherein one extra day is added to keep the calendar year sychronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.

I am thankful for an additional day as it gives me more time to reach my goals. I read recently according to Statistic Brain Research Institute 45% of people usually accomplish their personal goals. I then reviewed our 2016 family goals, and was pleased to find we are excelling at one; exploring our “backyard.”

A few weeks ago, we drove our kids to Davenport Beach which is a 30 minute drive north of us on Highway 1. We stopped at a local bakery, grabbed some cookies and strolled along its cliffs. On our walk, we came across UCSC students filming a movie.

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A couple weeks ago, we visited Half Moon Bay which is about 60 minutes north of us off Highway 1. We walked along the world renowned surfer’s paradise, Maverick’s Beach. Afterwards, we ate at a coastal restaurant where our son feasted on a mound of mouth-watering French toast

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A week ago, we took a ride an hour south to the world famous Carmel 17 Mile Drive. I hadn’t been there since the 90’s and my husband since the 70’s. We enjoyed discovering its breathtaking views with our children. We wound our way through its s-curve highway and stopped along the 21 points of interests.

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On our first stop, I jumped out of the car, and felt the warm California sun splash on my face. I inhaled the fresh salty air, and listened to the crashing waves hit the rocky coast. It’s quite a different sound than I am familiar with along the Santa Cruz coast. The rolling sets have a tremendous energy; almost electric. As I panned 180 degrees, I saw deep blue and turquoise water.

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As our tour wound down, we stopped at the infamous Monterey Bay Cypress Tree which is pictured as the Pebble Beach Golf Course logo. Just the day before, thousands of people gathered to watch Vaughn Taylor win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tour.

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At the end of our day, we were blessed to stumble across seals basking in the sun. I turned to my right and gasped. My daughter said, “What’s the matter Mom? Are you ok?”

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“Look, there is a romp of sea otters,” I exclaimed.

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“They are so cute,” my son chimed.

I had never seen more than one or two at a time. So, it was spectacular! What a perfect way to end our day of discovery.

Enough about me! How are you doing with your personal goals and/or New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear about it. Please share with us below.
State of Mind

A New Year

Staircase at Manresa Beach, California

Staircase at Manresa Beach, California

It’s a New Year! May it be a happy one! It’s a time of reflection of 2015 and to plan for 2016.

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions; never have. Is that weird? Altough, this year, I’ve decided to give it a try. I am resolved to explore and play more with my family.

During our holiday break, we took the kids to visit some local attractions for which I’ve shared some photos today. For instance, the staircase at Manresa Beach (above) is only 30 minutes from our home, but I haven’t walked them since I was a little girl. It was fun to visit with my now thirteen-year-old son and eleven-year-old daughter, and share some of my childhood experiences with them.

Just a few miles down the road, the topography changes rocky cliffs to sandy dunes at Sunset Beach (below) where we walked one mile + to gather sand dollars and seashells. Simple pleasures!

Walkway at Sunset Beach, California

Walkway at Sunset Beach, California

The stairs are a visual reminder that life is like a path; sometimes steep, sometimes leading upwards and sometimes down. Although, we don’t always see where it may lead, our walk is filled with adventures along the way.

Through it all, the journey is worth every step when you get a glimpse of God’s gifts in your life such as the approaching sunset (below).

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I love the Bible verse in Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

My hope is that our family’s exploration and yours this year will create lasting memories…

Blessings, Rebecca

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions you’d like to share with us? If so, I’d love to hear them! Feel free to comment below.

Summer Time

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I can’t believe there’s less than 3 weeks until school is out! Yikes, where did the school year go?

With summer quickly approaching, I’ve searched for fun things to do with my kids. I wanted to share some ideas I came across with you.

1. Camping

2. Picnics

3. Beach or lakes

4. Hiking

5. Theme parks

6. Family vacation or “staycation”

7. Movies

8. Bowling

9. Miniature golf

10. Museums

11. Zoos

12. Aquariums

13. Fishing

Parenting.com also published a guide 10 Fun Things to Do with your Kids this Summer. I liked their suggestion of doing yard work or gardening together. I’ve included the link to their article if you’d want to read more.

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If you live in Central California, there are many choices such as:

1. Santa Cruz Beach and Boadwalk – ocean, rides, bowl, arcade, mini golf or laser tag

2. Roaring Camp Railroad

3. Henry Cowell Redwood Park, Big Basin Redwood Park, or Nisene Marks Park

4. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seymour Marine Discovery Center or Monterey Bay National Marine Santuary

5. Farmer’s Markets

6. UCSC Farm, Wilder Ranch, Gizdich Farm, or Swanson’s Berry Farm

7. Skateboard or BMX bike parks

We also have some great nearby attractions:

1. Yosemite National Park

2. Lake Tahoe

3. San Francisco

4. Great America, Raging Waters, or Gilroy Gardens

5. Children’s Discovery Museum, Happy Hollow Park, or San Jose Giants

6. Sky High Jump or K1 Racing

I’m sure I missed more fun places. So, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Blessings, Rebecca

PS I’m excited to introduce my new Kindle ebook releases:

cover-imageJ’aime La Plage

cover-imageJ’aime Manger Les Fruit

cover-imageJ’aime Manger Les Legumes

Also, I’m thrilled to announce I Like The Beach, Me Gusta El Oceano and Me Gustan Los Angles are available in paperback!

A Time For Everything

A TIME FOR EVERYTHING

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. – Ecclesiastes 1:1

One of the things I love about Spring is everything comes alive. The sun peaks out of its winter blanket, the flowers bloom, newborns arrive and the outdoors brim with activities.

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I muse watching my pre-school class frolic with insects. It’s especially fun teaching them about the miracle of metamorphosis where a caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly. When we read Eric Carle’s book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” they burst out with laughter after the hungry caterpillar eats too much and is bulging.

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Spring also hosts Easter which makes me believe God can take dead things and make them alive again.

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I don’t know about you, but for me it’s often hard to look for the rainbow when you’re in a storm.

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As the season progresses, I’ve made a conscious effort to look for God’s hand at work in nature, my life and other’s lives.

I saw His work in nature during my husband and I’s recent visit to Rio Del Mar Beach to study the Bible. As I watched the waves crash, I remembered in His Word, God tells the ocean how far to go.  Amazing!

As we soaked up the sun, God blessed us with a pack of humpback whales that spy hopped and cleared their spouts as they passed by.

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Then, there is His work in my life. Lately, I believe the Lord is teaching me to be thankful in all situations. My son, Austin, read II Timothy to me a few days ago where Paul reminds us that if we have food and clothes, we ought to be content. Ouch! True confession – I have a restless heart that longs for more, and often must remind myself to be happy with what I have.

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Finally, there is His work in the lives of others as evidenced in the life of Bethany Hamilton whose story was portrayed in the movie, Soul Surfer. She was viciously attacked by a shark and lost her left arm as a result.

Fast forward ten years, she’s married, has a baby boy, continues to surf, and is filming a new movie. It’s awesome to see how God is working in her life!

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Today, as I think about the various seasons, I’m reminded that God has taken my highs and lows, and weaved them into a colorful tapestry called life. I pray He’ll continue to give me insight into His plan and purpose for me and my family. I eagerly await His beckon, “Come and taste that the Lord is good.”

Reflection: Ask God to remind you of a season in your life He’s brought you through. What did you learn as a result?

Prayer: God, please help me to embrace the seasons of life as they are a part of your plan.