Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Surf City Chrismukkah

Bolsa Chica Beach complete with pelicans

On December 15, we headed for Huntington Beach, where we would be for 11 days during the holidays. In 2007, we were on the East Coast, and checked into The Great Outdoors on Christmas Eve. Not this year! We decided that we would spend the holidays with family this year. My sister recommended Bolsa Chica State Beach, and, a few months back, we checked with ReserveAmerica to see if any sites were available. Amazingly, there were openings, but we could only get an 11 day stint, and our rig was backed up to PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). The sites there are narrow, and are really built for RV's up to 40', so we were tight! We actually backed up over the curb until the tag wheels hit so that we would fit and still be able to park the car in front of the coach. Our first neighbors were from Germany, and they told us to park our Jeep on their site. "You Americans have too many rules!" they joked.

A side note: back in the 50's and 60's, Bolsa Chica was known as "Tin Can Beach". From PCH to the water, the beach was covered in cans. I'm not sure when it got cleaned up, but it's beautiful now. There is still stuff (flotsam or jetsam?) on the beach, but now it's whatever the tide brings in, not out of control litter.

Emma testing out the sand

Emma got to experience her first time on sand at the beach. What a hoot! After about 10 seconds of walking gingerly, she took off running and didn't stop until she was tired. Running on the beach became a favorite pastime while we were there.

Go Emma!

As always, Donna's sister Cheryl and her husband John hosted a Hanukkah party for the family. Every year it gets larger, as more relatives, extended family, and friends show up. They had about 60 people this year. For us, it was great, as Todd and Victoria flew in from Colorado, and Josh, Jenna, Bea, and Olivia drove down from San Jose. T, V, J, J, B & O even took in Disneyland. My Dad even came to the party!

HB locals Gary and Jill came over to visit and see the coach. Gary was my boss when I was at Edison. It was great catching up on each other's families and finding out what was going on at Edison. We had a great Mexican dinner in Huntington Beach.

Jim, Yvonne (aka Marie) and Dad

My sister Yvonne (aka Marie) and her husband Jim had reservations at Bolsa Chica, and came into the park a few days after we got there. Jim is very recently retired (firefighter), and is settling into the retired life. We all told him it would take a few months to sink in. They hosted a Christmas Eve dinner attended by us, my Dad, and Jim's side of the family. Another great meal with great company! Jim and I also managed a bike ride down to the Huntington Beach pier. The weather during our stay can be described as rainy, windy (OK, very windy), and sunny, sometimes all on the same day!

Sunset at Bolsa Chica

Our reservation was through December 26, but the park hosts told us to get on the waiting list the day before, and maybe we could extend. When I signed up, I was second on the list. True to one of Murphy's Laws, on the 26th there was only one opening. We were forced to leave, and, after goodbyes to Yvonne and Jim, headed for El Centro, CA, for the night. It was time to head east to warmer climates!