California Girl

While John drives all of our belongings and cat to Oklahoma, Isabel, Brady and I are beaching it in Huntington Beach. I think the kids and I got the better end of that deal.

I absolutely love the ocean. I’m savoring being exposed to this view of endless water knowing that in a few short weeks I will reside in a landlocked state. It’s true, while we lived only about forty five minutes from the beach, we really only went a handful of times each year. Yet, knowing it was out there, within reach, was often enough.

There’s something about the beach, with it’s repetition of waves flowing in and out, that is so mesmerizing and relaxing. I love the sight of it. I love the sound of it. I’m such a water girl.

Since John and I got married, Huntington Beach has been a home away from home. We’ve spent so much time down here with my family. After saying goodbye to our house last weekend,  it’s the perfect place to seek refuge for a little while.

When we were here in H.B. a few months ago over spring break, we came across an amazing donut establishment, Duck Donuts. Remember the hype over Krispy Kreme, the excitement of getting donuts still warm and dripping with glazed icing? I love Krispy Creme. But, this is better.

Well, this time, on our way to Trader Joe’s around five o’clock in the evening, we found ourselves face to face with Duck Donuts. We were hungry and we were about to go grocery shopping. Don’t you know that rule? Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. So, we basically had donuts for dinner. Come along for the ride.

First, you choose your glorious combination of flavors.

Next you watch your very own fresh, piping hot cake donut fall off the conveyor belt. It’s like a naked canvas.

Then you watch the donut magician dip your individual bite of heaven into a base icing, drizzle it with a secondary icing, and decorate it with toppings.

It’s still hot. It’s dripping with sugary icing. It’s a marvel. Brady named this one “the zebra”. Classic glaze and chocolate drizzle.

If you’re me, you try the citrusy flavors. Lemon with key lime drizzle… this one is orange creamsicle.

If you’re my mom, you order a maple glazed donut drizzled with salted caramel and topped with bacon. Hubba hubba.

If you’re my kids, you go overboard, and get your donut with a scoop of ice cream on top. Thrifty ice cream, at that.

If you’re any one of us, you scrape all of the icing off your plate. And, by the way, my mom won for best flavor choice. Bacon. Duh.

I feel obligated to tell you that the next day Isabel, Brady and I took a long bike ride.

The reason I feel obligated to tell you that is because we followed it up with lunch at Ruby’s.

If you ever visit Huntington Beach, one thing you must do, is eat at Ruby’s on the Huntington Beach Pier.  It just feels like such an event walking all the way out there, people watching, checking out surfers catching waves, and observing as people fish off the pier. It’s such a fun treat to eat at a restaurant jutted out into the ocean and listen to 40’s music while you dine.

What you see beyond this point, do not judge.

We decided to try something new. Okay, I decided to try something new. We started with crispy green beans served with a trio of dipping sauces- buffalo ranch, honey mustard and classic ranch (of which they do so well). It was such a great choice.

I went for a cobb burger and onion rings.

Oh yeah. Blue cheese, bacon and avocado.

And you must finish with a milkshake. There are many flavors to choose from.

I hear your loud judgey thoughts. Girlfriend, you might want to skip dinner! I hear you and I see your point. (Don’t worry, there’s an acai bowl coming up very soon.)

The next morning, Meagan, one of my great friends from high school who I hadn’t seen for a few years, came by to spend some time with me before the big move.

We went for a walk down to the pier and found the 602 Coffee House on PCH just north of Main Street.

Under the Signature Drinks section on the menu, activated charcoal latte  caught my eye. What??? The barista explained that charcoal helps whiten your teeth. Okay. So I ordered one with chai.

Provocative.  It didn’t really have a “charcoal” flavor. I really just tasted the chai. It was very good. Maybe a teensy bit gritty at the bottom, perhaps for exfoliating my teeth? Just kidding. But, I love trying interesting things. Meagan chose a lavender latte and loved it.

We decided to split an acai bowl.

I’ve bought those acai packets to put in my smoothies before, but never actually made an acai bowl at home.  It was so fresh and delicious, like a very thick smoothie or sorbet with a variety of textures from the fruit, a drizzle of honey and crunchy granola. I loved it.

We also split the avocado toast with arugula and sriracha. Crunchy, creamy, spicy and delicious!

I love independent coffee houses and 602 Coffee House is no exception. Both the coffee drinks and the food were fantastic!

On the way back, we did one of my favorite things, walking with our feet in the sand.

Love you, Megs!

Between spending some precious time with my parents, I also got to share some fun beach time with my kiddos. Isn’t playing at the beach the best? It makes me feel like a kid again.

We dug in the sand, we boogie boarded (yes, me too).

Isabel and Brady made beach friends and formed a boogie boarding posse…

…which allowed me to bathe in the sun and do some delightful reading (shameless plug).

I also did some treasure hunting and collected about fifty shells. I could look for shells and rocks for hours.

You know how everyone has a beach-themed bathroom? We have discussed that we, too, should have a cliche beach-themed bathroom in our new house in Oklahoma. Therefore, there was a lot of shell collecting with that purpose.

I even found a few rare gems of sea glass and heart-shaped rocks. Isn’t it strange to be taking all of these souvenirs of my own land?

In the same spirit, I bought myself a California baseball cap and cheese tray this week. I will take them with me proudly to represent and think about my sweet Southern California.

Well…

…That’s it. It will be many months before we’re looking at the Pacific Ocean again. But, we had a blast. It was good for our souls.

We said goodbye to my parents as we left the beach house this morning, and that was rough. Saying goodbye to so many loved ones is really hard. But, I am really excited about all that we will be saying hello to.

California Girls

 

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