August 25, 2017

Surf Beach in Lompoc, CA Part 1

Since we were in California, we wanted to see the Pacific. 

We had lunch with my brother Tyler in Lompoc where his truss company is located and then headed out to find a beach. 

The first beach we went to (whose name escapes me) was shut so that one type of plover could nest undisturbed. 

So we went to the next beach, Surf Beach.

Surf Beach has a train station. In case you ever need a train to the Pacific. 

Heading down to the water. 

Surf Beach is so named because it has a fierce undertow  which produces nice waves. So no swimming going on! 

Dunes and water

I know those kids!

And these!

My lovely sister-in-law, Lisa


What a cool crew of kids! They all had such a good time together! Wish we could have stayed longer...

My Orianna girl

Messy haired Elsie

Burying Andy


I love her!

Now for some waves!

Erin (who is called Mouse) Swenson came with us. She and Justin grew up together for a little while in Colorado. She has these two adorable kiddos!

The diggingest boys


My Justin

August 3, 2017

Santa Maria Hike

Our first full day in California, we went on a hike near Santa Maria. 

Seeing signs like this made us a little leery. But somehow, mountain lions didn't approach our group of four adults and nine boisterous kids. Surprising! 

Levi was all ready with his walking stick and water bottle.

Heading up

California Poppies!! Isn't the color unbelievable? I want a something or other in that color. Maybe a wall? It is a little too intense for an entire room. 


Going to check out forts. Their New York cousins were convinced they were going to be bitten by rattlesnakes, but no puncture wounds happened here. 

My hiking companion

Flowers that I have not yet identified. 


I really planned on digging out my wildflower guide and diving into flower identification, but... I didn't. This is a sad commentary on the state of my summer. 

Aren't these wild?! 

Peeling eucalyptus

Andy running around the top.

All the kiddos

Breanna read most of the hike, but never fell over or tripped. It was a modern day miracle. 

Hiking down the other side. 

I may have been moseying around at the back taking pictures of flowers.

Bright red!

Some dried flowers

This is apparently poison sumac. Don't touch it! 

Lisa, Darra, and Levi

Thistle fluff! 

lichen of sorts

Hummingbird Sage

Gnarly old tree! I love this thing.

There was a lot of moss hanging around

Teensy little flowers 


This was a cool flower that seemed to have purple blossoms with white flowers and yellow centers.

Levi was going to take this horn on the hike to scare away mountain lions, but we decided it would be better left in the vehicle. The kids love it though!