The Great Escape of 2015 – Days 11 & 12 – Los Angeles

Driving Down the Pacific Coast Highway

Day 10- Our second full day in LA was exactly half way through our trip and we were so ridiculously pooped!  Our cousins from Vegas were going to be nearby enjoying Knoxberry Farms Amusement Park and asked us to join them.  We would have loved to have spent the day with them but we were all so tired, we just couldn’t do it.  So, we took a day to rest.

*A bit of advice: It’s NEVER the wrong thing to take a break if you need it.  Here, we took an entire day to refresh ourselves but sometimes it’s just a 20 minute stop a playground during a day-long drive to let the kids run wild.  Sure, you’ll arrive at your destination a little later than planned or you’ll have to miss out of something great but you’re more likely to survive the trip and really enjoy yourselves if everyone has had a chance to take some time to refresh.  Here, we lost a full day in southern California and visiting with family we were dying to spend time with.  But it was absolutely necessary.  We were THAT tired.*

We spent the morning laying in bed and melting in the hot tub.  For the rest of the day we drove around Simi Valley, acquiring a round of haircuts and enjoying a couple of fine eateries including some ice cream from place called Subzero that uses liquid nitrogen to make the ice cream right in front of you.  Very cool!  That was pretty much it for the day.  It was slow and restful and just what we needed to keep the remainder of our trip on track.

Day 11 –  Today was Brian’s big day.  We had a ton of amazing things planned for our great escape but today had Brian written all over it.  We woke up early, swapped hairy eyes with the breakfast wenches, and fought that crazy LA traffic so we could make it down to Dana Point before our deep sea fishing boat shoved off for the day.

We arrived at Dana Wharf Sportfishing with just a few minutes to spare.  We unloaded the car, popped into the little hut beside the marina to check in and grab our fishing poles, and trotted our booties down the pier and onto the Reel Fun for our day at sea.

As it turned out, only half us adapted instantly to the boat.  Bradley, Amelia, and I spent most of the morning heaving our guts and trying different tactics to get that to stop.  By early afternoon, Bradley and I had made peace with all the movement the boat was making and the queasiness finally let up for both of us.

Amelia never had success.  She puked through both of the outfits we packed for her right off the start and ended up sleeping the rest of the day in just a diaper on top of the life jacket bin in the center of the boat, which consequently, is where I spent most of my day as well.  Luckily, sitting on that bin provided an excellent view of all the birds and sea life nearby…and they were plentiful.  We even had a grey whale glide by and rock the boat.  Terrifying!  But so cool!

Those that weren’t down for the count fished their hearts out.  There was a giant, water-filled bait holder in the middle of the boat, packed to the gills with sardines, crab, and squid, so there was no holding back.  There was also a kitchen on board stocked with burgers, chips, and drinks.  It was the stuff of dreams for Brian….burgers, beer, and an endless supply of bait.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Bradley and a piece of squid

Our day on the water was wrapped up with the deck hands carving up the fish we caught and tossing the skins and entrails to the seagulls that followed the ship.  Some of those gulls must have been chronic boat followers.  They were pros at catching the fish guts as they flew through the air.

After we arrive back on land, we were ready for dinner but had to hunt down some new clothes for Amelia first since she’d barfed all over the everything we’d brought for her to wear.  The direction we headed out of Dana Point was a dry area for clothing.  I dropped into a couple of drugstores and was able to find a wrinkled up, adult-sized shirt that would work for her at a Walgreens.  There was a sport-themed pizza shop next door which did a great job of filling our rumbly bellies.

Just up the road from there was a public access for Laguna Beach.  We couldn’t resist!  And in we went.  There were no bathrooms, so the kids changed in the car, then ran out to frolic in what might be the chilliest stretch of the southern California coast.  BRRR!!!  The sun was setting on our final day in Cali, so the kids jumped in and out of the gigantic waves until they were shivering up a storm and turning slightly smurfish.

We were all freezing cold and soaking wet afterwards but happy as a bunch of larks.  What a great way to wrap up our time in LA.

I want to take a minute to give a shout out to Dana Wharf Sportfishing.  We had such an amazing experience with them.  The young men that ran the boat were professional but so much fun.  They also treated our cackle of children like humans and not like inferiors which we see so much of.  So thank you, Brandon and Ch…. we’re still wracking our brains to remember your name and when we do, we’ll update this…but we loved you both to pieces.

Day 1

Day 13


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