Sunday, May 11, 2014

Point Reyes/ Heart's Desire

Today was my first Mother's Day in our new town. For the past almost nine years (since I became a mom) I've spent the day celebrating in our old town, with dear friends and my sweet little family. For the last few years, I've been truly pampered by my amazing hubby and by kiddos who are now old enough now to help. My girls especially, absolutely love planning, decorating, and spoiling us all on special occasions. We would spend most of the day relaxing around the pool, swimming, having cannonball contests and warming up in the hot tub after a great day together.

I have also really been missing my old friends a lot lately. May is the month we'd celebrate our birthdays together (four of us have birthdays within days of each other) and I had been feeling sad about missing out on that. Anyway, when my hubby came home from work Friday and asked if I wanted to go for a drive on Saturday, I leaped at the chance to get out of the house and try to start some new traditions.

We quickly packed up a makeshift lunch and snacks and hit the road!

First Stop: Bear Valley Visitor Center on our way to the lighthouse at Point Reyes. It was nestled in a quiet valley surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful forests. Wildflowers dotted the hillsides, and shy quail scurried through the grass all around us. 
My shy horse-lover watched while riders brushed and saddled their horses in preparation for a ride. She was beside herself with excitement!
An extraordinary amount of taxidermy-ed animals thrilled my little nature explorers. They were in awe of the skunk, fox, whales, and assorted animals in the displays. 

After exploring the visitor center, we got back on the (GORGEOUS) road on our way to the lighthouse. The scenery was truly breathtaking. 

On our drive, we were spellbound by the scenery. The narrow road was winding and led us over rolling hills. We could see ocean on both sides of us. Cows (and their calves) dotted the hillsides. We were able to spot hawks and jays and even deer. We were all loving this drive!
At the top of the last hill, we were treated to the most amazing view of all. Crashing waves on a coastline that seemed to go on forever and ever...
Unfortunately, due to very strong winds, the lighthouse was closed to visitors for this afternoon. So we looked around, then got back in the car to make our way to the next destination. 
We made our way back down the hills to go to a beach we had spotted along the way. 

Just look at this beautiful beach! But see all of those whitecaps? Did I mention the wind? 
 Yeah, gusts were so strong, my husband leaned back into it, and it held him up. Do you know what tiny grains of sand feel like with gusts of wind like that? Well, call us wimpy, but we decided to have a "car picnic" and move on to another spot.
Wind or not, these waves were awesome to watch. Truly amazing surf!
Happy Mother's Day! I've officially inherited my mom's hair. This is my karmic punishment for joking about her hair while growing up.
 Our fearless driver had another plan, and he didn't have to twist my arm to explore more of this pretty countryside. We jumped back in the car to see this...

My view
 My smart hubby found a little gem called Heart's Desire Beach, part of Tomales Bay State Park

On the other side of the "peninsula" of land we were on, it was more sheltered from the wind. The beach was a little cove sheltered by trees, so while there were periodic gusts of wind (and sand) it was a very enjoyable beach day! As you can see, our kids really had a great time!

There were a few families at the beach that day, but it was nice and quiet and not too crowded at all.
Tons of sea shells to ooh and ahh over, and sea creatures to watch.
It was a beautiful day with my favorite people. Being out in nature, seeing new sights, exploring the roads, watching the deer and cattle graze, and laughing as my kids played at the beach was a perfect day for this mom. I couldn't ask for more.

Unless I could find a way to import some of my old friends here...

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