Wednesday, October 14, 2015

San Diego Part Two: Beach Disaster

This is continued from my previous post, so I am just going to pick up right where I left off…

Monday we were supposed to wake up early and pack the car for our four days of camping at the beach. My goal was to get there late afternoon, particularly around two because that was when check in began. It was especially important for me to arrive before dark, because I did not want to be setting up tents and cooking dinner in the dark while entertaining two babies. My Dad and Denise were supposed to be joining us for our camping adventure, and since we lived about the same distance from the campground (around 2 hours) I figured it would make sense for us all to leave about the same time. We had previously divided up food assignments, so we all had certain ingredients needed to make the meals. Also since we were traveling from out of state my dad said he would bring the majority of all the needed camping gear such as the stove and lanterns. Well we waited and waited for them to leave, and by about five o clock I decided that we better go on without them. We had our tent, so I figured if nothing else we could pick up food once we got there and get our tent and pack and plays set up before it got too dark.

Well by the time we got to the beach the sun had almost completely set, and that is about the time we remembered that my dad was in charge of bringing all the flashlights and lanterns. Luckily we were both equipped with smart phones, so we were able to use the flashlight app to bring us a little light. We then carry on frantically trying to get everything set up before it goes pitch black on us. We finally get everything set up by about a quarter till nine when the ranger comes by and informs us that they will locking the gate into the park at nine o clock. Once that gate is locked there is nowhere else to park within a five mile radius of the beach. So frantically I call my dad to see where he was only to find out that he still has not left. At this point he told me that he was going to discuss their options with Denise and call me back with their plan. Morgan and I were starving at this point. We had some food, but nothing to make a meal and even if we did we had none of the necessary tools to prepare it. There were restaurants but all of them were 15 minutes out, and there was no possible way we could get to anything before they closed the gates to the park. As I sat there and listened to the kids screaming I realized that I was starving, angry, exhausted, and completely worn out, but all that was left for me to do at this moment was carry on and put the kids to bed. Once both kids finally fell asleep Morgan and I laid in the pitch black tent because at this point in time both are phones were on the verge of death and we ate chips and grapes until we fell asleep. It turned out to be a pretty stressful night.

The next morning the waves woke me up at six. I decided that I would take advantage of the opportunity to get up and start getting breakfast together before the kids woke up. First thing I do is call my dad to find out how close he was since he had the stove needed to make breakfast. First I call my dad’s cell phone, and there was no answer. Then I call Denise’s phone in which she also does not answer. I then take a deep breath and call their house phone in which somebody answers and takes the phone off the hook. At this point I realize not only have they still not left, but they were most likely still in bed. Once Morgan wakes up I tell him the news and we decide the only option is to go out to breakfast. We then proceed to get everyone dressed and loaded into the car before heading to a nearby pancake house. Finally by about nine my dad calls me and informs me that they are just getting out of bed. I of course am pretty frustrated with new update, but I carry on and move forward with the day.

We head back to the beach get everyone changed into their swimsuits and head down to the water. That is when we discovered that the beach was full of some pretty intense rocks. As if the rocks weren’t enough to make you not want to go into the water, the waves were also pounding into the surface and some pretty extreme rates. Morgan went and talked to the lifeguard and she said there were some other areas having some extreme weather and it was effecting the beaches there hence the crazy waves and rocks. We were also sitting in direct sun light, and by direct sun light I mean the sun was just beating down on us. I could just feel my skin burning and there was nothing I could do about it. I was soaked in sweat, and I was just burning up. Even with sunscreen, I still felt like I was sure to be the suns next victim and I had nowhere to hide. Of course my dad had all the canopies along with all of our other camping gear in his car. On top of all this it was early afternoon and both kids were ready for their naps.

I tried laying Parker down in the tent in his pack and play, but he was not having it. He was way too hot, and the sun was way too bright! Finally I got the idea to put him in the stroller, and I just pushed him around until he fell asleep! That was a huge success, and reduced so much of my stress and anxiety once he was asleep and happy. However, I couldn’t relax too much yet because I still had to figure out a way to get Levi to fall asleep. I just picked Levi up and laid him on a beach towel with me, and he almost immediately conked out. As Levi laid there asleep, I realized I needed to do something to shade him, and get him out of the sun or else he was going to wake up from this nap a lobster. I was desperate, and just started to search the car for anything that could provide shade, and to my surprise I found an umbrella! I have never been so excited to see an umbrella in all my life. Finally Morgan and I could sit down and relax.

I call my dad later that afternoon to see where he was, because I was starting to get hungry and he had all the lunch supplies. Well not to my surprise he still had not left. Shortly after that Parker woke up. I knew I had to find a place to sit with him where I could have some shade, so again of desperation I went and asked some strangers if I could join them under their canopy and sit with my baby. Luckily the lady was so sweet and welcoming and she let us sit with her for hours. Eventually my dad did arrive, and finally I was able to eat, set up the canopies, and start to actually enjoy the trip.

We finally got all situated and so we decided to sit around the picnic table and play a game. When we notice a life guard approaching our camp. She came to inform us that the tide was going to be bigger than the previous nights. She assured us that we should be fine, but just encouraged us to keep an eye on the water. Shortly after she left the tide came in and flooded the entire inside of our canopy. We immediately looked at our watches and realized that we still had another two hours till high tide and it was only expected to get worse. None of the other campsites appeared to be too worried since most of them were camping in RVs and were hardly effected by the raise in water.

Morgan then had the idea to build a mote around our campsite. I went and borrowed a shovel from one of our neighbors and Morgan began to dig viciously and my dad was on his hands and knees also digging. Shortly after they begin digging, another wave came in and flooded the tents. Luckily nothing inside got wet, so I quickly started to remove all of our belongings out of the tent to ensure they could stay dry. Meanwhile the waves are quickly increasing, and I was of course stressing. Levi however, was as happy as can be sitting and playing in the sand with his trucks and toy shovel nestled safely on the safe side of the mote. That was until a wave came crashing over and diminished part of the mote and soaked Levi. He was of course mortified and so upset. He did not even have a chance to process what had happened to him. Denice (Nana) took Levi and his dry clothes to the back of the campsite next to the car, and laid him on the ground to change him, when all of a sudden another ginormous wave can crashing over and again soaked him. We could not believe that the waves had reached all the way to the back of the campsite where the cars were parked. Poor little Levi was completely traumatized. It took him awhile to regain his love for the ocean after this experience.

At this point I was questioning whether or not I wanted to stay here for another night, so I headed down to the ranger station to find out what the tide would be looking like the next day. After talking with the ranger I learned that high tide would be at seven a.m. the next morning, and it was expected to be worse. Since I knew we would not be getting up at five to start rebuilding our mote, this made the decision to go home and easy one, as I headed back to deliver the news. I am not going to lie, at this point it was nine o clock at night, and I was exhausted. The kids were several levels beyond exhausted and I was really dreading the idea of having to pack up camp in the dark. That is when this group of random women showed up and offered to help us pack up. Morgan’s initial reaction was to say no, but then I stepped in and said we would be so grateful for any help! These were the nicest ladies. Apparently they were celebrating somebodies 60th birthday, but the group ranged from age 19 to mid-60. They were a hoot. They had defiantly been drinking, but oh man they were so sweet and helpful. If it wasn’t for them we would have been there packing all night. The family I sat with earlier that day to get shade, offered to watch Levi well I packed, and one of the sweet 19 year old held Parker. We were so looked out for and blessed. I was so stressed out I was on the verge of tears, but the ladies just kept laughing and telling me that one day I would look back at this moment and just laugh, and they were right. I look back at that day now, and I just smile. What could have been a really horrific experience turned out to be a pretty special one, because I realized how many great people there still are in this world. I hope one day I can return the favor.

As we got in the car and started driving, I felt so sad this adventure had to end. I was also so worn out, and could hardly hold my eyes open. I felt so guilty that my dad finally drove out to Orange County just to turn around and leave. I also felt bad we put so much time and money into panning the food, to just pack it up and leave. As we approached the freeway, I realized that the family I was doing a house swap with had given me a key to their house, and told me I was welcome to stay there if I needed to. So this made it only a forty minute drive instead of a two hour drive. It also meant that my dad could come stay with us and we could still finish out our trip together.

The next post will include our adventures in Orange County. Don’t worry the rest of the story is much happier. I did not initially plan on this post being so long, so I am going to end this here. There will be a part three to my trip. That will be the last post, promise! 


  1. Very enjoyable read. Glad you can look back on a bad situation with a positive attitude. Note to self, never camp with dad.

  2. Very enjoyable read. Glad you can look back on a bad situation with a positive attitude. Note to self, never camp with dad.

  3. Thomas and I were both very glad we missed out on that camping adventure! The house was much more fun sounding.