Hey There! Yup, we’re still here. It’s trickier to keep in touch when there are full time jobs and 2 kids hanging around. Calvin and Ivy have started their winter break, so Ivy has found that ever-elusive thing…you know…time!
She has been busy before the holidays, though. You might think she’d been busy preparing for the holidays, but nooooooooooo. Instead, she has been uber-interested in the King Tides. These babies are rare, so she feels compelled to get out there and enjoy them every day. They’re the most extreme tides of the year, more accentuated due to the Moon being closer to the Earth and some other thingies. There were over 9-feet differences between high and low tide – – – woah! The waves have been astoundingly giant and surfers have been flocking to the beaches each time Ivy is there (hmmmm…) They kind of know each other now…they exchange that look…you know, the one where Ivy is saying, “Yeah, I do wish I could be out there with you, but I don’t yet know how to surf,” and their eyes are saying, “Why are you always standing around gawking at us?” Seriously, though, Arbor joined Ivy on all of the expeditions. Calvin thinks he’s going to make his first million helping out at the coffee shop. So the boys would head to the coffee shop each day and the girls would head to the beach. Nice plan (says the female crew of Schmidts)!
One day on our King Tide adventures, we came across some guys surfing on some unique boards. They had this long (maybe 2 feet) extension of blades/rudders meant to glide underneath the water, lifting the surfer and board up out of the water. It’s called a Hydrofoil and it looked like even more fun than surfing! These guys would catch a wave and be able to sustain their ride much longer, plus the best part was that they were literally 2 feet above the water. The blades that sit below the water must push the board up out of the water when they get enough speed. If you don’t pay attention to that extra extension, it really looks like they’re surfing on air, just above the waves. Hopefully our good videographing of this comes through with our pictures and videos found here.
Our community neighborhood is very active. They were glad to share their perspectives on topics for voting day. Fortunately, most people here think similarly to us. 😊 Many of them are without family in the immediate area, so they stick around for holidays. They do some meals together where others cook for you, and some meals where it’s more potluck style. They had a Solstice Party one week and then a Christmas party on Christmas day. We couldn’t understand why Santa came to the Solstice Party until we realized it was a more formal event with fancy place settings and a Yule ceremony. It was all so lovely. Over 70 people attended and our Common House (where there’s a commercial kitchen, 2 rooms for people to stay – $20 each, so get on over here, laundry room, lounge space, library, kids play room, back patio with grills, and large group meeting space/dining area). We sat near some boys who are Calvin’s age. That was wonderful too because they all seem so verbally challenged at his age (12) and seem to need the awkward silence abruptly interrupted by some embarrassing mom or something. Santa came (a well-dressed neighbor) who turned out to be quite funny for adults as he greeted the children loudly. (His voice reminded Ivy of her Uncle David who used to do this to the littlest, meekest children at our get-togethers, scaring the crap out of them!) Santa gave each child (around 20) a gift card to Jamba Juice. We had been talking with Arbor about how Santa is pretend, so this really confused her, as many things do. We thought she might try to pull off his beard or something, but she just reminded us afterward, “That was a pretend guy.”
As if one Santa looking pretty real wasn’t enough, we decided to go to the beach on Christmas Day. We arrived at the pristine Moonstone Beach for the last King’s Tide of this year. The tide was higher than we had ever seen. This stretch of beach is surrounded by tall cliffs, so these waves would often make it to the cliffs, leaving walkers nowhere to go but in. We knew the tide was going down, so we headed into the depths and watched each other carefully in case the waves tried to carry someone away. Ironically, Larry was the first to be surprised by the rogue waves. He was chatting with another daring soul down there with his back to the water. If you know Larry, you know he can get pretty involved in a conversation. Ivy and the kids looked over at him at just the right time of the approaching wave and – whoosh! It got him…to our delight! We felt bad…about not recording it.
As the tide went out, more and more people showed up on the beach. In fact, we began making a lever and adding a fulcrum to it so we could lift a giant driftwood tree from its side to stand it again. As we worked, Santa (okay, it threw Arbor off a little bit to see Santa carrying a baby dressed as Santa also…and then there was the peculiar elf-mom who took the Santa baby into her arms after big Santa offered to help). So, there we were (Arbor couldn’t help because she was too busy staring), Calvin, Larry, Ivy, and Santa, lifting this giant driftwood tree back to its glory of towering tall over anything else out there. Calvin wedged another piece of driftwood between it and the sand so it could stay erect. That’s a proper word we just used, since, as we panned back to examine our handiwork, we realized it looked quite phallic. We weren’t sure how to share that news with Calvin or with Santa, so we kept it to ourselves for the moment. Ivy snapped a quick picture of the Santas and elf as they left. Then Calvin said to his parents, “Now that the tree is standing, it really looks like a penis.” Thanks, Santa, for helping us erect a giant penis on the beach (that’s what she said – for The Office fans out there)!
When Larry and Ivy explored Alaska BK (before kids), we learned of a cool phenomenon called a Bore Tide that would come in and travel miles up a river. After leaving Moonstone Beach, we headed to Morro Beach for the sunset and more for low tide. Morro’s beach is sandy whereas Moonstone’s beach has some sandy portions and mostly river-rock-type portions. In retrospect, as it came close to low tide, Moonstone would have been the better option for exploring tide pools, but the waves there were still really strong and it didn’t seem like the tide was going down there. When we arrived at Morro’s beach, it was immediately noticeable – the tide was clearly low, winds quieter, and waves minimal. This beach must have been almost level for at least a mile out. There was a light coat of water all along, so it felt like we were walking on water. Then, a wave would come in. It would take a good full minute for it to cover the beach in a Bore Tide fashion. There were sand dollars everywhere and in many ways these moments felt very surreal…until Arbor ran up, tagging someone, yelling, “You’re it!”
See a couple of photos submitted by Ivy for the Kings Tide Project here. It’s a little creepy to see all the flooding of the streets. Photos they’ve posted of Ivy’s – 14, 142, 143, 144, 169
We thought we might have two or even three blog postings over the break, but here we are in the beginning of January with only this one. It does keep getting longer if that makes anyone feel better. It was a lovely New Year’s Eve. We enjoyed a meal with some of our neighbors, then we all played games (Ivy beat Calvin so badly in ping pong) and drank non-alcoholic champagne with the kids.
Calvin and Ivy spent a good half-day at the beach over break too. We were again blown away at how many Sand Dollars there were. Calvin thoroughly enjoys climbing dunes/bluffs and acting like he’s falling. Sometimes Ivy is positive he is actually falling, which makes it that much more hilarious. Enjoy photos of his prat falls and parkour moves in the photos at the link shared above.
We drove the RV into California a little over a year ago on December 19th. While we have flashbacks of some of the best and some of the worst stops along the way, we are still so grateful for the experience and the journey. If we had the funds to make this a true coast-to-coast quest at this point in our lives, we would jump on it, but reality made a call reminding us that we were looking to relocate to our version of paradise.
So far we’re realizing that winters in this part of California (what they call the Central Coast) are decent for people who are avoiding snow, but a bit chilly at night. For some reason, Paso Robles has some pretty giant extremes. It can get below freezing at night, but easily warms up to 60s during the day. Closer to the coast – just 30 minutes away – it never gets to freezing. Whether in Morro Bay or Paso Robles, the rain and fog show up rarely these days. We hear the rain will arrive soon, but we don’t really know what that means.
What a life. While we miss so many of you, we try to look past that (otherwise we’d be sad all the time). We were able to enjoy the Geminids meteor shower because we could be outside and likely to have clear skies, rocket launches, t-shirt days in the winter, no day at the beach is ever the same, and lots of Vitamin D.
Wishing you a blissful 2019,
-Larry and Ivy