I can hear you all gasping in horror already. ;) Why, Barefoot! you are all saying Why in the world would you be up at such an ungodly hour on your vacation, of all times!
The answer, my friends, is simple. We had a long drive ahead of us, and we were intent on avoiding as much of the dreaded Bay Area traffic as possible.
The next question is, of course, why in the world we would ruin a perfectly good vacation by heading down the the Bay Area. I have two words for you folks: Coastal Redwoods.
I don't even have words for the amazing experience I had at Muir Woods National Monument. First you have the ferns. Oh, golly, the ferns. Gigantic, lush, beautiful, amazing ferns! Then there are the mosses. It seemed there were countless different kinds of mosses growing on the trees, rocks, and ground. I was in heaven.
The crowning glory is, of course, the coastal redwood trees. There are no words in this language sufficient to convey the absolute majesty and glory of these incredible trees. It was a dream come true to walk among these giants, touch them, see the light as it filtered through their canopy so far above.
It brought tears to my eyes, quite literally. The air was filled with a spicy-sweet scent that I couldn't identify, but that soothed every raw nerve I had after a 2+ hour drive through nasty, dirty cities.
After just a few minutes, I was ready to send the Sprouts back to the car. Seriously. They were running off, yelling, and generally being pesty. They finally settled down after a mile or so of walking, and I was able to listen to the sounds of the forest.
It was magic.
For lunch, we left the Redwood Grove and headed down to Muir Beach. It was our first time to the Pacific Ocean (the Sprout's first time to any ocean), and it was the perfect place for a picnic.
Immediately after eating, the Sprouts and I took off our shoes and socks and headed into the waves.
Both Sprouts ended up soaking wet, but they loved every second of it. They played tag with the waves, chasing them out and then running from them as each wave came in.
Little Sprout ended up wet all the way to her armpits, which was very unfortunate for her Pull-Up. Seriously.
I laughed just as hard as the Sprouts each time the icy water came up over my Barefoot little toes. It was perfect. A cool breeze off the water kept the sun from being too hot, and the beach wasn't so crowded that we couldn't enjoy ourselves.
The only black spot in the whole day was the trip home, which was plagued by that above-mentioned traffic.
Ugh. Bay Area traffic is the absolute WORST! It took us over an hour to go 7 miles. I am so not kidding.
Still, we made it back to the house in time to fill up on leftover homemade gumbo and french bread before showering and collapsing in bed.
Honestly? It was the Best. Day. Ever.
At least until tomorrow, when we head over to Yosemite. ;)