Wednesday, September 2, 2009

End-of-Summer Cheap Thrills

A while back, my blog buddy Willoughby (whose blog is awesome so go check it out) came up with the idea of Cheap Thrills, which is essentially finding a place to travel to that A) is within driving distance so no overnight stay is necessary, B) costs 20 dollars or less (minus the price of gas), C) appeals to children and adults, D) little or no fee to enjoy.

In July, we had a Cheap Thrill as we went down to Newport Beach.

Sunday, we took a trip that turned out to be a Cheap Thrill. We went to the beach in Oceanside. Now, if you're familiar with Southern California, Riverside to Oceanside is quite a distance. And while it is, we took the train, the Beach Train. It cost us 29 dollars for a family of four, which in and of itself would deem this trip a non-cheap thrills. However, since children under 6 are free, we had two extra tickets. We ended up selling them to someone else for 15 bucks, so essentially our tickets cost us 14 bucks. Add in the shaved ice and corn on the cob we had while there and we spent exactly 20 dollars!

We'd been planning this trip literally all summer (we had some close friends who went with us) and we could never really get our schedules to line up together until the final weekend of August. It took about two hours to get down to Oceanside (we could have gotten off earlier, in Mission Viejo but decided to stay on until the end of the line.

Now, since I went to Japan in 2002 I learned first-hand of the greatness that is train travel. I love trains and the idea of having trains available for mass transit. It's not practical in many places but taking the train places sure beats sitting in traffic and getting tired from driving. Anyway, I'll save my we-should-have-trains-everywhere rant for another day.

Here's a shot of the beach I took from the nearby pier.

Yvie and her two friends were all about the waves, but Kennedy didn't quite make it out as far as they did.

That's fine, though. Kennedy wasn't scared.

Okay, here's a little blast from the past. We went to Laguna Beach two years ago, and neither girl wanted any part of the water.

Compare that to now, when they jump off cliffs in a deep lake and spend hours on end dodging waves at the beach and, well, there's no comparison. The girls are quite adventurous now. Part of me wants to attribute that to Disneyland because somebody always made them go on the fast and scary rides to help them get over their fears (yes, I did and do) but also it's just them feeling comfortable in and around water. Plus, they are both developing their personalities and they might just be the adventurous types... which is great now but I have a feeling it will be tough when they are teenagers... again, another post for another day.

Anyway, back to this Cheap Thrill...

Kennedy was content playing in the sand near the water. She spent quite a bit of time there. What's great about now as opposed to before is that we can watch her from the comforts of our own spot on the beach without fear of her running away. When she was 1 or 2, we had to be right up on her because she would go off without any warning. Not so much now.

Later, I wanted to go up to the pier and asked if anyone wanted to join me. I got one taker.

All told, we spent about 5-6 hours on the beach and that was enough to properly knock us all out. Yvie and her mom got sunburned while Kennedy crashed out on my lap on the train ride back home. I dragged through Monday and was happy it was a rest day (no running).

Between Mrs. LB and I, we took about 100 pictures (I probably took 70 of them) and I think this one is my favorite.

Cheap Thrills rule!


Willoughby said...

Awesome! Your trip looks like so much fun! We have plans for Friday that may qualify (not sure of the cost yet). I'll be blogging about it either way.

Thanks for the shoutout! You're right, cheap thrills do rule!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

That looks like an awesome day!

ChristineM said...

What a great day! Great pics! Made me wish I was at the beach right now!

Angie Eats Peace said...

Looks like fun!

Lissaloo said...

What a wonderful Day! I wish we lived closer to the beach, what a great way to spend some time together as a family :)