In July, I enjoyed a week at my sister’s beach-side home in Cardiff by the Sea during the first leg of my book tour at The Book Catapult in San Diego. 

Moonlight Beach is but one of the many jewels in the beach communities of Cardiff by the Sea and Encinitas, California. It’s located in a residential neighborhood at the bottom of a steep incline that gently slopes into the Pacific Ocean. 

This well-loved beach receives a lot of face-time from local volleyball players because of the three beach courts. And with a large playground, ample picnic tables, lifeguards, and a snack bar, it’s family-friendly and perfect for a picnic or a day in the sun. The icing on the cake? Plenty of clean restrooms and showers.

While there, I enjoyed breakfast at the ever-popular Pipes Cafe, shopped at Seaside Market, visited the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple, and checked out the Cardiff Kook Statue. Cowabunga!

When was the last time you hung ten or stuck your toes in ocean water?


56 thoughts on “Cowabunga!

  1. Sounds like you had a fab time!! Love that word, cowabunga. I seem to hear it lately on The Big Bang Theory. I just did some research and found that it originated as a greeting by Chief Thunderthud to the Peanut Gallery on the 50’s television program “The Howdy Doody Show”, later adopted by surfers in the 60s and made popular in the 90s by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! That word has staying power.

  2. It looks lovely. We were at the beach in Ocean City, NJ for a few hours last week, but it wasn’t a great beach day. We’re going to try to go again in September–we’re only about an hour away.

  3. Last Saturday we walked along the sandy shore of the Atlantic in a diorama of sorts: Daddy making sandcastles with daughter, two men fishing, dog walkers, and a baptism in the ocean.

    And yes, we stuck our toes in the water. 🙂

  4. It looks and sounds really marvellous and a real privilege to be there. Just back from our Sabbatical year and can happily confirm that our toes were well and truly soaked many, many times and very recently too! 😉

  5. I haven’t been to the ocean in such a long time, and I miss it. I lived on the east coast of Florida for eleven years and took many long walks on the beaches there. I don’t miss living in Florida (humidity, bugs, hurricanes), but a vacation there in cool weather would be lovely.

  6. Sadly, I haven’t been to the ocean for some time. However, my recent ferry trip across Lake Michigan reminded me of its’ grandeur. I thought too about those who annually sail in the Chicago to Mackinac Island race. We had a smooth ride on the large ferry. But sailing the rough waves in even a racing quality sail boat would be quite a different story.

    I did enjoy the even smaller Hamlin Lake in the state of Michigan, also very close at its western point to Lake Michigan itself. There is something very restorative about being on the water. My brother-in-law took us for a tour of all 4,990 acres of the lake on his speedy motor boat We also waded in shallow parts … leaving me with the extra benefit of a sand based pedicure smoothing the bottom of my heels.

    I live in Twin Lakes; Elizabeth and Mary. The lakes were named by the first arrivals to our area for their twin daughters.

    Grateful for oceans, and lakes, and rivers and creeks!

    • Audrey — We’ve never seen the race, but absolutely love Mackinac Island! When we lived in Crystal lake, IL, we made a point of spending a week there every other year.

      How FUN that your brother-in-law gave you such an extended boat tour. Further, you got to enjoy the natural benefits of wading in the shallows.

      This is my second learning today. I didn’t know the backstory of Elizabeth and Mary, the lakes that make up Twin Lakes 🙂

      • I love learning the history of a place. When I lived in Chicago my third move was to West Rogers Park. A weekend college assignment was to write a report on the history of our neighborhood. I learned so much including that on the east side of Ridge the people were referred to as the silk stockings (wealthier and university people). And the people west of ridge were primarily German potato farmers.And Rogers Park was named after Irish immigrant Phillip Rogers. Touhy Avenue was named after Patrick Touhy, another Irish immigrant who came to Chicago after the civil war. I believe, if I remember right, he also married a daughter of Phillip Rogers.
        Oh, the tidbits of information I have in my head. Okay I’ll stop.

  7. Hmmm, I’ve been to both of America’s oceans and the Gulf of Mexico several times but your post got me thinking that I haven’t actually stuck my toes in the water in at least a decade.
    If inland oceans count (Lake Superior) then my last dip (total body) was about a month ago. Very refreshing! 🙂


      • At that particular spot, the water was shallow enough that the water temp was closer to 50 degrees than it was to its normal temp of high 30s in summer. I actually splashed around for a minute or two–and, I was wearing a wetsuit, which helped somewhat. But I have taken the plunge in much colder water there during the summer months. So painful, you can’t even stand wading in it up to your knees for more than 20-30 seconds.

  8. Have not been swimming or walking on beach in 2018. Actually I have trouble walking on sand. When I do my feet burn and get extremely sore. My mum used to let me wear or tennis shoes at the beach and then lately I could use crocs. I did 2 weeks ago meet another person who has the same problem. It was nice to know it has a name though I have forgotten it. My favorite part is watching the waves and being still.
    The wedding this weekend was on the Columbia River and there were waves and osprey and bald eagles and seeing all my daughters looking so beautiful all dressed up and happy. Hip Hip Hooray!

    • Patricia — I lived on the Columbia River (Washougal, Camas, and Vancouver, Washington) for five years and can instantly recall it’s beauty. I’m so glad you had a wonderful time at the wedding and got to spend joyful time with your daughters 🙂

  9. I was excited to dip my toes back into the Atlantic in July in Ocean City, Maryland. First time to Ocean City. I don’t think I’ve stuck my feet in the Pacific in over 50 years–my last several trips there did not allow me/us to get down to the water’s edge, although we got plenty of views and breezes and sightseeing.

    That crowd at the Book Catapult (what a great name for book launching) looks significant! Congrats and hope you had a great tour.

  10. Far too long. The ocean is my first love, but life keeps getting in the way of spending time there. We were kind of on the ocean when I went to Thailand in April, but not where I could dip my toes in. Maybe next summer. I hope.

  11. Challenge accepted, Laurie. I’ll go for a walk later today and dip my big toe in the ocean. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy all the features of my island home.
    Cowabunga–I love that word.

  12. I have an aunt with a home in Cardiff! I love that area of coastline. 🙂 I get to the ocean frequently and always stick my toes in the water. It’s one of the reasons I am able to tolerate living in an otherwise all-too-heavily populated area. I put up with a lot by comforting myself with the nearby Pacific Ocean. LOL!

  13. Laurie, it’s been waaay too long! Last fall we made a short run down to Laguna Beach and San Clemente in coastal Southern California to visit friends. Pacific coast water is way too chilly for my South-Eastern toes. Being a Gulf Coast person, I hope when I pass away that, if I have been the person I should, that God will send me to Panama City Beach as a reward for good behavior. Having placed my feet in the 3 huge bodies of water that touch continental U.S. shores, I’ll take the Gulf anytime for beauty and most importantly, the water temperature!

  14. Laurie, it sounds like the most fabulous of beach communities and the ideal summer retreat!!

    Ah, the ocean waves eh? There was a time decades ago I relished as much as anything in life, but heat and sand took their toll and I haven’t connected since my honeymoon way back in 1995. Just isn’t my thing but other family members are quite the opposite. 🙂

  15. I used to visit Encinitas a lot, a friend of mine lived there, until he moved to Carlsbad, not too far from there, but towards the mountains. 🙂

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