Monday, May 11, 2015


Sunset at Crystal Cove Beach, October 7, 2011
Once upon a time, I snapped up a "free" weekend at a resort in exchange for a 90-minute sales pitch that I had every intention of resisting.

Stop laughing.

What I hadn't expected was that our kids would fall in love with the ocean.

"I wish we could live here!" they chimed.

I didn't expect to fall in love with it myself, but I did. During rough times, I would think back to that beach as my "happy place."

We spent several family vacations there, but as our kids have grown and we've retired, our vacation wishes have changed.

Rather than feeling tied down to a particular type of vacation, we thought we would rather be open to last-minute packages or impromptu travel. So we decided to sell our timeshare. At one-tenth of what we paid for it. (Which, for those of you following along, is why you should plan on keeping your timeshare for all eternity. Do not for one second consider it an "investment.")

While the paperwork was working its way through the system, we took one, final trip to the California coast. This time, we invited friends along for the fun, fellow retirees Paul and Nancy.

Steve, me, Paul, Nancy
It turned out to be quite a different kind of vacation.

In previous years, in an effort to take a respite from kitchen chores, we've eaten out a lot. But this time, with four cooks, we ate "in" most of the time, including a Bed-and-Breakfast-worthy brunch every morning and simple, fresh dinners in the evening.

Paul making homefries.
Nancy chops an onion while Steve supervises. :)
And instead of trips to Disneyland and Legoland, we went to art museums and historic sites. But most of the time was spent just relaxing, wandering on the beach, and playing Bananagram (a Scrabble-like game).

Nancy zeroes in on something at the shore.
Nancy shares my enthusiasm for photography, but is a much more accomplished wildlife photographer. It has been fascinating to look at her pictures from the same trip -- the same environment, but very different perspectives.

I'll share more pictures from the trip later this week. But I will say now that we had such a good time that we're reconsidering the decision to sell.

Stay tuned!

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