West Coast Best Coast Wild.
That's how I prefer my beaches. Wild and rugged and free.
As a child my dad and I would drive the windy roads up and over the California foothills to spend a morning wandering tide pools on cool, foggy coastal shores. I loved poking at sea anemones to make them recoil and feeling sand beneath my feet wash away with receding waves.
Those northern California beaches defined for me how an ocean should be--what a beach should feel and sound like. For me a beach feels like pant legs encrusted with salt water and sand and kelp popping between my fingers and toes. It sounds like waves crashing against rocks covered in barnacles and muscles and wind tussling my hair.
Earlier this month my mother came for a visit, and we spent several days as a family, enjoying the wonders of the Pacific Ocean. The weather was perfect: windy, chilly, and a rhythmic pattern of sun and clouds. We watched people dig for clams, seals hunt for fish, and birds drop and crack muscles. Our children touched starfish and sea anemones; they climbed rocks and driftwood. They looked out across an endless horizon and felt oh so small in the world.
We still dealt with crack-of-dawn risers and sensory-overload meltdowns. We still went to sleep exhausted at night from parenting 4 little ones. We still left craving alone time.
But we seriously had a ball, and we got what we needed: some space to explore, and a pace to slow down and absorb life.
The story I tell in the following photographs isn't as complete as I would have liked, but I needed a bit of space from my camera. All of these were taken within two very short time frames on one day. It is what it is, and I hope you enjoy it anyway :)