August 20, 2012

Beach Day in Oceanside

 Dang, it's been hot. So. Dang. Hot.  And for some reason, dang just feels like the best expletive for the situation. Like, Daaang.

We've been staying in the house a lot for the last two weeks, with the A/C running at 79 degrees.  79 still sounds pretty warm, but not so much, when it's 20 degrees cooler than outdoors.  It's been too hot to send the kids down to the park; too hot to go anywhere very local and just walk around.   On Saturday, we stayed indoors all day, went out for dinner in the evening, and came right back home.  Sunday, I was determined that we GET OUTSIDE. Somehow.

So we drove to the beach. But not for a "beach day" with umbrellas and picnic cooler and towels etc. etc.  This was more of a last minute, let's-just-get-outta-here sort of plan.  Our nearest beach is Oceanside, and as the crow flies, it's only 30 miles away.  The actual roads to get there are a bit more circuitous but even with heavy traffic in spots (what, I wasn't the only one with the beach idea?), it still took less than an hour to get there.

Oceanside is in north San Diego county, and it's a bit of a gritty, blue-collar town, compared to the tonier beach enclaves to the south like Del Mar or La Jolla.  It's long had a large military presence and population, with its close proximity to the sprawling Camp Pendleton Marines base just to the north. As such, there are lots of dark little dive bars and pubs and tattoo joints and barbershops offering military discounts.

We arrived at lunch time and found the cute '80s-themed diner, The Breakfast Club, a couple blocks from the shore.  It also serves sandwiches and burgers besides um, breakfast.
 We had a good time looking around at all the '80s album covers and movie posters on the wall, and spotting all the movie references in this mural:
Note the Delorean & Death Star in the sky. The Predator & Michael Jackson are in the surf.

Detail of another mural.  You know this one, right?
After the tasty grinds, it was off to the pier. Dang, you know it's hot when even the beach feels toasty. At 1,954 feet, the pier is the longest on the West coast, and it sure felt like it. I was sweating under the hot sun as we walked its full length, with nary a good breeze to cool us off. 
Stopping for the train.
Long walk on a long pier
Shark humor at the bait shop
Finally, after lots of grumbling about "kid torture" we went down to the sand and let the kids (and me) splash around.  I have to say, the kids did pretty well with my dire warnings to not get completely soaked -- we'd brought only one towel (which was left in the car) and no change of clothes.  It was low tide, so the bigger waves were pretty far out, which also helped them keep fairly dry.

Hopefully these young guys didn't notice me taking their picture. It just seemed  such an iconic shot, like the poster for Endless Summer.
Endless summer.  That pretty much sums it up around here this month.  I have a feeling I'll miss the sunshine (if not the heat) later this week, when we go up to the Central Coast to famously foggy and chilly Morro Bay for a family reunion.  Their forecast for this week has temps averaging at 62 degrees for the high.  Huh. From one extreme to another. Dang.


  1. It sounds like a fun outing - even if it was so dang hot. I wish we lived that near a beach.

    1. It was a lot of fun. I wish I didn't forget so often how close we actually are!

  2. You make me miss the ocean. I want to be running away from the waves like I did as a kid. Your pictures are great!


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