Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

Camping on the Beach~ Kristi

on April 10, 2013

Camping on the Beach

The last few months have been stressful and demanding, which left me frazzled, frenzied, exhausted, and cranky.  I was depleted, tapped out, and spent.  My sanity craved camping on the beach during spring break.

After preparing for the move into my new home that awaited my return from camping, my daughter, my mother, and I headed to a campground in San Diego.  We jumped out of our trucks into the gorgeous spring sunshine and 70-degree weather.  With the waves crashing on the beach as our soundtrack, we set up our ‘camping home,’ which was a stone’s throw from the beach.  This was the setting for events that restored peace to my soul.  I could feel myself melting in the present moment and opening up to the events of the week.

Shortly upon arriving, my sister, seven-month niece, and two-year nephew came out for a campfire dinner of mango-marinated chicken, caesar salad, and cheese bread.  And, for dessert… peach cobbler in the Dutch-oven.  My heart was warmed as I watched: the cousins digging holes in the dirt and playing in the trees together, my sister playing with all the babies on the beach while I cooked dinner, and my little nephew shaking in delight as he ate my peach cobbler!  My family is my sanctuary.  When I am with my family, my heart sings and my soul dances in the pleasures of being with my tribe.    At the end of that day as I curled up in a sleeping bag that was way too small for my big bottom, I knew I was destined to be there even though the reservations had been made seven-months in advance.

The next day my sister, mother, daughter, and I went on a sailboat tour around the San Diego harbor.  Truly, this was one of the best of afternoons of my life.  My daughter and I snuggled on a bean bag on the bow as the sailboat rhythmically rocked up and down.  My wine glass was filled with marvelous Moscato as I watched three dolphins jump starboard and a baby seal sunning himself on the refueling dock.  The deep belly laughs at—oh wait, I mean “with”– my mom as she clung for dear life so she would not be sent overboard as the wind tipped the sailboat sideways.  Or, the conversations shared amongst my longest and oldest best friends—my mom and little sister—were heartfelt and deep.  There are no words to describe that day.

There were other beyond-magical memories from the trip.

-Playing in the waves with my daughter and seeing her beaming eyes and ear-to-ear grin.

-Placing my daughter on the perfect boogie boarding wave and having a seal’s head pop-up right next to my leg.  (I think the seal was as startled as I was).

-Observing my daughter build an epic sandcastle with her newest best friend, Drake, the boy three campsites over.  While they were building a sandcastle, I did something I haven’t done in years– I read an Oprah magazine cover-to-cover.

-Watching the dolphins swim by the surfers every morning

The days fell into a routine that was spontaneous, yet rhythmical.  Upon waking, my daughter and I were on a mission to find coffee.  The coffee might be at the Starbucks two streets over or it might be percolating on the camp stove while we battled each other in a competitive game of War or Gin.  After a cup (or two) of coffee, she and I would jump on our bikes and tear around the campground with the wind in our hair.  (Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration because she is struggling to ride her new beach cruiser that is too big for her.  Once she was on that sucker, we rode like the wind!)  Then, breakfast burritos tractor-beams would draw us to Bull Taco, the “inauthentic Mexican” camp taco stand.  They wrapped the eggs, chorizo, tater tots, sriracha sour cream, bacon, cheese, onion/ cilantro mix in flour in tortilla heaven.  After consuming all that goodness, we started my daughter’s school work.  Being the “good” teacher-mother that I am, I pulled my daughter out of school for the week since our spring breaks were not the same.  This gave me a rare opportunity to teach my daughter and it tickled my teacher-mother heart.  Our dutiful, schoolwork-centered attitudes faltered once the sunshine peaked out from behind the overcast clouds.  Our bathing suits jumped onto our bodies, the boogie boards tethered to our wrists, and we were teleported to the beach.  For hours we ran, romped, and played in the warm water of the low-tide beach.  As the sun’s warmth waned, we returned to the campsite, started the fire, poured a glass of wine, and made dinner.   Then, the corralling of flaming marshmellows with graham crackers and chocolate bars commenced.  After some quality-time around fire, my daughter climbed into her sleeping bag.  I sat at the campfire, read a book while listening to the waves in the background, and watched my daughter’s flashlight spot twirl around the tent until it didn’t.

This vacation was not sparkly trip to Hawaii or Disneyland.  It was a humble camping trip filled with simple activities that healed the effects of too much multi-tasking and stress.  The beauty of being fully present softened my heart and nourished my soul.   I am so grateful for these grace filled moments which imprinted my soul forever.

Hallelujah for magical camping trips on the beach that nourish a momma’s soul!


One response to “Camping on the Beach~ Kristi

  1. […] issues are nothing new to me, and “Camping on the Beach” exposed a dilemma I couldn’t write about due to its nature as a sweet […]

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