Channel Islands National Park

Today we said goodbye to Los Angeles and hello to the beautiful central coast of California! Our first stop off “the 101” was Ventura. The visitor’s center for the Channel Islands National Park was in the marina there. Even though we weren’t going to take a ferry out to the islands, we wanted to learn more about them. Woody did his usual Junior Ranger program there, and we all learned so much about how the islands are protected, and what they’ve been used for over the years.

There was a huge beach off the visitor’s center, so the boys (all the boys!) went for a walk to dip their toes in the water. Gunner loved running on the sand, it almost looked like he was flying! He hadn’t gotten much exercise in LA, and here he was stretching his legs out happily! Andy and Woody found some rocks to climb on, with many little crabs all over them and they loved checking it out. Problem was, Gunner loved checking it out too and would get his head stuck down in a hole! The boys were helpful to him but he never learned his lesson!

Our jaunt north took us through Solvang, a super cute rural town with huge Danish roots. It totally reminded us of when we hosted a Danish foreign exchanged student in Wheaton. Karianne was super fun to be with and learn from, I hope we all get to visit her again one day!

Our stop for the next couple days is in Pismo Beach, near San Luis Obispo. We’re following the El Camino Real road, which connects 21 Missions in California. There are cast metal bells lining the highway every 2 miles or so. It’s fun to follow them, I bet we’ll get into a couple of Missions as we passed a couple of them on our way here too.

For supper we met an old coworker of mine (he’s not old, i’m not old, we just worked with each other yeaaaaaaars ago!) Brent and I worked at the Minneapolis Metro North Convention and Visitors Bureau(say that 10 times real fast!) in the early 2000’s with a great group of hospitality workers. Seems like nothing has changed except for addresses! We had a memorable meal sitting right on the beach, watching surfers, the pier and a beautiful sunset while having great conversation with Brent, his husband Dean and his niece Katie.

What’s really nice is that our RV park is within walking distance to the beautiful Pismo Beaches. What’s not so nice is the colony of squaky birds seriously right outside our door. I’m going to need some good earplugs this week- haha!

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