It is pretty amazing to live in California and have access to so many state parks and beaches.

Last month we spent a couple nights camping on the coast (and I mean, really, on the coast) in Ventura County, just a few hours away from home. Chad’s brother came out and joined us for a day of hiking and marshmellow roasting (between him, Chad, Christian, and I, we managed to roast every marshmellow in an entire bag…)

Potty with a view.

This campground was okay. You see the silver car? That's PCH. Luckily our proximity to the surf drowned out any other sounds.

Camping is definitely one of Christian's all-time favorite things to do. He would wake up in the morning with a big smile and say, "Tent!"

Roasting, roasting, and more roasting. I can't believe I almost didn't bring marshmellows...They were immensely satisfying and delicious - after a long hike, for breakfast...

Sci-fi city we could see in the horizon. I want to live there!

This would be a great place to watch whales pass by in the right season. I took this shot as we were almost back from our 7 1/2 mile hike.

We stayed at Thornhill Broome, which does not have shower facilities. The south end of the campground seems to be a popular place for RV’s to pull up. The sites at the far north are best for camping, because the scrub-covered dunes offer some protection from the wind and sun.

Christian and I managed to snag a couple of hot showers once we discovered the shower in the group campground across the street had been left unlocked. The price I paid, though, was having a ranger unlock the door while I was standing there naked with the baby.

Luckily, I managed to scramble behind the door when I heard somebody turning the lock.

Even more luckily, I had had a short conversation with a man who was part of the group coming in for the weekend – so I pretended I was with them. The ranger hastily apologized and left me alone. I never saw his face.

Next time we’ll try to get in at Sycamore Canyon, which is inland, but therefore quieter and more peaceful. There are showers there.