I hit a wall with my blog posts for awhile, but I'm trying to get back into it. Been overly busy and exhausted lately.
My parents were in town last weekend. At my coworker's suggestion (thanks Kevin), N and I decided to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu with them to go to Point Dume. It was the first time since we've moved here that we've driven the PCH despite hearing so many great things about it, and it was truly amazing. A fantastic drive...we passed so many beautiful beaches and cliff sides. Along the way, we stopped at a small restaurant called Plate for lunch. My parents are really into health food nowadays, so I decided to go there since it serves "earthy California cuisine." It has four stars on Yelp, but I had really low expectations for it. It seemed like one of those ubiquitous organic/local/Los Angeles-y/produce-centered spots that I was fairly certain wouldn't be terrible, but was also sure wouldn't be notable in any way. Even the decor in the place was totally predictable. But, I have to say, the food was shockingly good. Everything was cooked and prepped extremely well. It served typical American fare; I ended up getting a BLTA (a BLT with avocado) with a side of sweet potato fries, and they were the best sweet potato fries I've ever had. Thinly sliced, crisp and light, not greasy, with the perfect amount of sea salt on them. Everyone really enjoyed their meals and my parents really loved it. It's also not overpriced, which sealed the deal for a very good lunch.
Anyway, we eventually got to Point Dume. There's free spots for about 10 cars to park where the trail begins (2 hour limit), and the best bet is to just idle there until one of them leaves, which is what we did. The next place to park is at the beach for $10, which was completely packed when we went and also so far away that it required a shuttle ride to get to the trail from.
We first descended a pretty steep sandy trail followed by a really steep staircase to get to the tide pool area. Sadly, it was high tide when we arrived so we couldn't see any starfish or the like. But the rocks and ocean were still fantastic to see and wade through. Then we climbed back up and followed the circular trail around the top of Point Dume, which is a rocky cliff that juts out straight into the ocean. The views were spectacular and the drop off the cliff is straight down. At one point we spotted a couple sea lions balancing on a single rock jutting out of the water way down below. N took this photo of me and my parents near the top of the cliff:
We also drove past Pepperdine University in Malibu on the way. My mom summed it up by saying, "I don't think any of the students here study." That campus is truly situated in paradise.
Meanwhile, it was Stewie's 5th birthday on Sept 2. Happy belated birthday to him! We've had him for a little over 1.5 years at this point. Now he's the oldest in our little 3-person family...in dog years, at least.