Ryan’s and my 5th anniversary was somewhere around the end of March. Because that’s how precise we are and how much we worry about such things. But any occasion was occasion enough to go camp on the beach at Point Mugu, north of Malibu, again.
We had been once before. It was cold. Really cold. And windy, and gorgeous, but generally unpleasant. It was definitely warmer this time.
We also took a detour through the mountains instead of driving up the coast. It was worth it.
They tuck houses into the craziest, steepest hillsides.
Malibu is awesome to drive through.
And we’re there!
It was sunny when we were driving through the mountains, but got mega foggy as we got down to the waterline, as it always seems to do.
View from the car
All ours for the night
It was foggy and a little chilly, but not too bad
View from the shoreline
Gratuitous selfies. Ryan looks silly with his fishing light on his head, but it helped lots once it got dark because we couldn’t seem to find any flashlights to bring with us.
Ryan wanted to get straight into fishing before the sun went down, but I made him open presents first.
I got him a flask because he’s never had one, and apparently they’re basically a fishing must-have. This may be a picture of tequila being poured over (mostly melted) raspberry sorbet, or that may be water. I’ll never tell.
I got him a pretty cool knife too. The Art of Manliness recommended the Case knives, so I found him a fishing one. Perfect. The company is cool. They’ve handmade their knives in the U.S. since the 1800s, and the one I got him had a carved bone handle. It’s a good man knife.
So armed with his new knife and mystery drink, Ryan headed to the ocean.
I hung out on the other side of the rocks and enjoyed the ocean.
And holy crap, TWO big pods of dolphins swam by!
The sky cleared up for a bit, and the sun came out, and things warmed up.
But not for long.
These seagulls were mocking Ryan for not catching any fish.
So we set up the tent, super close to the water, and decided to start making a fire and dinner.
I am the expert Girl Scout fire builder, so I set to work. Notice my awesome log cabin form.
We didn’t bring any kindling or tinder, and there’s much of that kind of thing on a rocky beach, so we used paper trash and receipts from Ryan’s messy car to get the fire started. It worked.
Since it was Easter weekend (this was actually Good Friday, I’m just slow with posting), I decided to make peep smores. They were pretty awesome. They carmelize and soften in about 1/4 the time of normal marshmellows since they’re coated in sugar. Best smore idea ever.
…Or so I thought initially. Disclaimer: peeps make amazing smores, and cook really quickly, but you have to watch them because they slide off and into the fire about 4x faster than normal marshmellows, too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Ryan had more serious food ideas.
Those are turtles. Not actual turtles. But when we made them with my sister’s girl scout troop in elementary school, that’s what the leader called them. You basically mix powdered onion soup mix into burger meat, wrap it around some canned veg (they did the meat on the inside and veg on the outside, but the meat cooks slowest, so it makes more sense to put it on the outside), wrap it in foil and throw it in the fire and cook it, turning occasionally.
Ryan’s tradition, ever since we got our camp stove (and before, but it is impossible to do on a campfire) is to make ricearoni. It’s usually undercooked (he calls it al dente) and we don’t use oil or anything other than water, but it’s still nice and makes me think of camping even when we’re not. Actually, I don’t know that we really eat ricearoni any other time. So it’s total camp food.
Time to check the turtles. This one needed a little longer.
A little extra crispy. But part of the charm of cooking over a campfire is picking the charred bits out of your food, right?
We also got an awesome sunset.
You know what that is?
Yes, it’s a smore fire.
Delicious. And smores by a fire on a chilly beach at night are pretty much the best things ever.
Top tip: if you’re camping on a treeless beach, be sure to bring your own smore sticks from home! Last time we came, we hunted around in the dark and finally came up with a rusty coathanger or something equally sketch and made it work. This time, I ripped a couple branches off the tree right outside our balcony. Perfect smore sticks.
I don’t have any pictures of the rest of the night. It was awesome and beachy and bonfirey. Then we went to our awesome tent, which was right up by those rocks, but safely far from the high tide line. We climbed into our sleeping bags and talked for a while. And then the waves kept getting louder. And louder.
“Should we move?”
“No, we’re above the high tide line. You said.”
“Those are really big waves. And high tide isn’t til midnight. What time is it?” Ryan always knows his tides.
“I don’t know, like ten? They’re kind of big, I guess.”
“These are bigger waves than there’ve been all week. We should move the tent back.”
“But we’re above the high tide line.” I really didn’t want to get out.
[more crashing waves. I’m watching them crash pretty high on the rocks]
So we evacuated the tent and pulled it back to the next rockless spot big enough to put a tent.
That’s the view from the waterline the next morning. The water made it about a foot from where our tent had been. We totally would have been fine.
That’s seaweed that washed up during the night. And that big rock was holding down our tarp. So I guess it maybe would have been slightly panicky when, around midnight, we heard water creeping ever closer to our sleeping spot. Ugh. I hate it when Ryan is right.
Guess who was off to fish again before breakfast, with eerie clouds in the background?
But they cleared up soon enough, and the morning was gorgeous.
Breakfast: potatoes, bacon, peppers and onions, plus water for hot chocolate
and some local wildlife
Plus eggs. And in hindsight, way too much food for two people. The seagulls and a raven
may have helped with the leftovers.
Then we packed up and got on the road. Which is a story for another blog post.