Autumn At Sea: Central Coast Mini Guide

This is the time of the year when I am most content, because there is nothing better than crisp salty air, and deserted beaches. ( I know on the calendar it isn't fall just yet, but in my heart and apparently in Mother Nature's heart, it is. )We spent the week visiting my brother in San Luis Obispo we are so lucky to have family members to visit who live in such awesome places. We had a blast hanging around, or rather eating our way around the central coastline. Avila Beach has to be one of my favorite beaches of all time, it was the first beach I ever went to as a child and I have fond memories of my sister and mother there. Tucked away in Avila is a nude beach and one of my favorite farms to go to during the fall -- like how I snuck that in? Haha. Unfortunately for us they didn't have their maze or anything set up just yet, but I'm hoping to plan at least one more trip that way specifically to go to their fall festivities with Lyla. 

Lyla told me her favorite things we did were " Swinging really really high with uncle Dilly, eating the The 'Naky' Naked Fish (thanks Rihanna), playing with my best friend at the beach, eating spaghetti with gigantic meatballs  (a whole adult plate that is --girl loves her sketti) and coloring."

On top of the restaurants mentioned by Lyla ( I wasn't kidding when I said we ate our way through) We had lunch by the water twice, once at Custom House in Avila Beach, and the next at Blue Sky Bistro in Morro Bay -- both delicious and desirable places to eat. Also if you love clam chowder you have to go to Splash Cafe over in Pismo Beach, don't be discouraged by the line, it really is that good

We love California for reasons like, playgrounds on the beach. Despite SLO and the surrounding areas being "college oriented", everywhere we went was family friendly and we did a lot.  For instance, we visited the Central Coast Aquarium and gave some sharks and other sea life some lovin'.  Lyla also loved going to one of the many candy shops SLO had to offer.  We went to the SLO farmers market, which had jump houses, mini donuts, music, food, food, and more food and obviously a ton of mini shops there as well. 

This picture pretty much sums up how we all felt at the end of each just a lot less adorable. 

Hiking In Mammoth Mountain

If you follow along on Instagram, you probably know the mountains called and so we went. It was so much fun bringing my family on a trip that I took so many times during my childhood. We went and explored places we've never been before, but that I have always wanted to encounter and it was nothing short of breathtaking. Of course knowing us, we took the trails less traveled and ventured through the rugged mountain terrain...with our four year old. Call us crazy.
This was Lyla's very first hike and she did outstanding. We only had to stop briefly for a breakdown -- we understood. She was tired, hot and just needed a little motivation to keep pushing forward, so we let her carry Daddy's Go-Pro for a bit. There were definitely times during the hike that I thought we ought to turn around because of the terrain, but together we managed to cross tricky waters, fallen trees, and steep inclines. By the time we reached the top our hair was tangled, our feet wet and muddy, and our faces also covered in dirt--it was amazing.

I can't explain how rewarding it felt to do something as a family, especially when we haven't had the opportunity to experience something like this together in such a long time. The hike was totally spontaneous, our plan was to just picnic and fish around the lakes but once we saw this waterfall, we knew we had to get up there. The look in Lyla's eyes was absolutely priceless when she saw the waterfall. We ended up hanging out at the top to rest for about an hour, until we realized Lyla was falling asleep in Alan's arms--there was definitely no way we would've made it back down the mountain carrying her.  To wake her up I had to tell her that we needed to hurry before it got dark and the lions and bears came out-- otherwise the girl was totally okay with sleeping next to a waterfall in her Daddy's arms. Needless to say, once we got back to the car it only took her about twenty seconds to knock out.