Beach Camping

After we visited Doran Beach Regional Park back in April, I noticed there were campgrounds in the park and thought it would be fun to camp there. I checked their website thinking nothing for the summer would be available on such late notice, but there was one lone campsite at a time where both my parents and our family had free, so we made the reservation. The campground was even dog friendly and allowed dogs right on the beach; Ripley was excited to come with us too. (Of course, she’s excited whenever we let her out the front door, haha.)

They were both afraid they were getting left

They were both afraid they were getting left

We took a lunch break in Santa Rosa on the way in

We took a lunch break in Santa Rosa on the way in

Our campsite was beautiful but not ideal for little kids – we were right across from the beach, which was gorgeous, but also close to the road, which was not so good. You’d look down to take off your shoes or something and look up again and Damien is three steps from the road. (To his credit, he never went into the road without someone there, but still, he is three after all.) There’s only one road in and out of the park, and unfortunately the day use parking lot is at the very end of the road while the campgrounds are in the middle, so there was always traffic (even at night, which was a little bright – another drawback of this site.) However, there were lots and lots of good camping sites that were bigger and backed up to the wetlands/bay, where there were no roads or traffic, so we just need to get a reservation earlier next time.

Campsite - our tent is the huge one

Campsite – our tent is the huge one

Doran Beach

Doran Beach – this one is straight out of the camera (phone haha); I didn’t even crop it

The last time we were at the ocean, Damien was afraid of the water and spent all his time in the sand. This time he seemed to have spontaneously overcome that fear – he didn’t go into the water without people with him (the water being fairly cold may have had something to do with that) but he was happy to jump at the edge of the waves and play in the water. That made my beach-loving heart very pleased. 🙂 I didn’t even take Rowen down to the water (it was way too cold for him) so he had a great time playing in the sand and splashing in the water Damien brought back in buckets.

Playing with driftwood

Playing with driftwood

<3

❤

One happy dipdog

One happy dipdog

Damien standing on my shadow-head :)

Damien standing on my shadow-head 🙂

The boys with Mimi at the campsite - I love Rowen's expression here

The boys with Mimi at the campsite – I love Rowen’s expression here!

BFFs!

BFFs!

The first day, it was pretty windy and so we flew our poor cheap kite, which barely survived (although Dan still did a great job of flying it anyway.) There were other schmancy kites that could do cool tricks and were fun to watch, even when ours was done. The next day was hot, so we traded off playing on the beach/in the water and resting in our shady tents. Dan and I left the boys with my parents during naptime and drove into Sebastopol to wander around. We found the cutest used bookstore ever, a really fun toy store (parent tip: it is much more fun to look in a toy store without little people begging for things and pulling toys off the shelves to play with and/or ruin), and a delicious bakery/coffee shop. (We also went to Safeway for more water, because neither our family nor my parents brought enough. Oops.)

Rowen and Ripley with Mimi

Rowen and Ripley with Mimi

Happy beach baby!

Happy beach baby!

Damien running on the beach :)

Damien running on the beach 🙂

More <3

More ❤

A dip paw, a babien foot, and my (sandy) foot

A dip paw, a babien foot, and my (sandy) foot

We had a few typical issues – I totally lost my temper with Damien after he wouldn’t stop harassing Rowen; Damien insisted on sleeping with us the first night so we had four of us squished on one bed (he slept with my parents the second night, thank goodness); despite frequent applications of sunscreen I still burned worse than I have in years (I had one strip of skin on my back that blistered and actually made me sick for a few days) (amazingly, the burns turned to a tan, which hasn’t happened to me in a good 20 years, so that probably means I have officially damaged my skin beyond repair.) But despite the problems we still had a great time, and I definitely want to go back there – hopefully next summer, if we don’t move too far away.

Damien going tidepooling on the rock jetty with Bapa - I had Rowen in the baby carrier so I kept myself planted on dry land :)

Damien going tidepooling on the rock jetty with Bapa – I had Rowen in the baby carrier so I kept myself planted on dry land 🙂

Beach nurses are the best nurses (although Rowen doesn't call them 'nurses' like Damien did, but 'nanas', which is pretty cute)

Beach nurses are the best nurses (although Rowen doesn’t call them ‘nurses’ like Damien did, but ‘nanas’, which is pretty cute)

Playing with sand (hopefully with no one nearby)

Playing with sand (hopefully with no one nearby)

Beach selfies are also the best selfies. Also, beach hair is fun too.

Beach selfies are also the best selfies. Also, beach hair is fun too.

On the way home we all took a detour for ice cream. I put a filter on this picture to disguise my ridiculous sunburn...

On the way home we all took a detour for ice cream. I put a filter on this picture to disguise my ridiculous sunburn…

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