Hiking the Magnificent Crystal Cove State Park With Princess Rosebud

My Birthday Hike

Crystal Cove State Park is in the OC.

That’s Orange County for those of you who didn’t watch The Hills or Real Housewives of Orange County.

It’s about an hour up the road from our little beachy town, near the home of my favorite shopping mecca, South Coast Plaza.

As much as I enjoy playing dress up in diamonds and designer fashion, I LOVE getting dusty and dirty on a trail surrounded by nature.

A couple years ago my son attended a seminar at University of California at Irvine and we hiked Crystal Cove together, but my tugboat man had been out to sea and wasn’t able to join us.

It’s so beautiful that I wanted to share it with him and chose it for my birthday activity.

On my birthday, I get to do anything I want — my mom said so — and who am I to argue when she substantiated my belief that the world revolves around me?

It was a wonderful, happy, magical day!

How to get there

Crystal Cove Directions

The bridge at the beginning of the trail.
The trail we took was about five miles; we couldn’t take the longer one ‘cos of our time constraints.  It starts off heading east up into the hills —
when you’re at the top, you’re facing west —
with an amazingly beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.

crystalcovebridge

crystalcoveflowers

A little wild rabbit, maybe a cousin of my garden bunny.

crystalcovebunny

The view from the top of the trail. It’s  breathtaking.

crystalcoveview

Beautiful Orange County.
I wonder who lives in those homes overlooking the cove?

crystalcoveview2

Where we ate lunch…can you spot the quail who came to join us?

crystalcovelunchquail

Princess Rosebud in a new Yale shirt, a Mother’s Day gift from Angel Boy.

Lunch Crystal Cove Me and J

Happy Memorial Day to all of our veterans!

crystalcoveplaque

We walked across the street to see the vintage cottages built in the 1930s.
They’re on the beach and available to rent through the
Crystal Cove Alliance. Click here for all the deets.

Located in the heart of Crystal Cove State Park’s 3.5 miles of pristine coastline, the Historic District was first developed as a South Seas movie set due to its seclusion and tropical aura.

The community thrived and became popular for its relaxed, friendly atmosphere and picturesque landscape. In 1979, the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built as a seaside colony in the 1930s and 40s, Crystal Cove endures as a magical escape for visitors who appreciate the opportunity to experience California’s natural and architectural beauty, untouched by time.

crystalcovecottages

Touring the Visitor’s Center, we took a step back to the 1930s to see what the cottage kitchens used to look like.

crystalcovekitchen

How could anyone not jump in that inviting ocean?

crystalcovecoast

Not big enough for surfboards, but my two guys had a refreshing swim.

crystalcoveswim

crystalcovebeach1

The outdoor restaurant was full of people enjoying the amazing weather;
check out the nautical flags!

crystalcovenauticalflag

Oopsie…chemtrails. These are NOT contrails…
Our sunny day turned milky white right before our eyes.

crystalcovechemtrails

Next time: My Hello Kitty Birthday Party

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Hiking through the Daley Ranch

My tugboat man is gone, and I’m left with an empty house and the debris and detritus from his departure: the cardboard box from his toothpaste on the floor, tossed in haste–the same for the dental floss packaging–clothes not taken strewn about–all in all, a gargantuan mess.

No matter how many lists he makes, sometimes things are left behind. He realized when we got to the airport that he forgot his watch– this time he was lucky, he’ll have time (ha ha, I made a joke) to buy one before he’s underway.

Now comes the period of adjustment to being half of a whole; he’s going to be traveling to another continent while I wait for him to return. Sigh.

Hold on a minute…do I feel the urge for some retail therapy coming on? Oh yes, I do! All is good. There’s nothing that a little shopping can’t make better. Right? Right!

Yesterday we went for a three-hour hike in one of my favorite spots: the Daley Ranch in Escondido. While it was overcast and drizzly near the coast, Escondido is inland where it’s usually always warm and sunny. We took the Sage Trail all the way up to Stanley Peak

This is an especially lovely time of year with the ceanothus in bloom.  Ceanothus blooms are rich in saponins, which produce lather when rubbed with some water; basically ceanothus flowers make soap. It really works! Try it for yourself! Pick a handful of flowers, add a little water, and rub your hands together.

Ramona Lilac Ceanothus

Ramona lilac ceanothus Lilac ceanothus

As you can see off in the distance, it was a very hazy day near the coast.

Stanley peak

White Lilac Ceanothus

white lilac ceanothus

The Ranch House

Daley Ranch House

A forest of Monkey Flower, a California Native

monkeyflower