I was discouraged to wake up our second morning to honest-to-goodness mud. But breakfast at the Cottage Bakery Cafe & Deli in Long Beach perked me right up, especially when an elderly regular got up from his table to find himself some more coffee and came by our table with the coffee pot to top off ours while he was at it. Nels and Willem each had a plate-sized "Texas" doughnut with maple glaze.
I have never seen a kid with a doughnut look as miserable as Nels did once we sat down with our food. Turns out he felt he was being laughed at. The place was very crowded, and the sight of two young boys with two massive doughnuts was causing a stir. I did my best to explain to Nels that people were just enjoying it, not making fun, and that they were probably just thinking about how wonderful it would be to be eight years old and eating a giant doughnut. I know I was.
After breakfast we drove out onto the beach for novelty's sake. Shaun always expects the boys to get excited about that, but they don't really know any different. Poor beach-deprived boys.
Fortified by our dry indoors breakfast, we decided to check out the North Head Lighthouse, which is something we'd missed doing on previous trips to the area. First, we took the opportunity to check out the historic lighthouse keeper and assistant lighthouse keeper's residences. Holy smokes. We didn't peek into the windows as much as we would have liked, because they are occupied. YOU CAN RENT THEM. So, yes, I see an awesome trip (with friends; there are plenty of beds) sometime in our future.
Beautiful even on a gloomy day.
You may need to click on these pictures to see that there's a lighthouse in them.
In the parking lot, at the base of the trail that leads to the lighthouse, there is a sign that says (among many, many other things) that no one under seven years old may climb the tower. Nobody reads the sign that closely. We didn't.
Willem took it really well, but it was kind of horrible to wait for Shaun and Nels to make the climb. All the while we watched a steady stream of families with young children walk into the lighthouse excited and walk out dejected. It was saaaaaad. If I were the ticket lady, I would have made my own big sign and taped it onto the official park one. She didn't seem too bothered about being the bearer of bad news, though.
After all that cold, we decided to reward ourselves with a movie, so we drove back to Long Beach and watched Brave. Shaun and I may be the only people on the planet who don't usually like Pixar movies, but we all liked this one just fine. And three of the four of us left wishing we had Scottish accents.
We spent the two sunniest hours of the day in the movie theater, but the boys had been promised beach time, and beach time they would have.
They eventually went all the way into the water. All that cold and activity wore them out, and I think Willem was ready for bed at 7:00. He was very snuggly. I will take it while I can get it.