Encinitas Christmas Parade

I took it slow this morning staying in bed late and reading my book. Checked e-mail then searched for a place to fill up on propane tomorrow after moving to the front seat and starting the day. PJ set us up with bowls of cereal and we made some phone calls. My friend John and his family are coming over to pay us a visit and check out the new motorhome.

They arrived around 11:00 and we sat around camp catching up on the latest happenings. It was our first time meeting their new daughter Angie. She is such a cutie. Her big brother Patrick has grown quite a bit from the last time we saw him also. He keeps a close eye out for his little sister. Patrick played with the dogs and Angie seemed interested at first but something about Cali spooked her and she decided maybe this dog thing wasn’t so cool after all.

We all headed down to the beach to take a walk along the shore. The tide was low and there was lots of cool things to see along the waterline. PJ and Patrick went exploring finding shells, sticks of unusual value and parts of deceased crustaceans. It’s all fun in a day’s beach adventure. We walked down to Pipes and turned around before the baby took in too much sun. It was a beautiful sunny day and being Saturday there was a million people cruising at the beach: surfing, jogging, tide pooling and catching rays. Watching people was almost as fun as finding old boots wedged into the reef.

We returned to camp where John and I hopped on bikes and pedaled over to Lourde’s Taco Shop to buy some burritos for lunch. All of Cardiff was abuzz with energy and people were out in force just like a summer’s weekend. We filled little cups with home made salsa, collected our food and rode on back across the coast highway. We sat at the picnic bench and enjoyed our lunch then it was time for the kids (and us) to take a nap. Said adios and they headed for home.

I took a short nap then PJ decided she was going to get a quick boogie boarding session in. I hung out with the dogs while she walked down past Pipes looking for a sandier bottom to make catching waves a little easier. She still managed to find some reef and got rolled around a bit. She came back and showered up then we got ready to walk into downtown Encinitas for the annual Christmas parade.

The Encinitas parade is a time for family fun. It’s a little disorganized and there could end up being long gaps where the next bunch of participants somehow got held up from keeping pace with the rest. Lots of school bands or just walking kids, old cars, fire trucks and mostly businesses trying to advertise themselves. PJ cheered them on while I tried taking a few photos. The camera has been acting up and it doesn’t take very good pictures at night especially with the flash. The highlight was watching the kids on the sidelines watching the parade, they were really into it working the marchers for high fives as they trucked on past.

We stood around watching for about an hour then got a little antsy and started walking around town. We weaved through the heavy crowds. I got behind a slightly pushy lady and let her be the lead blocker. PJ and I stepped into her slipstream followed as she parted the packed hordes. We came up to a new restaurant called Eve, a vegetarian joint we had read about online so we decided to give them a go. We ordered up a couple of Buddha Bowls and grabbed a small table in the crowded interior. PJ saw some friends she had gone to Africa with and also volunteered at Bread of Life with. They said some hellos and chatted for a few minutes until their food showed up.

The food was decent but a little pricy. The atmosphere was arty and soulful but it was noisy with the constant whirl of blenders and echoing ceiling. Quite a few establishments in the short stretch of downtown have changed hands in the time since we’ve been traveling. The biggest shock was the empty once Whole Foods Market building. I used to love getting a hot box of their prepared foods and eating it on the patio while watching the hip and beautiful pass by. The furniture and decor shop across from them is now a Wells Fargo or some kind of bank. There’s a new taco shop where the second hand store used to be. Black Sheep is gone and replaced by yet another coffee shop and an ale and burger place. Interesting and fun walking down the middle of the closed off street in the aftermath of the parade. It was like a ciclovia, the kids were really digging it ripping around the coast highway on skateboards, scooters and bikes. It ended quickly with the cops herding us back onto the sidewalks and preparing to set the cars loose once more.

We walked back to camp and lit a few logs then sat and rested our legs and reflected on our day. Sad to leave Cardiff, I’ve lived more years here than any other place in my life, but tomorrow we’re off to new adventures and to maybe take care of some business and not do so much goofing off. Besides, we have reservations back here towards the middle of the month so we’ll be back soon.