Sunday, April 23, 2017

Summer of the Beaches Reflections

Haskell's Beach
Reflections on Summer of the Beaches:

Beaches visited: 9 "Summer" Months: July 2016-September 2016

What did we learn?
Beach days are harder to plan and longer than park days. We still love having a goal for the the summer. (Look for the 2017 goal in mid to late May.) This goal was eclipsed by the 40 year bucket list and training for the Carpinteria triathlon.

We got much better at the planning and success of beach trips as we got better at packing and timing them. Kids are kids and there were definitely meltdowns!

We didn't make it to all of the beaches on our list and unless we camp, I probably won't go to Gaviota, Refugio or El Capitan any time soon. The quest didn't expand our list of places too much. We will continue to favor Goleta Beach because it is so close although we really liked Haskell's and Carpinteria Beach. We still often meet friends at Arroyo Burro and Leadbetter.

I am keeping my list of ideas for new quests going:
* Day trips from Santa Barbara
* Santa Barbara area museums
* Hikes and Nature walks
* Thematic Booklists

Any other suggestions?

Related posts: Summer of the Beaches, Summer of the Parks

Beach Tips

Beach Tips
A successful beach day involves good planning and timing. Thanks to many friends for suggestions during our quest. Before you go, check the tide schedule. Some of our area beaches have little or no beach area at high tide. Consider parking and how crowded the beach will be in choosing a location. Invite friends!

Our beach packing list includes:
1. Foldable blanket or chairs (for sitting) ^
2. Towels (for drying off and brushing sand off)
3. Plastic bags (for trash and for wet stuff) and quart sized ziplocs (for things like phones)*
4. Easy to eat snacks (plus small cups or bowls for sharing)
5. Water bottles with closing lids
6. Wipes*
7. Sand toys^
8. Wagon to haul it all
9. Gallon of water (see sand removal below)
10. Umbrella
11. Sunblock
12. Baby Oil (see below) *
*Stays in our beach bag always
^Stays in our car (along with a Bjorn potty at the moment)

Tips for sand removal  
1. Gallon of water: Leave a full gallon of water in your car when you arrive at the beach. It warms up in the car. When you are finished at the beach, rub sandy bodies with a towel and then pour the warm water to get most of the sand.
2. Baby powder: Dump baby powder on the sandy bodies and rub to get rid of the sand. This isn't my favorite. It is messy and takes a lot of baby powder. Friends also use corn starch or arrowroot starch which is a similar method.
3. Hudson sprayer: Using a Hudson Sprayer is quick and effective according to one friend. She simply keeps it in her car all summer, refilling as necessary. We have been trying to minimize stuff, so we use a simple option (1).

Tips for Tar removal: 
1. Baby oil: Rub the baby oil with a cloth on the tar. It still takes elbow grease to get it off.
2. Citrus oils, coconut oil, olive oil (really most any oil works with the method above)
3. Avon Skin So Soft 

(We favor #1 on each of these removal lists.)

Other #MomLife Posts:
Road Tripping with Kids
Beach Tips with Kids
Hiking List with Kids
Travel Packing Lists

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Butterfly Beach

Butterfly Beach is a beautiful location across from Four Seasons Biltmore and next to the Coral Casino. The shopping area of Montecito is minutes away. Pay attention to the tides because this high very little beach at high tide.

Directions:  Take 101S to Olive Mill Rd. Turn right onto Olive Mill Rd and continue. It turns into Channel Dr. The beach is your left. Park along Channel Dr or on Butterfly Lane if necessary.

More info

It is a beautiful location and more remote than some beaches.
Some claim this beach has the least tar. (Ironically this was one of the only beaches where I picked up tar.)
The beach is right next to the road when you get good parking.
It is away from traffic and quiet.

There are no bathrooms or showers.
Parking can be difficult in the summer or on the weekend. 
It is very popular and may be hard to socially distance, especially on the stairs.
There are no food options.
The only way to access the beach is through stair down the bluff, making it had to haul a wagon.
At high tide, there is very little beach.

Taken mid-week in spring

View towards Hammonds

View towards East Beach

Hammonds Beach

Friday, April 14, 2017

Carpinteria Beach

Carpinteria Beach is considered one of the safest beaches locally with calm waves. It is easy walking distance from the charming town of Carpinteria with food and shops nearby.

Directions: From Santa Barbara, take the 101S and exit Lyndon Ave. Turn right onto Lindon and follow it all the way to the end. There is street parking here. Or turn left onto 6th Ave and right onto Palm Ave (3rd street) for the parking lot.

**The beach is large and generally you can socially distance, but it can get very busy. 
The waves are generally calm and good for little people to play.
There is plenty of parking (although the best parking in entered through Palm Ave not Lindon Ave).
There are bathrooms (individual stalls).
There are showers (disabled during the current drought).
There are lots of food options nearby.

It is a bit of a drive from Santa Barbara/Goleta (not very far but not as convenient).
It can be a walk to the beach over the bluff along the pathways.

Carpinteria Beach (view towards Santa Barbara)

Carpinteria Beach (view towards Ventura)

Beach area


Bathroom Area

Spring at the beach

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Parks without Swings

Hilda McIntyre Ray Park
There is a point at every kids development where swings are a hazard for them. Fortunately it is a short stage. For those in that stage, park time is not fun and is hard with the older siblings. There really aren't that many parks without swings, but here is a short list.

Parks without Swings
Santa Barbara
Plaza de Vera Cruz (not toddler friendly)

Santa Barbara County
Upper Manning Park (Montecito) 

Goleta (including Isla Vista)