Big Sur camping weekend!
October 5th, 2011
Kevin, Lola and I took a marvelous four day weekend to go camping in Big Sur! We met up with our good friends Brian and Brianne from Long Beach and we had a blast!
Friday, September 30
We left at 6am on Friday morning in hopes of beating the traffic and of getting into the Big Sur area early enough to find a camping site. Yes, we were those people that didn’t make reservations.
We are in desperate need of a bigger car…Lola could barely fit in the backseat with all our camping junk! And the other sleeping bag may or may not have fallen on top of her during the ride a couple of times, haha.
Any gloomy morning can be brightened up with a dozen cupcakes! Kevin baked those for Brianne since her birthday was just after our camping trip.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing dogs hanging their heads outside of car windows.
We made a few stops along the way, taking in the amazing views of the California coast.
I truly love this state.
We drove up and down the coast trying to find the perfect camping spot. After a few sites told us there were 1-2 spots left but either the campground was too expensive ($65 a night?!) or there were too many bugs or it just didn’t feel right it was approaching 12noon and we were starting to get nervous. One campground (Kirk Creek) we had passed previously we had heard some good things about but after seeing the sign “Campground full” we didn’t think much of it. On our way back up the coast in hopes that we could snag one of those spots that we had previously passed up on Kevin said we should just drive through the Kirk Creek campground to see if we might get lucky…and we did! We actually got the last spot in the entire campground. And the campground was amazing to boot!
We set up our tent, took a little nap in the sunshine, and while patiently awaited the arrival of Brian and Brianne we decided to start cooking dinner before the sun started to set.
Pouring the batter into the dutch oven
Letting the magic happen
We had never cooked anything other than a cobbler in the dutch oven before so we weren’t sure how it was going to turn out. We had to let it sit for 45 minutes to cook so we decided to enjoy some beverages and watch the sun start to set.
Classy boxed wine from Target
Wine in hand, sun shining
Brian and Brianne pulled up just as the cornbread was finishing up so we could dig in!
It turned out perfect!!
We set our chairs out overlooking the ocean and the sunset, eating our giant bowls of chili and fresh cornbread. Not too shabby!
Enjoying the view
For dessert we surprised Brianne with the cupcakes that Kevin had made…yum! We played a game of Rummikub and tried to keep warm by the light of the lantern (we forgot to buy firewood that first night, d’oh!) Kevin, Lola and I hit the hay a little early because of our early morning and because it was so dang cold outside with that ocean breeze. But it was a great first day nonetheless!
Brianne’s birthday cupcakes
Saturday, October 1
We woke up bright and early and got started on breakfast…breakfast burritos with soyrizo!
Kevin cooking up some breakfast! Our campsite only had shade in the late afternoon so at just about 8:30am the sun would rise above the hills and we’d get an early start on our suntans for the day.
We left mid-day to drive up to Monterey to pick up a few things (air pump for the air mattress [kind of important] and firewood) and we had lunch out that way as well. I gotta say, it was a little strange being at a Target in the middle of our camping trip.
We got back to the campsite mid-afternoon and took a short hike down a trail that leads straight from the campground down to the beach.
Lola is so at home at the beach
B & B climbing the rocks
Brian surrounded by water
Kevin and Lola always have to climb to the highest point and look down at me for the obligatory photo. This trip to the beach was no exception.
Lola’s paw prints, the ocean, and the sun setting
We found this cool damned-up area that had a small wading pool and a small waterfall that was just Lola’s size.
She spent a good while “fetching” for rocks (they all sank to the bottom but she never stopped trying to look for them!)
Me and Lola
Lola wading in the pool and me in the background
Brian’s dangerous leap-from-one-rock-to-another-over-a-wading-pool stunt.
I love this photo of Lola.
We headed back up to camp to get started on dinner while the sun was still out. On the menu Saturday evening? Cheese enchiladas, cilantro lime rice, and avocado/tomato salad (courtesy of B & B).
Brianne cooking the enchiladas in the dutch oven! We weren’t sure how it would turn out so we kept our fingers crossed.
While B & B were cooking, Kevin and I decided to go sit and watch the sun set (something, we realized, we haven’t done much together surprisingly!)
Those clouds were amazing!
After the sun set we were happy to find out that the dutch oven is the perfect place to cook enchiladas!
Cooked to perfection
Eating by moonlight
That night for dessert we had the ultimate camping treat…s’mores!
Sunday, October 2
We woke up bright and early to find little muddy paw prints on our storage bins and even on the side of our car…crazy raccoons! Luckily they didn’t get anything (that we know of).
After a yummy breakfast of pancakes and bacon (or fake sausage for the veg-head over here), we left mid-morning down the road to Sand Dollar beach and picnic grounds. It was pretty overcast and chilly that morning but luckily the clouds burned off and we had a good dose of sun for the majority of our time there!
View of Sand Dollar beach from the top of the stairs
Stairs down to the beach
Brianne, Brian, Lola and Kevin testing out the water
Brianne at first thought those were bear paw prints until she realized that Lola made them, haha!
I took a few portrait photos, the only one I was missing was Brian!
Kevin and Brian braved the coooooold waters and went swimming for about 30 minutes.
Lola watching Kevin and Brian in the water
Eventually Kevin and Brian made their way out and Kevin immediately made a new friend (some other dog, I swear that guy is the Dog Whisperer!)
We made our way back up to the picnic area for some lunch. After eating, Brian and Kevin decided to attempt to hop over a 4.5 foot tall fence. Surprisingly, they both did it (after many attempts, I might add).
I don’t think so, sir.
Me taking a self-portrait in between their attempts to jump over the fence.
Kisses from Lola over the fence
A view from below
B & B!
Back at the campsite we sat and tried to soak in the final rays of the sun.
Looks like I got a bit of a tan from the beach, hallelujah!
On the menu for Sunday night? Burritos with Spanish rice and more of that amazing avocado/tomato salad (courtesy of B & B). And for dessert?
PEACH AND BLUEBERRY COBBLER straight from the dutch oven!! (recipe here)
That crust was so good! Next time we just gotta let it cook a little longer but otherwise it was amazing.
I thought I’d take a picture of our dish-washing station…Brianne, Kevin and Brian hard at work!
Group photo by campfire!
We had such a fantastic time…not only did we score an awesome campsite, the weather was lovely, and the company was superb! I think we should probably put in our reservation now for this time next year at Kirk Creek, what do you say B & B? 🙂