Went out for groceries and…

Wound up in Leo Carillo.

our tiny, unspoken tradition. our gifts from the sea.

our tiny, unspoken tradition. our gifts from the sea.

Everyone has probably heard of or experienced marriage getting to that dreaded point. Days where you don’t even see each other. Wake up, scramble to get something that resembles breakfast into your mouth and the mouths of your young kids, throw a lunch together, brush several sets of teeth, run out the door so you can run out of the office as soon as is acceptable to get your children and start the race all over again, night edition. We’re so tired. Tired in our bones and probably a little tired of each other, too.

And then yesterday, a Saturday morning that started around 4:30am when Godzilla the 2nd awoke at her ungodly hour, the tide shifted.  It was about 9am when my two girls and I were fed and dressed and ready to head to Target, list in hand. For whatever odd reason, I asked the husband to come with us – grocery shopping is never a family outing for the sheer nerd factor alone. About 30 seconds from the door of the heaven/hell super store I love so much despite myself, we decided to get on the freeway instead.

First it was the desert. Then Santa Monica. Maybe, Santa Barbara? No. We agreed on Ojai. We made it to the county line, to Neptune’s Net just north of Leo Carillo, to be exact. Fried clams, shrimp, a vat of clam chowder and two ice cold beers.  Yeah, it was 10:30am, but that’s what we call a breakfast of champions in our house. The girls munched on bits of clam and shrimp, laughing and chatting, eyes wide in the roadside biker bar.

We hopped in the surf wagon after a quick swim in the ocean and stopped at Leo Carilo state beach. It really is a magical spot. By now the girls, clothes all wet and sandy, were running naked and wild on this crowded family beach.

Amongst the perplexed glances and standard, awesome sounds of kids at play in the California sun, I heard someone exclaim, sincere excitement in her voice, “Oh! Hello! Helloooo!!” And I looked up to see my 3 year old’s best friend and her mother playing in the water right next to us. 70 miles from home. They played, and ran, and laughed and laughed and ran and swam.

At some point my husband and I stood, facing each other, smiling and kissing. Seeing one another for the first time in weeks.

The world is a funny place. So full of magic and opportunity, if you keep your heart open.

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