Geography Lesson

I live on the Northern California coast.

I actually live about 11 or 12 miles inland as the crow flies,  and there’s a pretty radical change in weather between the coast and even 4 or 5 miles inland. Foggy and cold at the coast can still mean 85 degrees where I am.

When it hits 100 at my house, we go west.

When it’s mild inland, you’re gambling a bit with the coastal weather. Has the fog burned off yet? How windy is it? Will it break 65 degrees?

And weather websites lie. They lie lie lie.

They will tell you that the coastal fog will be burning off by noon for you to find yourself standing in gray soup at 2.

They will tell you that the high temperature will be 78 degrees, and you will be shivering in your t-shirt because it’s 60.

Or, they will tell you that the winds are a breezy 5-10 mph, and you will lose your beach blanket to the waves as soon as you step off it because a 25 mph gust of wind decides that the ocean needs it more than you do.

There are no guarantees on the Nor Cal coast. It’s a bit like buying a used car.

Except it’s gloriously beautiful.

This is not a sandy beach. We do have them, but they bear little relation to the beaches of Southern California. The waves are fierce and loud. The water is cold. Even the beaches where the sand is sand, and not pebbles.

People do surf up here, but certainly not here.

Mollusks galore. I thought these were mussels. Himself said barnacles. I could look it up, but it’s more entertaining to argue about. Plus, if I don’t look it up, in my head one of us is right and only one of us is an idiot. But it’s entirely possible that we’re both idiots. (And WP is trying to tell me that “mussels” isn’t a word. WP is anti-mollusk.)

Lots of seaweed of various persuasions.

And Cliffs of Insanity!!

These rocks, as identified by my sister-in-law, are basalt and chert. She was able to identify the beach we were on by the rocks she saw in my hand in the photograph. Have I mentioned lately that my family is made entirely of nerds?

And finally, the reason we were at the coast in the first place:

To celebrate my amazing, wonderful, loving, smart, funny, sexy husband on Father’s Day.

My life is better in all ways because he is in it.

And I love any reason to celebrate him.

This post happily linked to “Sweet Shot Tuesdays” at My 3 Boybarians and “Inspired By” at The Inspired Room.


Filed under Humor

39 Responses to Geography Lesson

  1. KLZ

    Oh, how I love nerds. And the Cliffs of Insanity. It’s inconceivable that you could climb those bad boys.


  2. Ah, “The Princess Bride”! Are we all just a bunch of nerds here?

    Gorgeous, fantabuluos pictures. Being stuck in NW Arkansas where it’s supposed to reach near 100 degrees today and be dripping with humidity, those pictures make me wish I could run into those waves!

  3. I think WP may have been hoping you’d add cockles to the mix (alive, alive-o).

  4. Who rainbowized the rocks?
    It would make me very happy if I was could be at the ocean in a short period of time.

  5. Beauty, treachery and sexiness. What a combo!

    Humidity sucks. Good thing we don’t have any here. Wait, we do have the unrelenting unbearable heat though, so it’s not much better. Different, but not better.

    • I’m not so much about unbearable anything, but I can deal with heat SOOOO much better than I can deal with cold.

      Even humid heat, which I don’t like…I’d still prefer humid heat to bitter cold.

      Can you tell I’m a native Californian? 😉

  6. liz

    “I don’t look it up, in my head one of us is right and only one of us is an idiot.”

    LOVE it!

    I need to use that one on Craig…

    I think it’s beautiful either way. I’d take it over 100 degrees in the South.

  7. Aw, sweet.

    I was having this conversation with the work husband recently (yes, I have one) about the perfect love song to add to his S.O.’s anniversary iPod and he sent me a link to Eric Bibb’s, “I’ll Never Lose You.” Fantastic song (check out a snippet at

    Reading this post called the song immediately to mind. If you haven’t heard it, I can almost promise it’ll be the next ditty that kicks off your sunset happy hour on the back patio 🙂

    • Apparently, Himself is an Eric Bibb fan. I believe I will have to purchase this little number. Especially since I really loved that little snippet.

      And I LOVE things to kick off sunset happy hour. In deep, soulful, hugely inappropriate ways.

  8. Laura

    loving Himself rocking the goatee…very very… ;p

    the pics make me homesick- especially since we’ll probably never live in No Cal again- but So Cal due to Fam Cal of Doom ™

    • That goatee’s got a looooooot of gray in it.

      And you say things like that it makes me want to go move PW’s parents myself.

      • Laura

        the stache had grey too. I guess gray hair doesn’t faze me. I like the goatee better than just the stache 🙂 he looks like a jazz dad 🙂 I like the look. Just needs a hat!

  9. Your area of the country is beautiful. It’s nice that a few miles gives you choices in the weather. Here where I am, it was 100 degrees today. A few miles in any direction and it was still 100 degrees today. I would have to go all the way to the Gulf Coast for a change and it would be a bit cooler but more humidity so it all adds up to the same hot weather. Cheers to you and your husband. It looks like you got a great guy!

    • He is a great guy. I am happy to have stumbled upon him. 🙂

      And I can cope with 100 degrees….but that’s probably because I KNOW that I can escape in 10 miles.


  10. I want to go to any beach that has cliffs of insanity…just as long as I don’t have to engage in a sword fight afterward!

  11. Cliffs of insanity. yes! a fave movie!

    Are you planning to give yourself points for the rock sorting? very pretty.

    • Too transient…after rainbow-izing the rocks, I eventually scattered them back on the beach.

      I supposed I could get points for NOT rock-stealing, but if I start awarding myself points for all the obnoxious things I DON’T do, I’m really stepping on a slippery slope.

  12. Those pictures are gorgeous! Wowsas. And I think we are sooo meant to be BFF. I mean, what are the chances of being able to quote both “Grease” AND “Princess Bride” from beginning to end?

    Twoo wuv. A Dweam within a dweam. Seriously.

  13. Sooo beautiful! I definitely prefer pebbles as my family and I love to collect them. Btw you were absolutely right and these things were mussels! Barnacles indeed… (These are easy to spot – they look like little conical hats).

  14. I <3 the cliffs of insanity 🙂 One of these days I plan on traveling to Cali, I'll have to put this on my list! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Joy

    Beautiful pictures of the ocean and shoreline..thanks for sharing.

  16. Jb

    That picture of seaweed looks like a little sperm with sunglasses on! (Just thought I’d share…feel free to shun me if you hate that comment).

    I think barnacles are rounder and smaller. I vote for you 😉

  17. oh my! beautiful, beautiful shots! they remind me of the beaches in the northeast. except with fewer rocks. and pebbles. just sayin’.
    belated happy father’s day to your lovely!

    • Why thank you, miss!

      Only been to east coast beaches one time….and it was night. But I was determined to see the Atlantic Ocean. Which I did. Sort of.

  18. Oh, I miss living on the coast!

    Now I shall weep.

    Because I am pitiful.


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