My friend, Dasha & I met during our San Diego college days when we worked as counselors at a YMCA surf camp on Kauai one summer.
Dash was the super on it, responsible counselor who once plucked a gaggle of Japanese campers from a riptide at Lumahai Beach. I was the derelict counselor who read Jaws to the kids by the campfire and looked away when they bought wine coolers at the ABC market. I don’t know why Dasha wanted to be friends with me, but thankfully she did, and after that summer we were attached at the velcro JimmyZ skirts we rocked back in the ’80s.
Every summer Dash and her family graciously allows the Rattypack to descend upon their Del Mar pad. Last year we punked Saxon royally. We reinjected his Twinkies with Ranch dressing (see Tale of the Tainted Twinkie). I was really hoping to torture him again this year. And, although we alluded to lacing his Hersey’s Cookies & Cream mini-cereal box with laxitive—”How’s your tummy feeling, Sax?”—we sadly ran out of time.
Ever since our Kauai days, Dash and I have been soul sisters of the sea, so we literally spent every second of our visit in the water. We stand up paddle boarded in La Jolla, as grey bellied seals, leopard sharks and brilliant orange garabaldi flitted through the aqua water beneath us. We boogie boarded mondo surf in Del Mar, careening down waves at eyeball level in a rush of sound and foam. And then, we pruned ourselves to the max sipping apres beach martinis in her jacuzzi.
But even mermaids need to eat, so we headed to Herringbone in La Jolla. If you visit San Diego, this restaurant is a must! Located in a former warehouse, the decor is fabulous…
100-year olive trees grow between the tables.
There were fireplaces blazing, an array of coral and barnacles, and inside the belly of an amazing light fixture hanging over the bar, this cool whale skeleton…
The food was massively delicious! If you go, be sure to order the whole fish ceviche…
…the crab pasta in brown tarragon butter, and for desert, the Herringbone Sundae—chocolate ice cream, sea salt blondies, marshmallow cream, caramelized nibs drizzled espresso caramel.
Dasha and I were also busy trying to get our teenagers to interact. As you can see, the kids have hung out since they were little…
…but for some reason this trip they acted as if they’d never met. Luckily, Dash and I tapped into our inner camp counselors and made them play a raucous game of TABOO together on the beach. Here’s a snippet of the game:
Dash: Okay!!! This is something that happens on the 4th of July or Christmas WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WALK DOWN THE STREET!!!!”
Lauren: Mom! You’re being really loud. Is it fireworks?
Dash: NO!!!! THEY WILL OFTEN WEAR COSTUMES!!!
Makena: Mom, please the whole beach is staring. Will you lower your voice? Is it Halloween?
Dash: NOOOOO, it’s NOT HALLOWEEN!!!! SOMETIMES THERE WILL BE MARCHING BANDS!!!!!
Makena: Shhhhhh!!! Oh I know, it’s a parade!
Kim: GOOD JOB, MAKENA!!!!!
Tanner & Sax: Pipe it, Mom. You’re such a grenade!
Needless to say, the teens FINALLY bonded over their loud, dorky moms.
Dash and I also love to shop. She was busy preparing for an upcoming camping trip, so I headed up the PCH to Laguna Beach where I discovered Tuvalu, a darling beach chic home furnishings boutique where I could have done serious damage…
Oh, and this bottle rack chandelier was killer, too. Price upon request so you know it was BANK!
Lucky for Jimmy, my only purchase was this vintage bottle bedecked with a strands of seaglass. I love the colors. They remind me of the hues of the ocean in beautiful San Diego.
While the sparkly boutique finds were gorgeous, our trip reminded me that long lasting, friendships where you can grab your boogie board and pick up right where you left off, are life’s best treasures.