California Girl :)

Our third (and final) day in California was fantastic.  We headed to Huntington Beach to see a very different view of California beaches.  Huntington Beach was a lot less touristy and overall more pleasant than our visit to Santa Monica.
The grandparents stayed on the boardwalk, while we hiked to touch the Pacific Ocean.  And it really was a hike compared to the short North Carolina beaches that we normally visit.  Let's just say that my calves got a good workout in that sand.
I was amazed by the amount of periwinkles (that's what we always called them as kids... not sure of their actual name).  There were thousands of them!
Ellington was not a big fan of the sand even got a little upset when we took our shoes off to walk down to the beach.  City girl at heart?  Looking at this photo makes me laugh because that getting-bigger-every-day belly got in the way a lot this trip when Ellington decided that Mommy was the only one who could hold her.
I think my adorable sister-in-law and her boyfriend / our tour guide may have planned their outfits.  They forgot to tell the rest of us that we were supposed to wear our Duke blue to the beach. :)
Although Ellington was not a fan of the sand, she LOVES the water!  She could have stayed on that beach for hours watching the waves, but our backs couldn't handle the constant holding that she required... so it was off to the pier for one last photo op and then on to eat again.
The craziest thing that I noticed during our little photo session on the pier was that you could see the oil rigs just on the horizon.  I didn't get a good photo of this because of the fog on the horizon, but you could clearly see an oil rig in the distance in person.  I guess I just assumed that they were much further off the coast.  Not sure how I would feel about swimming in the ocean with oil rigs visible. :-/
These two photos are some of my favorite from our trip (above and below)!  I love that the sun is setting in the background.  In the above photo, Ellington is playing peek-a-boo.  Whenever she sees this photo of herself she starts playing peek-a-boo all over again.  It just makes me happy.
We could have managed one more day in California, but we headed back to the Carolinas that very night and Ellington slept the entire way home.  I did learn a few things for our next trip to the west coast... 1) I will rent my own car next time for toddler napping / sleeping purposes.  As I wrote about in a post from our honeymoon... Koreans never sleep.  Ever.  2) We ate EVERY meal in Koreatown, so I might just have to bring my own snacks next time for a little variety in my diet.  The second car rental may help me escape for a little meal on my own too. :)  and 3) I really need to remember to charge my camera battery!