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Alerte à Malibu

34°1' 33" N 118°46' 47" W Malibu

Oct 29, 2014  –  by Maeva

Ever heard of Baywatch? Alerte à Malibu for the Frenchies? Thought so.

When we reached Malibu, we spotted the famous Zuma beach and the lifeguard houses, ready to jump right into atmosphere from the show. We looked for Pamela Anderson but she was nowhere to be seen, much to our disappointment. Steph was not pleased. “Where are all the girls in the red swimsuits?!”

We went for a long walk towards Paradise Cove, which was our only option to avoid a $40 parking at the beach. ($40 parking and $20 walk-in, wtf?!) As we were walking on the shore, we gazed at the giant beach houses that populate the coast wondering who they could belong to and what kind of interiors they had. Most of them were empty, probably just another vacation home… We did like the ones on stilts though!

Maeva with feet in the ocean  in Malibu
Maeva with feet in the ocean in Malibu
The pier on Paradise Cove beach
The pier on Paradise Cove beach
Houses on Stilts in Malibu
Houses on Stilts in Malibu

After watching an adventurous dog jump in the waves, we went to visit the Getty Villa, a museum with an architecture inspired from an Antique Greek Villa at Herculaneum with gardens, spacious rooms and lots of indoor patios. We revisited the famous sculptures of Greek gods and other pieces of art from that era. Only shame was that due to the drought, all the water features of the villa had been turned off. Fountains and pools don’t look quite the same when they’re empty!

The Getty Villa amphitheater
The Getty Villa amphitheater
Steph and Maeva selfie at the Getty Villa
Steph and Maeva selfie at the Getty Villa

Of course, one cannot be in Malibu without testing the water and its gentle waves! They were small but allowed for very long rides. There was good longboard surfing on the right side of the pier of Surfrider beach at sunset and sunrise. A good way to get the day started is to chill on a board in the sun right? Being on our boards in the water allowed us to people watch and notice the “body culture” of the city. Lots of muscles all around us, made me feel like I should work out more. And yes it totally reminded us of Britney’s “you want a hot body? you better work bitch!”

Steph jumping with surfboard in Malibu beach
Steph jumping with surfboard in Malibu beach
Lifeguard station in Malibu
Lifeguard station in Malibu
American apparel mural in Malibu
American apparel mural in Malibu

Malibu was also the place for a lot of firsts!

– First Uno fights: we bought a set of Uno cards back in Santa Barbara and have returned to our childhood selves. Whenever we have some time, for example when lunch is heating by the side of the road, we’ll go for a little Uno game. It usually ends with the person who lost throwing his/her cards at the person who won. #nevergrowup

– First camping refusal: we had decided to be fancy and go to a campground. Unfortunately when we got to the Malibu Beach RV park, we were refused entry because:
a) we don’t have a commercial RV so we can’t have an RV site
b) we don’t have a tent so we can’t get a tent site
Well that sucks.
Luckily we got the last spot at the Leo Carrillo State Park a few miles North..

– First Tacobell: and one more fast food name was crossed off the list! Steph had actually never tried Tacobell before so it was even more exciting. I had, and as Anna knows, it’s Crunchwrap for the win! Let’s just say this isn’t going to be the last Tacobell of the trip.

Bolinas

37°54' 18" N 122°40' 55" W Bolinas

Oct 15, 2014  –  by Maeva

We reached Bolinas at dusk, right when the families and locals were enjoying some after work and after school surfing in this tiny town. Relatively small waves and warm sunset colours made for the perfect setting for longboard surfing. We watched them for a little while, Steph very attentively as you can see, before searching for a place to sleep. We asked a local surfer about places for overnight parking – wrong move. “I don’t know. Yes I’m from here. That’s why I don’t need to know where overnight parking is.” She could just as well have said: “Get the hell out of my face.” Not to worry, we are resourceful people, right? Well it wasn’t that easy and after an hour of driving in the dark we simply set camp on a turnout off the road right outside Bolinas. Oh well.

Steph watching surfers in Bolinas
Steph watching surfers in Bolinas

The next morning, as we were enjoying our peanut butter and bread, the early surfers drove past us, wondering what two people in their PJ’s were doing sitting next to their van by the side of the road. Minutes later, we were on the beach of Bolinas under a very bright sun. Steph went first to test the water and my board, while I devoured what was left of my book. It was then my turn and yes there is proof below – no mocking comments will be accepted, I AM a beginner. Okay?

The following day I would learn that great white sharks live in that bay and that there was an attack not too long ago. *Gulp*

Maeva surfing in Bolinas
Maeva surfing in Bolinas
Maeva laughing on board
Maeva laughing on board

Sleep under the stars

38°57' 34" N 123°42' 53" W Point Arena

Oct 9, 2014  –  by Maeva

Living in a car means finding a new spot to sleep almost everyday. Often it will be a campground, other times random overnight parking spots, other times amazing hidden gems. This was one of those. We were on our way down the coast at dusk when we decided it was time to find a place to spend the night. We reached Point Arena and discarded two over-expensive campgrounds to find ourselves on a tiny road leading towards the ocean. We arrived at a dead end where a trail towards Point Arena’s beach began. Another couple with a van and bikes had settled there, so we asked them if they were going to stay overnight. “Hey, if we can’t see a sign that says no overnight camping, it’s fine!” That was good enough! Other campers eventually made their way to this perfect spot as well. We had our little picnic dinner (noodles please!) under an incredible sky sprinkled with stars. And honestly, this still remains the best spot we found for the night so far. See for yourself.

Road to Point Arena, California
Road to Point Arena, California
Point Arena under the stars
Point Arena under the stars

After all this talk about our car being our home, we figured you might be curious about the inside of our night shack, so voila! Doesn’t look so bad hey?

Steph and Maeva in bed in the car
Steph and Maeva in bed in the car

Pacific City

45°13' 4" N 123°58' 23" W Pacific City

Sep 29, 2014  –  by Maeva

We continued down the Oregon coast towards Pacific City (very fitting name). After a quick stop in Tillamook for some free cheese samples at the visitor centre, we were in this tiny town. It basically consists in one street, the ocean, a sea stack and a sand dune. So we kicked off our shoes and climbed up the sand dune for a pretty good work out. At the very top we got to enjoy a perfect end of the day sunlight so we spent most of our time exploring it and shooting videos. But even better, we got to run down the dune and roll over. Totally worth it!

The following day, Steph went for surf session in the freezing water while I treated myself to a delicious Chai Latte to continue reading my book #GirlBoss (Thanks Stephanie!) A few hours later, we were on the road towards hipster land, I mean Portland.

View from Pacific City Sand  Dune
View from Pacific City Sand Dune

Can you tell we’re camping pros or what?!

Steph at the campground by the fire
Steph at the campground by the fire
Maeva on the rocks by the sea
Maeva on the rocks by the sea

Westport with the buddies

46°54' 13" N 124°8' 2" W Westport

Sep 29, 2014  –  by Maeva

Waves in Westport
Waves in Westport

After our quick stop in Seattle, we started driving towards Westport for a surf weekend with our Vancouver buddies: Lyndon, Elyse and Will. Steph and I arrived in Westport in the evening, just in time to go and take a quick look at the waves at dusk. It confirmed that some surfers are just insane, going out there when it’s pitch black. I mean, a) you can’t see s***t, b) others can’t see you, c) rocks, d) sharks.

We then picked a campground, called “American Sunset” please and proceeded to the making of our very first campfire! Ain’t no camping without a man-made fire. Obviously, we have been sticking with Sam’s incredible technique, the DIAMOND! And for our very first camping meal, well, rice and tomato. It was meh – we have now discarded this from the list of potential dinners.

When we woke up the following morning, two tents and a car had popped up right next to us – Elyse, Lyndon and Will had made it around 2am. The first one to get up was (and most likely always will be) Steph with his brain turned on surf mode. We all enjoyed a little coffee and oatmeal, well, almost all of us. Apparently our camping oatmeal (oats+water+sugar) wasn’t appealing for everybody – go figure. After a quick stop at the surf shop we were on the beach, all suited up under an incredible sun and ready to face the ocean with our boards.

For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea for me to follow Steph and Will, the experienced surfers, out at the back. I would regret this choice minutes later. When I saw the size of the waves that were rushing towards us, I thought “F-u-c-k.” Now I don’t want to get into too much detail about what happened next, ahem, but it was a combination of near-death experience, under water washing machine and complete panic. Now that was from my point of view. From Steph’s: “Oh, maybe that was a little too big for her.” Luckily, Steph wasn’t too far and got me back to the beach safely – my hero!

As you can imagine, I stayed on the beach for a little while, appreciating my new found gratitude for being alive. Am I dramatizing? Depends who you’re talking to. In my defence though, everyone admitted that those waves were insane. Nevertheless, the rest of the day felt like a perfect and carefree vacation in California. A big hot dog barbecue, chilling in the warm sand and walking along dike rocks to watch surfers battling against mother nature. We got to enjoy a superb sunset perched on those rocks, with the perfect lighting to combine surfboards, wet hair and the sea.

barbecue in westport with friends
barbecue in westport with friends
barbecue and sauces in Wesport with friends
barbecue and sauces in Wesport with friends

Look at ’em boys!

Lyndon and Will playing bad boys at the cars
Lyndon and Will playing bad boys at the cars
Surfer boy Steph checking the waves
Surfer boy Steph checking the waves
Lyndon and Steph looking at the waves in Westport
Lyndon and Steph looking at the waves in Westport
Lyndon and Elyse watching the waves in Westport
Lyndon and Elyse watching the waves in Westport
surfer on wave in Westport
surfer on wave in Westport
Steph and his surfboard in the sunset
Steph and his surfboard in the sunset

One of the best parts of camping? Evenings spent around the fire. Lyndon proved to us that he too was a real man by building a fire in a matter of minutes, while we were enjoying our second camping dinner – rice, peas and salmon – which was wayyyy better. We then roasted marshmallows, some more than others. Yes Lyndon, I’m talking about you, I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to light it on fire and let it burn until it turns completely black!

“Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you”

Stars in the sky in Westport
Stars in the sky in Westport

The following day was quite the opposite with a mix of clouds, sand storm, cold and aggressive waves. Even our car decided to tease us with our first battery breakdown. Uh oh. Later, the men proved once again they were men by facing the freezing ocean while us girls opted for chit chat under a blanket on the beach. Which quickly turned into chit chat under a sea of sand. And yes, Elyse and I tried to open a cider bottle with a broken surfboard fin. Yes, I said tried.

Elyse trying to open cider with surfboard fin
Elyse trying to open cider with surfboard fin

Weekends go by quickly, and it was time to take off again. But not before enjoying a bucket of ice-cream. It may not always be a good idea, but we have to try and follow Steph’s golden rule “When you’re on vacation, you need to have ice-cream everyday otherwise it’s not really a vacation.” Something Will has definitely adopted!

Friends on the table of Westport eating icecream
Friends on the table of Westport eating icecream

Thanks for joining us Elyse, Lyndon and Will, we had such a great time and can’t wait to see you guys in your or our next adventure!