I just spent Sunday through Thursday at the Van Damme campground in Mendocino, near Fort Bragg on the coast. The weather was great--we were having cool mornings and warm afternoons and cold evenings while at home they were sweltering in the hundreds. Ugh!
We biked up trails and to the ocean, flew kites and ran in the sand, soaked our ankles, poked through tidepools, and ate too many s'mores. I camped with Nick and his whole family, and our friend Ryan who we've known forever and ever. We went down to Van Damme very specifically because Nick's dad dives for abalone. Last year we went down and I dove with them but this year I stayed on the rocks with his mom and sister while Nick, his dad, and Ryan dove. Nick's cousin Brett joined us after two days and he dove the third day as well. Each day they pried off two to three abalone (like 10-25 feet down, they are giant snails stuck to rocks and they can be impossible to pry off) and we feasted on abalone for dinner.
Abalone are so weird! You gut them (eeew), slice them thin, and then mallet them until they are tender and then cook them however you like. We fried them in tempura/panko and they're soooo delicious! Monica made the most amazing fish chowder as well with some abalone in it and ohmigod it was so yummy!
We had so much fun just hanging out. We stayed busy riding our bikes and driving to beautiful spots on the coast. At night we sipped tea (or beer, or gin and tonic, or wine, whatev) and talked and told jokes and traded stories. Nick and I found the best shower where you can get like 20 minutes for a buck instead of the five minutes you were supposed to, yay! And then we shared the good news with everyone else. I bet the guys thought it was weird to go to the girls side of the showers. Heh.
Ryan took some awesome photos of Nick and I that I am so happy to have--I'm going to print some out for our apartment! I'll post them soon.
PS I've got to still take photos of my room! I went camping before taking them and it still is a little messier than I want to photograph.