Backyard beach adventure

My daughter and me in the backyard of a house we used to rent in Laguna Beach.

We rented a house in Laguna Beach to escape the high temperatures of Palm Springs in the summertime. We rented with another family from Memorial weekend to Labor day, splitting the summer in half.

The family who owned the house were school teachers. They took off to Alaska each summer as rangers.

I was worried the first time I visited the house. The backyard dropped off into a canyon. There were railroad ties between the lawn and a cliff. Having a two-year old son, I was worried the yard was too dangerous.

The owner laughed and said she raised three boys in that house and there was never an issue.

Me and my son at the beach in Laguna.

I’ll never forget the first time we rented the house. We told our son we were going to the beach. He grabbed a shovel and bucket and said, “Let’s go!” He was headed to the edge of the lawn and railroad ties, where there was a view of the ocean.

“No!” I stopped him. “We have to drive to the beach.”

Later that summer, I couldn’t find the T.V. remote control. My husband worked in Palm Springs during the weekdays and I was alone with my son except for weekends.

I was six months pregnant with my daughter at the time.

“It’s down there!” my son said pointing to the cliff dropping to the canyon.

“What?” I asked.

“I threw it down there,” my son said, pointing.

I strapped him in his stroller before I ventured into the canyon. I made my way over the railroad ties, clinging onto shrubs for dear life, as I scrambled along the steep incline. Needless to say I was a wreck by the time I made it back up the steep cliff into the backyard. No, I didn’t find the remote.

My son seemed fascinated watching me from the safety of his stroller.

I pushed my son in his stroller into the house, unbuckled him and collapsed on the sofa.

My son joined me on the sofa and fetched the remote control from under a throw pillow.

“Here it is!” he said.

My kids at the Laguna Beach house, sitting on the hearth wearing sofa arm protectors as hats.

To this day, I have no clue why my son told me he threw the remote control into the canyon. I’m sure he was entertained watching me as I held onto branches and bushes to not tumble down the cliff.

What unexpected things have your kids done to make your life exciting?

35 thoughts on “Backyard beach adventure

  1. I bet he just wanted to see if mommy would go over the edge since he wasn’t allowed to, but wow- that could have turned out really different in seconds for either one of you. I don’t think that I would have been comfortable in that house in general, what with all the stringent restrictions.

    • That was something I definitely won’t forget. The house wasn’t nice, pretty ordinary, but the owners were strict! I’ll never forget when my one year-old daughter took a bite out of the black foam on a speaker! 😆 I was able to glue it back in place and nobody was the wiser! We eventually rented a tiny cottage that was much more relaxed!

  2. My daughter put the remote in a play train she had. Living in CA with good weather, I put the plastic train, she could sit on it, outside that day. Like you, I went crazy looking for the remote. She had no idea what she had done. TOOK a long time before I finally found it. How funny!! Your story is better, your son KNEW you would go crazy looking for it in the cannon. LOL

  3. Oh my goodness – what a story, Elizabeth!! I was completely hooked by that cliffhanger all the way through. It sounds like a wonderful place to rent – and you were incredibly adventurous and game to take it on with young children! I love this post!

    • Thank you, Wynne! I love the “cliffhanger” reference. One year, I took my cat with kids — and she got outside and went down the cliff. There are rattlesnakes and coyotes there to add to the drama. I was able to coax her back in without scrambling down the face of the cliff.

  4. Oh love the pictures. With the remote control story, I could understand if the ocean actually causes you lots of stress and worry. Ha, ha. What a great post. You did a better job showing the calm of the ocean/beach than my long-winded story. Ha, ha, Thanks EA.

  5. Thanks for the compliments! I will confess some of the weekdays with young kids without my husband — even at the beach — were tiring! The remote control story is one of them. I would never trade those beach days for Palm Springs summers at 110 to 125 degrees and a husband at home.

  6. I can’t believe you climbed down the cliff! I would have drove to the store and bought a universal remote and said the hell with the other one. Looking back it’s easy to second guess ourselves but I suppose the way things happened mattered and it’s part of who we are today. Loved all the pics! Hugs, C

    • I asked my son about it today. He didn’t remember but said “I probably wanted to see if you’d go down the cliff.” Those people were so picky that owned the house they’d probably not let us back the next summer with a universal remote 😂 Thanks for the kind comment about the old pics!

  7. OMG! That’s a hilarious story in hindsight, but must have really flipped you out at the time. I don’t have kids, as you know, but dogs can be embarrassing, too.

  8. I have noting as noteworthy as an imaginary remote tossed down a scary cliff abounding with critters, thank goodness, and I never had to extract a PB sandwich from the jaws of the VCR, but I do recall a neighbor telling me during a phone call that my 3-year old daughter was outside sitting on the curb buck naked. Yikes!

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