Roughing It - Camping at McGrath State Beach

I had a FABULOUS weekend, even if I did end up gaining a pound this past week. The Hunk and I have been talking about camping for over a year now, I love it, but haven't had anyone to go with. My son didn't think I was capable of doing it even though I used to take him. Apparently getting my nails and hair done these days disqualifies me from being able to "rough it".

A few weeks ago The Hunk was trying to surprise me with a reservation but wasn't having any luck. Research goddess that I am, I found an open beach-side reservation at McGrath State Beach.

Before we got there, I didn't know that the campground would be closing soon. Our only criteria (by the time we got frustrated with Reserve America's reservation system), was beach and open some weekend in May. And not too far from Santa Barbara.

McGrath is on the border of Ventura and Oxnard (before this past weekend I thought Oxnard was IE or up by Lompoc. It just *sounds* like it belongs in the Central Valley), about 30 minutes south of Santa Barbra on the 101. Perfect!

We got a bit of a late start, but arrived at the campground before nightfall. We had a brand new Coleman tent (sleeps 10 or fewer and you can create bedrooms) that later proved entirely too roomy. Too much cold air! The tent advertised a set up of 20 minutes. Maybe if you knew what you were doing ... I haven't been camping in nearly a decade and was used to simpler setups. I'm not sure when the last time the Hunk went camping, but I have a feeling it was in childhood.

An hour later after much arguing and trying to decipher the not entirely clear instructions we finally got it set up. It was color coded, go figure.

Then it was dinner time (menu below the jump). After freezing our butts off all night, we woke up, had breakfast, and took a nice long walk on the beach. I left my phone in the car, so don't have any pictures of that, but it was gray, and windy, and cold. By lunch time we were ready to head up to Santa Barbara.

We acted like tourists, rented bikes, saw a duck with one leg, ate some good food, and generally enjoyed ourselves. I felt renewed. The best part, I didn't have to cook dinner.

We stuck to the P90x menu as best as possible. High protein, low carbs.

Friday Night - turkey burgers, roasted yellow peppers, water
From McGrath SB
Saturday Morning - Coach's Oats with honey and orange juice
From McGrath SB

I had pre-measured enough oats for two days, eyeballed the water. The Hunk thought it was going to come out watery since we usually nuke the oatmeal. It came out beautifully if I do say so myself. We used honey as the sweetener.

I really rocked the fire cooking.

Saturday Night - Steaks marinated in Fresh & Easy Chipotle marinade, coleslaw,
Chipotle marinade and a proper outdoor fire cooking. Heavenly. And The Hunk cooked the steaks so nicely we were able to cut with a plastic knife.
From McGrath SB

and, of course s'mores.
From McGrath SB
This time I made mine with Ghiradelli's Intense Dark Twilight. Just one square and I was pretty much satisfied.

I finally got to relax and get a good start on Kathy Reichs' Deja Dead in front of a roaring fire. I've been reading a lot of fantasy and steampunk lately and needed a good mystery to work the other parts of my brain.
From McGrath SB

Sunday morning we had to break down and head back to L.A. in time to meet Oakmonster and friends for the Ren Faire.

Full album


  1. I love taking my girls camping. Everyone is always surprise that we can pitch a tent and make a campfire. It's fun being a "girl". I like that you had premeasured your food a head of time. Great job. And I bet that pound is of muscle.

  2. @yahoo-LNB5MOQ7XHITHM2S4JCKM5ZDB4:disqus My maternal grandmother is the one who actually got me into hiking, camping, and all things outdoors. One of my best memories is the summer she took me and my younger brother camping up the California Coast all the way to Oregon. I don't think I would have the appreciation of the outdoors that I do without her influence.


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