We had our annual Ideal Summer Beach Day at San Onofre this past weekend. It's our typical 12hr day of surfing, bbq'ing, surfing, napping, bbq'ing, surfing and repeat at the San O State Beach just south of San Clemente. This is our 4th summer San Onofre outing, so we should have had it down, but without our usual access to our various friends' pick-up truck, grill or sun umbrellas, we had to get all our essentials from scratch this time.
Luckily, it's pretty easy--and cheap--to get everything you need for a full-on beach day. Besides an initial sun umbrella shortage panic, pre-beach shopping went without a hitch--6 Targets, Kmart, Sport Mart and Big 5 were all out, they've apparently moved on to fall stock...who knew trying to buy summer stuff in the middle of summer was considered way too slacker-late?
Sun Umbrellas: $9.99 each at Savon OR go big like we did with the 10x10 beach canopy, also at Savon: $20
Grill: $15 @ Target
(Awesome Target also has a $15 dollar Boche Ball set which suckered me in)
Charcoal: $5 for Natural Wood Chips at Trader Joes, but in retrospect, I'd go the for the lighter fluid doused charcoal which although unhealthier, will actually light up so you can actually bbq)
While we trek down to San O every summer for its warm, slow-rollin' Hawaii-like waves to make us feel like better surfers, a huge part of our annual beach day is the food. Kristy (maker of juicy homemade turkey burgers, refreshing bean salad, bbq roasted corn and yams) is usually the resident San O chef but since she was driving down from San Francisco, the culinary duties were nervously passed down to me.
Stocking up at Trader Joes, Ralphs and Vons, our cooler was filled with homemade feta/sundried tomato/olive stuffed turkey burgers, seasame buns, condiments, fresh lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes to garnish the burger, corn & sweet potatoes for roasting, chilled watermelon, strawberries and grapes, pita chips with artichoke-parmesan dip, Kristy's three bean, daikon and tomato salad, marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers for s'mores and thermosed mexican hot chocolate (which all worked out to be roughly only $15 per person). Yes, did I mention a huge part of our annual beach day is the food?
We started the day late so didn't get there until 11:45am (and the actual beach till 1pm--tip: get there early, the policy is one car leaving, one car entry which is fine if you arrive like we normally do at 9am, but be prepared for an hour wait if you arrive anytime after). The permanent thatch umbrellas and bonfire pits were already taken but we quickly set up our beachside camp along the strip of sand about 20 steps from the water's edge. Motivated by hitting the surf (Kristy and I) and hitting the magazines while laying in the sun (Chaya and Chrissy), we contructed our beach canopy in 10 minutes. With dusty cliffs blocking the view of the freeway and a mellow beach vibe full of old-timers riding 15ft longboards with their grandchildren, bonfiring families and friends and warm, gidget-friendly waves, San Onofre feels like a throwback to a '60's era Annette Funicello Disney Movie type beach.
We lazed away our beachy afternoon in the water, snacking on our bbq eats (I must brag my turkey burgers were surprisingly really good) and lolling about in the warm sun and stayed for the 8:30pm sunset before ending our Ideal Summer Beach Day until next year.
San Onofre State Beach
Basic Info: http://gorp.away.com/gorp/publishers/foghorn/ca_beach3.htm
Surf Info: http://www.surfline.com/travel/surfmaps/surfspot.cfm?id=556
Cost: $10 Entrance Fee, Gas from LA, elaborate bbq spread, cooler, sun-umbrella's etc=$35 per person.