It's been a strange summer here in Santa Monica. I say it's been the grayest that I can remember. Foggy, cloudy "June Gloom", as we call it, extended all through the summer and is still blanketing us in August. It's made for much fewer beach days than we'd like. Our garden has even taken a little hit this season with the lack of ripening sun. To find it, sometimes all it takes is a drive less than a mile inland, and there is summer as we know it to be. It's a bewildering thing.

This past weekend we went in search of some skin-warming weather. We drove up the windy canyon road off PCH to Malibu Creek State Park and watched as the thermometer in the car climbed from 69-degrees all the way to 89. Each of us scrambled for hats and sunscreen as we walked out into the sudden heat. With a slightly bewildered look, even Jude seemed to wonder just where we had landed. Sweat began to pop through on my skin almost instantly. 

So we set out with the intention of a mild hike. Hopefully one in the shade. And almost as soon as we started out, we found a perfect little spot for a cool swim. I have to say I was surprised how quickly Nico and Mateo stripped down to their underwear and jumped right in. I'm sure it wasn't the cleanest water, but it was moving, and we could see to the bottom. Couldn't be much different than any other fresh water lake anywhere else, I figured. Plus how could I say no to these boys who were so clearly thrilled not only with the opportunity to swim and cool off, but also to be able to explore some nature at the same time. It was a most perfect remedy to last until the skies part and we find ourselves back at the beach.