This is a little delayed, but I am finally getting around to posting about Crystal Cove! This was probably my favorite part of our road trip, mostly for sentimental reasons.
Here's a brief history of Crystal Cove: In the early 1900s a bunch of people started building beach houses out of whatever they could find, mostly wood that drifted to shore after a cargo ship had wrecked out at sea. The cottages are certainly not perfect, but they have oh so much charm. My family got in on one of these cottages when I was a baby and we continued to visit until 2000 when the government finally kicked everyone out and boarded up the cottages. Pretty depressing.
For years we were terrified that they would all be torn down and replaced with some fancy resort, but in 2004 they began renovating cottages! In the summer of 2006 the first few were finished and open. My sister and I got to stay in one that first summer. It was definitely different than before (a lot more people) but still amazing. Every year it gets harder and harder to reserve these cottages. They have to be reserved six months in advance and thousands of people try every month so it feels like winning the lottery when you finally get one. My family stayed again in the summer of 2007 but we haven't been able to reserve one since.
Because Brady and I couldn't reserve a cottage for our trip we showed up early the morning of and by some miracle they had a cancelation and we got a cottage! It was so fun showing him this little part of my childhood. We ate smoked albacore and fresh bread from The Crab Cooker (tradition), walked to the little cave that for some reason we had to see every time we stayed there, played in the tide pools, and of course watched the sunset. Our cottage had the most AMAZING little sun room that overlooked the ocean with a little twin bed that we squished together so we could hear the ocean while we went to sleep.
I cannot wait until our beach house is finished and we can stay in it! I also hope one day you can stay there too and feel the amazingness you feel in this little hidden cove. Oh and don't tell anyone about it or we'll never be able to reserve one!
My old beach house ^