I lived on the California coast for almost 25 years. In many ways I will always be a California girl. I cannot tell you how many afternoons we went straight from school to the beach (and I won’t tell you how many we went straight at lunch!). There is nothing I love more than being by the ocean. In the ocean. On the ocean.

One of my favorite things to do, if I can’t hop on a boat, is tide pooling. California has spectacular tide pools, especially along the northern coast between Santa Cruz and Sand Francisco. My old stomping splashing grounds. I passed this love on to my children. I dragged them with me from the time they were babies. I think they all learned to love nursing with a healthy helping of sand & sea salt.

Our very favorite beach, though not the best beach (that’s Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Moss Beach) is Natural Bridges State Beach. I love the sand. The secluded little alcove. The miles of tide pools stretching north. And the Monarch butterflies. Every winter thousands of monarchs fly to the eucalyptus grove next to the beach and shelter in a “city in the trees”. In late Fall, before they slumber for the winter, they fly around in an amazing array of colors. Frequently landing on curious visitors. It’s an experience that should be on every bucket list.

We usually tide pool most in the Spring. It’s too cold for swimming, the Pacific is cold then, and the butterflies have left their winter home. The little pools are warm, wonderful for little toes to get wet and not freeze. There are always anemones in a wide range of bright colors. If we are lucky there are little fish or starfish. There are always sea snails and tons of hermit crabs (a special joy for little boys, and Tessas). If we are really lucky we might spot seals, otters, dolphins or even whales swimming nearby.

To this day if we are in California, my kids beg to go to Natural Bridges. You are never too old to climb the rocks, walk the sands or admire the beautiful sea creatures in the tide pools.

This is the image of the kids & cousins tidepooling I shared with the team

Natural Bridges State Beach, CA

Cole, age 8

I got as close as I dared! He kept sleeping.

Oh noes! Big wave! Tess, age 5.


Sea anemone ❤

Soren & Cole “loving” their little sister (seriously, she was so happy)

I turned my layout into a quickpage for all of you to enjoy! Simply click to download. A big, huge, thank you to Jen Maddocks Designs for her wonderful Tide Pooling papers, masks & elements and her Creative Canvas Templates No9 12×12. It was the perfect foundation to build my layout on

click to DOWNLOAD this as a free quickpage!