Torrey Pines State Reserve


Just a short day hike with the kids.  We started at the top of the bluffs and hiked down to the beach, where there’s a neat little path through the sandstone that opens access to Blacks Beach during high tide.

Justin, Wyatt, Cara, and Jasmine (Zanatos hidden from view)

Torrey Pines is usually known for it’s annual golf tournament, but it happens to be a favorite surf break of mine.  I caught my first bona-fide wave here about 10 years ago.  A waist-high left that I rode for at least 20 yards, and one of the most thrilling things that I’d ever experienced.  It’s usually a messy beach break, but when the sand bar lines up and the tide is right, it can get very good.  And it’s usually empty by San Diego standards.

Future surfer?

I’m pretty sure that Zane is going to be a regular-foot (I’m goofy).  Because I’m left-handed, I always carry him around in my right arm, which leaves his left leg pinned to my body.  As a result, he’s always kicking with his right leg (while his atrophied left leg just hangs there).  This is probably for the best, because it will allow us to split the perfect A-frames when we surf the Mentawais together in about 15 years from now.  In all seriousness, I fully expect him to out surf me by the time he is 8, and I wonder if he’s going to be mean and make fun of his poor old dad?  Probably.

Jasmine and Zane

Zane likes cold water about as much as I do.  I don’t blame him for crying.  I hope he doesn’t blame me for subjecting him to this torture.  We’re taking him to Hawaii in July and I want him to appreciate the warm water.

Baby Backpacks

The keen observer will notice that the sky in these pictures keeps changing from a beautiful blue to gray and ominous.  We actually made two separate trips to Torrey Pines last week.  Gloomy mornings usually turn to clear blue skies by the afternoon.

Hiking along the cliffs

The geology of Torrey Pines is actually pretty interesting.  Walking along the bluffs, one notices lots of fossil seashells sticking out from, embedded in, and crumbling away from the cliffs.  Hundreds of feet above the current water level, it’s obvious that Earth’s sea level was much higher at some point in the past.  Or maybe the cliffs were uplifted through geologic activity?  Check the link for answers, if you’re interested.


We walked down to Blacks Beach, which is popular with surfers and nudists.  We saw neither.  It was cold and windy.  I’m not sure if it’s Black’s Beach or Blacks (no apostrophe).  I’ll probably look that up one day.

Zane in a relaxing pose

In an effort to prepare him for an active and interesting life, we started taking Zane on short outings when he was very young.  We took him to the San Diego Zoo when he was three days old, though he mostly slept through it.

Jasmine and Zane in Kauai

It was imperative that he get accustomed to being carried and slung in odd positions for extended periods of time.  Having done this since he was born, now he’s pretty chill and will roll with whatever it is we subject him to.

Zane at 3 weeks

As he becomes more mobile, we do give him a chance to move about on his own, which he enjoys.  That is, until he rubs a bunch of sand into his eyes.

First beach steps

Jasmine and Zane

I will end this post with a picture of our cat Goby, who unfortunately left us on June 2nd.  We adopted Goby from a cat rescue organization in 2001.  She lived with me in San Diego and spent occasional weeks in Los Angeles while Jasmine attended medical school at USC.  Goby was never a huge fan of our goofball pup Mako, and she began spending short vacations with my Grandma, to keep each other company.  Short visits eventually turned to long visits, and she spent the last 5 years of her life as my Grandma’s closest companion, which was wonderful for both of them.  We will miss her.


Goby and Mako





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