Yesterday, my wife and I decided to try to spend as little money as possible yet still have a very full day doing…stuff. So we decided that we would go for a drive up the coast, go for a beautiful hike overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and then spend the rest of the day at the beach. How much did we spend for about 7 hours of activity? $7.00 plus a gallon of gas. What did we do?
Packed a lunch instead of stopping at a fast food place. Stocking up before we left home, we filled a cooler with yogurt, chips, water, a few pieces of fruit and assorted other goodies. Cost? Nothing really, because the stuff we packed was already part of our grocery bill from last week.
Drove somewhere within 20 miles of our house, effectively using only a gallon of gas. We drove up to the end of Malibu, enjoying the sunshine and the “post-summer” traffic, meaning we completed the drive in about 30 minutes. Cost? $2.95.
Paid for parking at the trail and beach head. The beaches here cost $7.00 to park in a parking lot, but there is parking available for free along Pacific Coast Highway. We chose to pay for parking so we could be close to the head of the hiking trail AND be right at the beach, meaning we only had to park the car once in order to do both activities.
Spend the first few hours hiking the bluffs overlooking the ocean. We had never been to this area in Malibu before, so it was like going to a brand new beach. The hike was gorgeous and we even got to the tide pools at low tide, meaning we got to check out all the cool stuff that accumulates there after the water recedes. The cost was nothing, and we got to check out some incredible views, watch the sea lions play on the rocks, and get some exercise all at the same time.
Returning from the hike, we grabbed our cooler and sat on the beach. Yesterday was one of those rare days when everything along the coast was crystal clear, the breeze was just enough to cool things down, and the beaches were not crowded. Oh how I love the end of summer here! Seems everyone stops going to the beach after Labor Day, even though the weather is exactly the same as it was last week.
Had our picnic lunch, read for a while, took a nap, enjoyed the sights. All for the original $7.00! Between watching people try to play volleyball to hearing a child’s excitement about finding a crab to play with, it was a pretty relaxing day.
About 4 o’clock, started driving home. The sun was starting to go down and we enjoyed a traffic-free drive back down the coast. The smell of the ocean was pretty strong, we had the sunroof open and the music on. A great drive.
All in all, I gotta say it was a pretty good day…the entire day cost us about $10 for the gas and the parking. There aren’t many things you can spend a day doing outside your house for less than $10, never mind days when you can go hiking, go for a beautiful drive and spend the rest of the day at the beach. Compared to the tickets we bought on Saturday for the L.A. County Fair next Saturday, this day was dirt cheap and way more relaxing. Just goes to show you that you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to have a great day!