When I told most people that I went to Benicia over the weekend, the first thing they said was, “Where?” And then I excitedly told them how Benicia was the third state capital of California! (Mark: “Stop saying boring facts in a voice like they’re interesting.”)
Basically I was just planning our day around visiting a new tea place. The Camellia Tea Room was lovely, housed in an 1897 building with beautifully wallpapered tin ceilings. (Mark: “Yay, more history.”) The kids cracked each other up with haughty expressions while doing “fancy pours” of lemonade from their teapots, which meant they held the pot up high above their glasses. Somehow we got through this without spills.
|Julia clinks teacups with me.|
|James's haughty tea expression|
|I do my traditional "attack the tea tray" pose.|
|Julia does a fancy high pour of lemonade.|
|Tea family portrait|
And while we didn’t enter the State Capitol (that would have been a whole $10 for the 4 of us and this was no Sacramento capitol building), we did pass by it on our walk through the historical downtown on our way to the waterfront. I have to say Benicia is really an overlooked, charming little town.
|Julia and James in front of the Benicia Capitol Building.|
We made our way to the beach at Elan & Cove Streets to check out Benicia’s little known sea glass beach. (Most websites mention a different location but a few people said this spot was the true sea glass beach.) We descended some steps in between houses to a deserted little cove. The kids enjoyed playing in the water and climbing on the rocks, and when we looked closely we saw a little sea glass. Definitely more than I’d seen before at a beach, but still disappointing.
|Taking the hard-to-find public stairs on the way to the sea glass beach.|
But then a family came down the stairs. They led us to the real sea glass beach - I just hadn’t followed the coast far enough to the west of the pier - and there we found another cove and it was FULL of sea glass. I have never seen a beach basically paved in sea glass before - it was pretty magical. Julia got to work beachcombing and oddly enough we took fewer pieces back here than from the other beach simply because there was so much it wasn’t special any more. It was nice just to enjoy it. For some reason James enjoyed picking up big handfuls of sea glass and dumping it into the water to be “cleaned.”
|Sea glass looks prettier when it's wet, but this is what most of the ground of the sea glass beach looked like.|
|Wet sea glass|
|James holds some sea glass... before dumping it into the Bay.|
Then after a full day of Benicia-ing we were tired and drove to Berkeley to visit our friends, Kelsi and Drew, and marvel at their 14 month twin girls and in Mark’s case, play hide-and-seek over and over again with their 3-year-old son who kept negotiating for more.
|Kelsi and Drew's daughter, Simone, finishing up a good cry.|