Refugio – A Little Bit of Paradise

After spending Thanksgiving at El Capitan on the Santa Barbara Coast, we jumped at the chance to take another trip back down that way.  The Mister had an alumni event at UCSB and we decided to take the whole family down and camp for four days at Refugio State Beach.  We were going to meet friends there and have a reunion get together.  You know, relive those grad-school days.


So when The Missus came down with the flu the day we were supposed to leave, there was disappointment all around.  Were we still going to go?  What if the kids got sick?  A million what ifs were go through our heads.  The Missus was feeling a bit better the next day, so we decided to rally.  We had waited months for this trip and we were so excited to try out our new pop-up tent (we replaced the canvas), racks (we installed these in early April), and new stand up paddle board (to go with the racks of course).


The weather on Thursday night was gorgeous.  The kids had a great time playing on the beach with friends.

Beach Sunset

We played with the paddle board on Friday afternoon.  The Boy was not a fan.  He would much rather play with his boogie board.

Paddle Board

The Boy

We ended up having pretty crappy weather the rest of the weekend.  It was pouring down rain most of Saturday morning.  When the rain cleared, the wind picked up.  It was so windy we ended up packing up most of camp (it was blowing away), and hunkering down in The Westy for dinner.  It was the first time we were truly grateful for having The Westy in inclement weather.  It gave us a nice escape from the gusty wind.

Even with the rain and wind we were able to squeeze in a hike up the coastal bluffs. And play on the playground near the beach.  We even made it out to the tide pools.


View from our hike

Beach Playground

Tide Pools

The nice thing about this campground is it is right on the beach.  Just a quick walk over and you are there.  It also has flushing toilets and showers.  They are pretty old and yucky, but this is a really high use park so it is to be expected.  It is a fun park, too.  The kids can ride their scooters on the paved road and it is a quick walk to another beach just south of Refugio.  A pretty amazing spot (even if the weather sucks).

Sunset at Refugio

We really lucked out that no one else go sick on this trip.  The Missus was back to herself by Saturday and the kids escaped the illness.  What more can you ask for?  So have you ever camped when you didn’t feel 100%?


Hot Bananas (with Chocolate)

One of our favorite desserts when camping is hot bananas.  We love to slice them open and stuff them with mini-marshmallows and dark chocolate chips (we like the Enjoy Life brand).  This is such a great camping treat because they can cook while you are eating dinner.  It is also a great alternative to S’Mores.  And I know this sounds like a completely bizarre recipe.  But give it a try.  It really is good.


Hot Bananas

Bananas (one per person)
Chocolate Chips
Marshmallows (we like the minis for this)

1.  Peel the bananas.
2.  Make a slice down the middle of the banana (long way), but do not cut all the way through the banana.
3.  Stuff with mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips.
4.  Wrap in foil.
5.  Place on the barbeque.  Indirect heat is best.
6.  Cook until heated through and the marshmallows are gooey.