December 25, 2016

Christmas Cliffs

It was a moody sort of day as we set off on our Christmas stroll.

Silvery waves and a black cliff under gray, overcast skies, Pacific Ocean, Half Moon Bay, California
I was happy to be spending this day, again, with a good friend.

Dry reeds flanked by bright green hills, with Pacific Ocean waves and a cloud-dappled blue sky, Half Moon Bay, California
Forsaking the tide pools at Pillar Point this year, we headed south along the cliffs. The overcast skies transitioned to blue, and some of the hills had turned emerald green.

Driftwood in the foreground, small waterfall in a stream passing under a bridge at the beach, Half Moon Bay, California
We descended to a few beaches along the way. One revealed a small waterfall that we would cross on the bridge above.

Breaking waves at the foot of golden cliffs, Half Moon Bay, California
With the sun low in the sky, the cliffs begin to glow long before sunset.

Acres of Brussels sprouts near Half Moon Bay, California
If you haven't visited coastal California, you might be surprised by the vast agricultural acres that often stretch to the end of the cliffs. Brussels sprouts were in abundance.

Heron in flight, Ritz-Carlton hotel in the background, Half Moon Bay, California
A rude woman with a small dog flushed a stately heron into flight, not content to admire the bird from a respectable distance.

By the time we returned to our car, guests at the Ritz-Carlton were clustered around their firepits. In one ground-level room, I spied an astonishing mountain of brightly-wrapped presents.

We celebrated an eight-mile hike, and more importantly, the gift of good friendship.

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