We decided late in the day to go letterboxing in Dana Point. I love that little town! It's about 30 minutes north of us, just a few miles into Orange County. The town itself is smaller by at least half than Oceanside. I also think, like most of Orange county, it is masterplanned. Unlike most of Orange County, where everthing is a cookie cutter match of the house or store next to it, I find Dana Point quaint without looking too touristy, clean without looking sterile, wealthy without being snooty. (the housing is at least 30% higher than Oceanside, if not more.) I guess the Plastic People stay further north in Mission Vijeo and Laguna! The harbor is 3 times the size of ours and the shops are eclectic and barren of the military infuence that pervades Oceansides downtown. Today we bypassed all that and drove near Laguna Niguel and the Monarch Golf Resort. There is a lovely bike/walking path that takes you on the periphery of the golf course, and all the way to the beach. I am not sure how far the whole walk would be if we had gone all the way to the beach, but we would have to take the bikes with the kid carrier in the back-our 1.5 mile trek was just enough for the kids. We followed the pave path and found stink bugs, and petted dogs. The boys loved the big sagey purple flowers that looked like 'lightsabers.' Dante had a blue one, Jonah a purple. There was no need to worry about getting lost-like Hansel and Gretel, we left a trail behind us except instead of bread crumbs, ours was flower petals. We crossed a wooden bridge, schlepped up a hill and finally arrived at our destination: Golf pond! Allan-not much of a hiker but humoring me by letting me drag him along, was happy that we were now on the 'world famous gold course' and he could watch the golfers. The kids fed the ducks and one giant red eared turtle while I found the box, covered with a big stone. I stamped us all in- trailnames as follows-me, scraphappy, Jonah,beluga, Dante,inferno, Allan, birdie. When i was finished i had a hard time picking up the stone that hid the box. I asked Allan to replace it but instead it rolled down the hill and into the pond!!! It was the only thing covering the box, and since stealth is suppose to be part of the game, i freaked. I have had boxes destroyed in the past, and don't want to be responsible for having someone elses ruined as well. Of course we can find NO MORE rocks. (freaking well groomed golf course!) I am about ready to tell Allan he is going to have to get wet to get that stone. He must be able to read my thoughts today, because he comes back from around the bend with a large stone in his hand, grinning like a hunter. Phew. Disaster averted! We had to rush a bit on the walk back to the car as the sun was fast sinking into the horizon. We made it back just in time! And the boys did a great job walking! Jonah walked the whole 1.5 miles there without one complaint. Allan and i did take turns carrying him on our shoulders on the way back. He is now 42 pounds so it was a good cardio workout! We stopped at the kids favorite restaurant in San Clemente....Denny's. Seriously. The kids LOVE it. It is a good place to take them. It is a sitdown place and mom and dad can order something fairly healthy. And you can feed a family of four without breaking the bank. (Tues. and Sat. kids eat free!) We drove home in the dark with the sweet sounds of snoring boys in the backseat.