Plunging into the new year

… and, by “new year” I don’t mean 2023, I mean “new year” as in embarking on my latest year-long journey around the sun. I turned another year older a few days ago.

Birthday celebrations now are very different than they were when I was younger. I don’t want to open gifts or go out to a fancy dinner. I’d much rather spend the day exploring someplace interesting, enjoying a home-cooked meal, and, of course, consuming a piece of the delectable Caramelized Orange Cheesecake my husband makes me every year (happy wife, happy life).

Check, check, and check.

 You may have read about all the rain California has been experiencing lately. Gosh knows we need it, but maybe not all at once. Here in the southern part of the state, the weather has been milder, but the king tides and stormy surf have brought big waves and some flooding to our coastal areas.

On my birthday, following a day of especially high tides, my husband and I drove to a local beach to watch the pounding surf and see the aftermath of surging water, seaweed, and sand.

This boardwalk is usually filled with walkers, skateboarders, and bicyclists. It will probably be a few days before all the sand is back on the beach… where it’s suppose to be.

Although we missed all the excitement, we heard tales of waves plunging over the seawall, leaving a thick layer of sand that will have to be shoveled back onto the beach.

Our walk also took us to Belmont Park, a beachfront amusement park built in 1925.

Although the interior has been modernized, I’m glad they maintained the Spanish Renaissance style façade.

When I was very young, our parents often took my brothers and me swimming at The Plunge, a huge indoor pool located in the park. The building and pool have recently been renovated, but the sound of kids playing, and the smell of chlorine still brought back many happy memories.

After visiting the pool, we walked around the arcade and midway area for a bit of people watching. That’s when I decided I had to ride the Giant Dipper—the historical wooden roller coaster that was also a part of my childhood—again. Although the roller coaster has been refurbished since I last rode it, it still had the bone-rattling twists, turns and downhill plunges I remembered from my youth. 

There is something about a roller coaster that brings out the kid in us.

Topping off the first day of my latest journey around the sun, I dug into a yummy husband-cooked meal before plunging into my favorite birthday treat: Caramelized Orange Cheesecake.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.      

This week’s Sunday Stills prompt is Plunge. Please visit Terri’s site to see how other bloggers took the challenge.

Copyright © 2023 – All rights reserved.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

128 thoughts on “Plunging into the new year”

  1. I’m late but happiest of birthdays (of which, it seems, you DID have one of the happiest) and Happy New Year as well. Living in your beautiful WARM part of the country, I can imagine how sweet each year is. My family/friends in Marin County, and Sonoma, and up at Tahoe, are applauding the rainy season (finally, the way it used to be) but also ready for the sun. 🙂

  2. Great way to celebrate the journey, right down to your favorite cake. (I remember that from previous posts.) I love roller coasters but haven’t been on one in years. The modern ones seem a bit over the top (and nausea inducing) than I like. I’d love to ride a refurbished old timer like this one.

  3. Happy belated birthday and that photo of you with the homemade cheesecake was the best!
    Mmmmm – it sounds like your husband has a special recipe
    When I was young – for a handful of years I actually got a cheesecake for my birthday
    The tradition started on accident – my mom forgot my birthday and ran to the store and grabbed a plain cheesecake (with a tweety bird candle) and that led to tears of cheesecakes
    And enjoyed seeing the park that had childhood mementoes for you!
    Glad you were able to explore there too

    1. My husband has been making that cheesecake for me for about five years. Once I asked him if he’d like to make something else (I love it but it does take some work) and he was horrified at the thought. He loves it as much as I do 🙂 Funny story about how your cheesecake tradition began.

      1. That is so nice that he enjoys making it for you and sounds like a labor of love
        – we don’t eat too many deserts but once in a while we like to have that mixed cheesecake platter and it is so fun!

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