Despite the rain and a lack of parking, Muir Woods was a great experience. The kids thought it looked like Endor and expected Ewoks to jump out from behind the trees!
One thing we learned was that these redwoods do not grow from seeds, but form family circles. That's why they are often clumped into small groups. Walking through the forest, you truly begin to feel small, even the clovers are big.
There was a cafe and gift shop so mom was able to stay dry and shop. Elizabeth thought the bear carvings were especially cute. The kids were able to complete their Junior Ranger requirements on a hike. The path was mostly boardwalk or well kept crushed rock, very easy hiking. The neat thing was that the Junior Ranger badges were not the typical plastic variety. Instead, they were carved right from pieces of redwood, very unique.
Afterwards, we drove down to the Pacific ocean for the kids' first "dip." They wanted to strip down and swim in the frigid water but were content to poke around the beach. We found jelly fish and snails and watched the waves pound the beach. It was a bit chilly for late June (the locals were wearing winter coats) but the kids were just excited to finally be at the beach.