Whenever we took our yearly vacation to Pismo Beach, we always visited Shell Beach, which was close to Avila Beach.  Shell Beach was just as the name suggested, full of shells and rocks.  The stairway going down to the beach was kind of rickety and scary.  We had to be careful while navigating the steps since it was a long way down to the bottom.

One such visit remains very clear in my memory.  Daddy had taken my sister, Cynthia, and I to Shell Beach.  We girls walked down the steps to the bottom and were busy checking out the shells and rocks on the beach.  Two older women were busy making their way back up the stairs to the top.

We heard someone calling to us and looked up to see Daddy standing on the top of the cliff waving to us.  Daddy was always smoking a cigar and he had one in this mouth that day.  As we watched in horror, Daddy started down the side of the embankment instead of using the stairs.  He was smiling and chomping down of that cigar.  Daddy started picking up momentum as he progressed down the embankment.  He was going faster and faster downhill.  The two older women on the steps, gasped in alarm.  Daddy finally reached the bottom safe and sound.  He had managed to stay on his feet the whole time.  He was laughing when he reached the bottom while Cynthia and I figured he would fall and be injured and probably end up eating that cigar.  You could tell he was proud of himself.