Neither of us can remember specifically where Sweet Husband first heard about it. A show on the Travel Channel in our erstwhile cable days, perhaps? But, for many years now, Sweet Husband has been saying, "Sometime when we're out to see your dad, I really want to see Jade Cove."
Near Big Sur, Jade Cove is a natural jade deposit. Apparently, if you're an expert scuba diver, there's a lot of jade to be found underwater. Because we are not, we limited our hunting to the rocks on the shore.
While the research I had done suggested that the hike was "moderate" and "steep in some places", I don't think either of us were quite prepared for how steep it actually was. Sweet Husband bore the brunt of it, carefully holding onto the Kid as he shimmed down holding onto a rope. Then the three of us--Sweet Husband, my dad, and I--each took turns keeping the Kid out of the water while the others scratched at rocks to determine if they were jade. (Jade doesn't scratch when scraped with a knife or can opener.) We left with a handful of rocks that may or may not be jade, but they are pretty.
In looking up information about Jade Cove, my dad found that Sand Dollar Beach--a much more kid-friendly spot--was just up the road. So we stopped there to let the Kid get his wiggles out before we drove back up the coast.
This was, hands down, my favorite half-an-hour with the Kid of the entire trip. Having warmed up to the waves a bit the day before--but not enough to dash in all the way by himself--he insisted on me scooping him up and carrying him out into the water to throw rocks at the surf. Then, he would race a wave back, collect another rock, and come right back to be scooped up again. He'd giggle, "Wait for it! Wait for it! Wait for it! NOW!" as he pelted rocks into the water.
We were both soaked and cold and sandy by the end of it, but it was worth the change of clothes several times over.