Monday, March 23, 2009

To Big Sur With Love

It started out with a wedding. My good friend from high school. We actually knew each other in elementary, however our friendship didn't solidify until we were roommates. I drove north, just shy of San Jose, and achieved the impossible. I went without Michael or the kids, and I didn't go to San Fran to visit Mom or Dad or the sibs. This one was only me.

This solo journey was Michael's idea. I haven't been out of Maxie's reach since the second day of her life, and evidently the stress of mommydom was taking its toll. Everything I asked of my kids was accompanied by the tone, "What did I just say!!!" And my brow was maintaining a permanent scowl. Even Sebastian secretly told my husband, "I think Papa needs to go away." Okay, then. Away it will be.

The wedding was a good one. A Jewish wedding in a Jesuit winery. Can't get any better. Doubt I'll see another.

Then it was just me. I didn't finalize plans until Saturday, the day I tucked myself neatly into my car and drove north blasting show tunes. Big Sur was my destination. Only two nights. Just enough time to recoup and breathe. California is really odd this time of year. It's green. I mean what-I-dream-Ireland-to-look-like green. I'm so used to dried out, brittle, any-spark-will-set-it-off brown, that I really have been taken aback.

The California coast is as beautiful as any other place I've been. This is my home state, so give me leeway to wax poetic. Lush green mountains loll down to the restless blue surf. And you know that color you see in paintings of waves. It's turquoise, but not. Maybe aquamarine. But in paintings it looks electric and fake. I'm here to tell you, I've seen it in the wild. It's opaque and momentary, magical and then it's gone.

I'm holed up in a place called Big Sur River Inn. It's in from the coast, so you don't get a sense of the mighty ocean. However, Pheneger Creek is on the property. It's babbling and it's golden, something Robert Redford would put in one of his movies.

I've been doing a lot of sitting. Sitting in Adirondacks chairs being hypnotized by the creek, sitting on cliffs taking in the drama that is the California coast, sitting in eateries writing and rewriting my play. All writing has to be done in restaurants because my accommodations are really a shack. No desk and chair. No TV. No telephone (cell phones don't work either). And it's incredibly cold. The only heat comes from a free standing electric radiator that heats only the spot on which it stands, not the bed, not the bathroom. So, I type to you from the restaurant, which has WiFi, even though it maintains a bucolic air.

I'm here to tell you, laid back, stereotyped, hippy dippy culture is alive and well in California. Whether biker groups or potheads of yore, you can find them here, probably scoffing city folk and their ruinous ways. Plaid flannel is the uniform. And if you have magenta hair or body piercings or tats of a hog, jump on in, the water's fine.

I almost went to Hearst Castle today, but stopped myself to walk amongst nature. I think the garish opulence of Hearst would have given me a migraine. Instead I listened to birds sing, wrote some, ate trout with my eggs. There it is...I like being with me. I recommend Big Sur for anyone needing to recharge. Tomorrow, back to the fam. And deep breath.

10 comments:

Deborah said...

well done for taking time for yourself. i was never the kind of girl who needed my own space-until i had kids. nothing (well almost nothing) was more delicious than a little time away when i finally made it happen.

hope it won't be your last!

Jo said...

Well it's about time, sweetheart. I am relieved that you have been able to let go in a space of your own--however spare the accomodations may have been--for a change. The bare bones of the place is almost poetic. Naked...just you, just your spirit with no decor (kids and hubby). Do it more often...

Bella Daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bella Daddy said...

You've made me miss Cali more than once and this? well...solidified! WHere do I sign up for Daddy Alone Getaways?

(F)redddy said...

My "what did I just say" is "DO.YOU.UNDERSTAND.ME?" As if I'm all that complicated!

Glad you got a bit of a rest. You look FANTASTIC. Oh wait. That's me. Bygones.

Vodka Mom said...

listen. That was beautifully written - and just damn great.

I went over and voted for you- and you need to TOOT your horn.

dammit. I might toot it for you. (get your mind out of the gutter!)

makeshiftspaces said...

that sounds like a wonderful trip. it makes me want to jump in my car and take a solo trip of my own!

Tina said...

I miss California so much. I'm stuck in Lubbock, TX for the next year or so.

justlori2day said...

Oh, I am so so envious. I long for a day or two from my husband and kids. I just want me time. No need for guilt over sitting in the chair too long, or not getting this or that done. Just time for me to do what me wants to do.

I am so envious.

(oh, and on an aside, the picture of the kids in tutu's, when viewed only partially, reminds me of the vamps from Bram Stokers Dracula... Just sayin... Not that I have watched that movie. Nope, not me.).

OH, and your "what did I just say?" ... I have been hearing alot lately "Mom, do you need to yell so much?" My response (yelling of course since I know no other) "Can anyone hear me at less than this pitch? Because unless I am yelling, no one responds".

Yep, envious...

Chrissy said...

I went solo to a wedding out of town last July but pity it wasn't near anywhere remotely magical like this.

I was back in my room watching a B movie by midnight. :-(