Well, we made it back from our grand adventure on the road! We actually returned last week but we haven’t had working internet hence my long-standing absence. That’s life in the mountains for you~ thank goodness for the ability to set up a hotspot from a cell phone!
I returned with so much content, inspiration and motivation to share but quickly became frustrated since I couldn’t actually upload anything. A gentle reminder from the universe that I am not in control as much as I would like to think so and perhaps there’s a plan greater than my own.
We drove through Colorado, Utah, and a corner of Arizona before stopping in Nevada for 5 days. We were welcomed with 90 degree temperatures, a very nice change from the 30 degree temps we left behind in Colorado. We spent our days hiking, relaxing, laughing, and exploring the desert. If you have yet to drive through the Western US, I would highly recommend doing so. We had planned to take the Pacific coast highway to Santa Cruz, California but much of it was closed due to landslides. So we took the inland route which wasn’t so much scenic as it was, well lets just say we went through fracking fields and industrial farm lands. . .
It was refreshing to arrive in Santa Cruz, a town centered around environmental sustainability as well as the ocean and mountains. It had been nearly 9 years since I was last in Santa Cruz and almost 4 years having seen the ocean. We visited with family local to the area, surfed off of Cowell Beach, photographed surf competitions on Steamers, and spent a lot of time at the dog beach. It was so great and so easy to have Styx (our dog) with us. Everywhere we went was exceptionally dog friendly and Styx was incredibly well-behaved.
After spending time in Northern California we headed south and stopped at Laguna Beach. We stayed right on the beach in a hotel that is iconic to the area. Hotel Laguna was rebuilt in 1930 after having burnt down. The hotel kept its original character and charm which I greatly appreciated and adored (think crystal door knobs). The overall energy of Laguna was very different from Santa Cruz and almost shocking, initially. The feel wasn’t nearly as outgoing, warm or friendly. And the first day my husband, the dog and I all got covered in tar oil, not surprising after driving through fields of oil rigs that also happen to run right alongside the shores of Southern California. Since the local population deemed this to be ‘normal’ we got on with having a good time even though I couldn’t help but think about all the potential risks to human life, marine life, bird life, and the water itself. What may be normal didn’t seem to natural or sustainable.
After a few days exploring the area and meeting longtime locals, which I would call the bones of the town, Laguna grew on us. We saw Laguna through the eyes and stories of those whose roots had withstood the hands and changes of time. What at first seemed distant and disconnected became intimate and intriguing. Like getting to know someone, who was once a mystery, as they express the chapters of their life, we often become fascinated and fall in love with the relativity of their stories. It was like that. Laguna lured us in as the moon does the tide.
Laguna’s colors were magical. From sunrise to sunset to all of the art galleries adorned with diverse and brilliant creations. There were tide pools and coves along much of the coast, plenty to appreciate and admire.
(A classic case of missing the self timer, I love my husbands enthusiasm haha)
I came home with a renewed sense of self, a soul full of gratitude, and an itching to go back for more. Despite the heavy troubles of the world, even in our own country, goodness prevails. In fact as hard as it may be to see, I believe goodness not only prevails but outweighs.
Have you travelled, explored or lived in California? What was your experience like?
What does your dream vacation look like?
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