we are all a work in progress

Before we moved to California, James and I had a lot of conversations about what life might be like once we got here–how much we’d miss our families and friends (a lot), whether we’d find a restaurant that serves queso (no), if we’d have extravagant utility bills (luckily, no), if our house would be big enough to hold all our stuff (no), if anyone would come visit (luckily, yes).

We also wondered how the move would impact who we are. Both being in our mid-40s, was it possible a change of scenery would equal a change of self? Or are you pretty much who you are once you reach middle age?

Since we were moving to a cool coastal climate with an abundance of natural beauty, I had high hopes the outdoorsy part of my nature might awaken. That the person I was on vacation in California–active, open and ready to adventure outside–would somehow become the person I was living in California. That I’d spend less time in front of the dim glow of the computer and more time in direct sunlight. My inner voice wasn’t so sure, but it can be an asshole sometimes.

I’ll be damned if the outdoorsy part of my soul didn’t find its way to the surface, putting my feet on the bare earth with as much regularity as possible while still meeting my work/life obligations. And instead of this being something that immediately burst forth with the newness of a change of latitude/longitude, it simmered for the first year then grew in intensity in the past six months, my hikes becoming longer and harder, my desire to be outside and unconfined stronger. A welcome surprise, to be sure.

I’m telling you this, not because I’m excited about my new relationship with the outdoors (though it’s fucking awesome and I even have a tan), but in case you have some ideas you’re chewing on and could use a boost. If my sedentary, internet-addicted, pale-as-a-vampire self could find its way into the sunlight, you can do yo thang too. Just tell that inner voice to simmer down for a bit while you find your footing. And be sure to give yourself time for a transition to happen. Change will come, but it may not come quickly.

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Onward.

 

 

look, up in the sky

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I was about to hop on a conference call yesterday afternoon (yay) when I heard a plane circling nearby. I assumed another tourist fell off the edge of Pacific Grove and the Coast Guard was looking for them. Still, I went outside to look up–and saw this message to Ada.

The sweetness of the message coupled with the old schoolness of the delivery was just a delight. I posted a shot of the banner on Instagram, wondering what Ada said, and was happy to get a comment from her this morning. She said yes!

Romance is alive in Pacific Grove.

bonfire at Carmel Beach

I didn’t know people build bonfires on the beach. I mean, in reality. I always thought that was a bullshit beer commercial thing. But James and I recently had independent conversations with locals who told us we had to have a beach bonfire. Especially since it may soon be illegal (or really difficult) to do so at the main bonfire location–Carmel Beach.

And, man, it sounded really fun, so why not?

the glenlivet
Pacific Grove was dry until the late ’60s and still maintains some puritanical views about the drink. Carmel is more open (container) about such matters.
chicken
The perfect beach dinner–cold, boneless fried chicken.
boy scout
James was a boy scout.
cold
This is how you dress for a summer night on the central coast. I was sitting next to a fire wearing a t-shirt, hoodie and fleece vest and was still a little cold. Maybe I should have worn pants. Next time.
june gloom
The original plan was to watch the sunset, but it was too cloudy/foggy (I’m not always sure which is which out here). The sky was the same light gray from the moment we arrived (before 6PM) until we left (almost 9PM).
fire
Bonfires were sprinkled all around the beach. The locals had coolers and chairs while the tourists had boxes specially packed by the hotel they were staying in. We watched one couple unpack everything, study the directions, build their fire and then awkwardly try to make their stemmed wine glasses stay upright in the sand. Stemmed wine glasses are for amateurs. Not just in a bonfire situation.