Saturday, November 21, 2015

Big Sur

I have terrible wanderlust.

About once a week I think wistfully of the brilliantly emerald Scottish highlands or traversing the cobblestone streets of Rome at dusk. I think about crisp hot trdelnik melting chocolate into my fingertips while listening to street musicians in Prague. I think about dancing in St. Peter's Square under twinkle lights to the moan of a violin.

I am a hopeless romantic and the sights, smells, and sounds of the world beckon to me.

About a month ago, Justin went to a Porsche event called Rennsport outside San Jose. He and his buddy Mark drove from San Jose down the PCH back to Los Angeles in his old school 911. He came back spinning tales of white cliffs, epic vistas, abundant succulents, and bathing sea lions. I was smitten.

And yesterday I got to experience it for myself.

Our day started at 4 AM with the anticipation of catching a 6:15 flight from LA to San Jose. From San Jose we planned to drive down Hwy 1 towards Big Sur to take in the sights. 

Our arrival at San Jose was like a shock to the system. First of all, San Jose airport was quiet, nearly deserted at 7:30 in the morning. LAX is an incredibly busy beehive, always jam packed with people and action. At San Jose, we wandered around the airport like two lost souls after the Rapture. Secondly, San Jose has open space. I mean, miles of it. Just these massive rolling green hills crowding the road with the occasional farm house to add perspective. 

In LA you can't find open space till you reach the ocean. 

And what makes it even more weird is the fact that it is weird to me at all. In the past four months I have become so accustomed to the crowded roads and cities of LA that I have forgotten what it feels like to be in a rural area. It is freeing and makes my heart ache a little. 

But California has a way of making you fall in love.

Northern California is abundant in verdant hills, sheer rocky cliffs, and breathtaking views. The roadsides along highway 1 are swathed in brilliantly orange and red succulents. Fog and ocean mist cling to the cliff sides like a lover and the sun sparkles off turquoise blue waters. There are swathes of towering pines and scrubby sharp scented creosote bushes soaking in the sun's warmth. Around every curve in the road there is a new wonder. A sharp intake of breath, you can't help it. The view kicks you in the stomach and makes you yearn for more. 

Somewhere along the road Justin and I pulled off, climbed a fence, and wandered our way along cacti and creosote to a lovely secluded beach. The way to the beach met us with long lacy grass caressing our fingertips and hips.  Seawater guttered around white rocks and driftwood lay scattered in the sand. It was a place just waiting for a love scene.

Later that day we dined at Ragged Point restaurant, chowing down on burgers and sweet potato fries with the hunger of the near-starved. The restaurant tabby, a monstrous orange thing with marbled fur, kept us company and vertical gardens sat draped against the side of the restaurant while we dined alfresco.

As I write this I can't help but wish I was back there. Brisk wind, hot sun, the music of the waves. Maybe when LA is all wrapped up and Justin and I have to move on we will turn our gaze to Northern California. To the hills that look like Tuscany and the cliffs that inspire poetry.

You just can't go too wrong there.

No comments:

Post a Comment