November 30, 2003

vacation, distilled

Back from a four day weekend up the coast, where we encountered seals and ostriches and hawks riding the thermals in a cloud-laden sky and pebbly, beautiful Moonstone beach with driftwood and overwhelming sunsets and the clarity of thought and not-thought that only clean, sharp sea-and-salt-and-earth air with a hint of firewood can bring. Not to mention a restaurant with a half hour minimum wait for turkey dinner and thatís with a reservation (but the food wasnít bad and the waiter was courteous) and another, so-tiny restaurant with true gourmet food and no wait (but not on Thanksgiving), where the atmosphere was less peaceful than you might think due to the enormous family celebration taking up fully half the space (though it was a guilty pleasure to canít-help-but-hear all their toasts and speeches) but the food and the place more than made up for that oddity.

And oh yes, there was also the boat with huge underwater windows, the hordes of silvery Jack smelt shooting by in search of fish flakes and an occasional glimpse of underwater duck butt. And the winery found almost by accident yesterday and the apple farm with homemade apple crisps for sale in their small shop and the Danish smorgasbord in the faux-but-yet-real Danish town of Solvang on the way back to LA. And the cottage, a vacation rental in the wooded part of Cambria, with high wood beams lending the living room majesty, with garden paths and lavender and the smallest lemon tree, with a history of its own to tell, of a gift from Hearst to a craftsman who worked on his castle a few miles to the north.

But mostly this weekend was about the clean, clear air and the swirls of clouds and the ocean water washing and polishing the pebbles so they shimmer as the waves recede and we all played canít-catch-me with the next oncoming breaker and Damian laughed as we ran until he was exhausted and the sky was dark, gently lit by a crescent moon. Mostly about the dry tan sensuous curves of hill dotted with trees like blankets thrown carelessly on a couch and that hawk guarding the skies above, playing tag with the wind. Mostly about the pines and the windblown cypress and the cliffs and the stars poured onto the sky in such extravagant profusion and as you stand outside to look in amazement, your cheeks feel the bite of cool air and all you can hear is the crackle of your childís feet on brush and dry pine needles. Mostly that.

Posted by Tamar at November 30, 2003 10:49 PM