Dave and I went away for the weekend together, for the first time since our first child was born. We drove north to a private community called Sea Ranch, which really is private -- a giant homeowner's association maintains the roads and hiking trails for the hundreds of houses along a 10-mile stretch of coast. A good friend has a house there and kindly let us use it for the weekend.
It's an amazing thing about California, but not doing much for the weekend means that you're doing something that countless people all over the world want to do -- view the stunning Pacific Coast. And we didn't do much this weekend, but didn't need to. This was the view from the living room.
A 10-second walk takes you to these low cliffs. Tempting to climb, but still plenty dangerous.
We really made sure not to do too much. And being right on the coast, you don't have to do much to be doing a lot. About a mile down Hwy 1 was access to a wonderful little beach, with a favorite sunning spot for harbor seals and nice little coves.
I love climbing over the big rocks and looking for marine wildlife, and came across clusters of shellfish, mussels I think. Soberly I realized that that must mean where I'm standing is usually underwater. We spent a lot of time here just looking at the waves and birds, and occasionally seeing a harbor seal pop his head out of the water.
We went out to a nice dinner at a low-key place with a surprisingly high-brow menu, and watched some travel documentaries about towns in the Italian countryside. We hardly looked at the clock, because for once, we didn't need to.
Sunday we took a leisurely drive home, taking the "backroads" of course, of which there are many up there. The smaller off-the-beaten-path roads in Northern CA are mecca for motorcyclists, and while the experience isn't quite the same in a car, it sure beats droning along behind self-righteous putzy SUVs who doesn't know anything about turnouts on Highway One. Driving, navigating, deciding routes is something that Dave and I are always in sync on, since our early friendship was centered around adventurous road (and often off-road) trips.
We got home with 20 minutes to spare before our self-imposed deadline. I was apprehensive but happy to see our children -- would the boys launch immediately into obnoxious mode and remind us how difficult our lives have been recently? No, it seemed that Gabriel, to my surprise and delight, had engaged our weekend nanny with Yahtzee and card games. She said usually she works the game to let the kid win a little, but with Gabriel she worked hard and still lost. Julian had been asked to leave until he could play without disrupting the game, and Katrina was happily chatting about being a bird today (she's always some new character every day), while the nanny worked on her ponytails. I felt a stab of guilt that I never sit and play Yahtzee with them, but really, that's not my thing. Ping-pong, and when we get a trampoline, sure.
Back to reality tomorrow, but what a delightful, and much-needed, diversion from it.