Valentine’s Day seems like such a drummed up and covered subject that to bring it up feels a bit like a cop-out. But any reason to celebrate is enough for me, and if the calendar had more holidays I would be all the happier. While I agree that every day we should celebrate, having a reason makes it all a little less indulgent feeling—let’s be honest, sometimes a reason is really nice. And my lovely beau surprised me with this lovely painting…
We took the weekend (to celebrate Presidents Day, of course) and drove to Big Sur with bigger ideas than actual plans. Our idea was to camp at one of the many walk-up sites, but since everyone in California beat us there (like there was a holiday or two this weekend or something?!), we just enjoyed the winding, cliff crawling drive up Hwy 1, took our time hiking and playing, hung out at waterfalls and appreciated the time together sucking air in a wonderfully green space.
(This drive will never get old)
As dusk fell and the sky turned into a layered strawberry and lemon cake (I have been craving cake all day, sorry for the interjection) we rolled into Cambria, and used the money we would have spent on a camp site for a chimichunga dinner instead. Nothing like fried burritos after an active day. When we got home, I petitioned to build a fort to make it feel like we were still camping, but we decided on a fire out front instead and toasted a day well spent with Prosecco and a Mickey’s 40.
(Can you see the cake in the background?!?!)
While on that hike in Big Sur, I mentioned that I really wanted to visit the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo before the season was over and the little orange wonders flew elsewhere for the summer. To my delight, Huck has always wanted to check it out too (who’d have thought)! On Sunday we woke up early and drove down to the Grove. It’s probably a little sad that I am so surprised by this, but visiting the grove is FREE. Like really free—not like free but with a $10 donation. No, you just walk in, look around, follow the path, gaze in wonder for a time, and then head out at your leisure with no need to ever reach for a bill. It was refreshing, and the butterflies were so cool!
We followed up our butterfly gallivant with breakfast out on the Old Port in Avila. Watching those little wonders flick and fly around (or mate, which is what most of them were doing) worked up quite an appetite in both of us (get your mind out of the gutter, Grams). There are so many grubbin’ options in Avila, but I think we found our new favorite. Located in the building attached to the boat lift, right where the SUPs and kayaks are rented, is a bar. That bar serves the most delicious breakfast burritos, and was completely empty. Until a nice older couple sat at the bar next to us and talked about the fishing boat they own and keep there in Avila. But other than them, we had the place to ourselves. We played checkers and drank mimosas and talked with our new fisher-boat friends.
(The saying really should go "the birds, and the bees and the butterflies"...)
Never letting a dull moment see the sunlight, as we were on our way home Huck decided a detour was in order, and we left hooked it at See Canyon and climbed in Jupiter (a.k.a Uranus #2 a.k.a. our Saturn, which is a car) to one of my favorite vistas in SLO. Glorious mornings like this make me so grateful to be able to explore our new home.
We capped off the weekend with what we thought would be a nice little BBQ back down at the beach in Avila. But as the fog rolled in, the people deserted the area, high tide came a callin’, and we realized it was very likely illegal to be BBQin there on the beach, our little dinner spot was quickly broken down (hot briquettes and all) and we made a break for it like Bonnie and Clyde. Without the guns or robbery. That night we dined on lighter fluid flavored Salmon and bursting cheddar stuffed hotdogs. And we laughed at how things just never seem to go as we plan, which makes for the kind of weekend that has me falling in love over and over again with my partner in crime. Which has nothing to do with Valentines...really.
(Don't be fooled by the Klean Kanteen, that most definitely isn't water.)