After one full week of “living” in Ocean Shores and after hosting the Summer Solstice Yoga Retreat, Rick and I hit the road! We have been winding our way from Ocean Shores, Washington to Santa Barbara, California. We have been driving south along U.S. Route 101, along some gorgeous stretches of coastal highway, into remote areas, mostly camping or staying at hotels where there is no WiFi.
It seems strange to me that we are on this road trip. I mean, I have never felt so unsettled and uprooted as I did when I left Seattle on June 16th to make Ocean Shores my new home. It also seems strange to leave Seattle/Ocean Shores when it is finally getting warmer in our neck of the woods. We wait out the rain all year round for the promise of some 8 weeks of summer sunshine and here I am on the road, away from the much anticipated Washington coastal summer.
However, there are so many cool things about being on the road. I have seen so much of other countries, but really, it seems I have seen so little of the USA. And we have an amazing country! I am yet again moved by the sheer beauty of the Washington, Oregon, and California coast. Stretches of land, coastal highways, redwood forests, gigantic sequoias, elephant seals frolicking in the waves and sunning themselves on the beach, and herds of elk lying in fields dazzle my eyes and tease my imagination! Yes, a road trip, in this case, along the coastal highway 101 South, is a great way to experience the sheer beauty and wildness America has to offer.
On this road trip, I have been able to step out of my unsettled life for a while. I was already feeling uprooted, so why not go all the way and become part of an epic adventure? There is a great sense of personal freedom that comes with hitting the road. The road trip is about LIVING in the moment and driving and driving, stopping to eat when we get hungry, stopping to stretch when our legs feel cramped, and meeting interesting people along the way. Roads become ribbons of asphalt laid out before us, leading us southward, towards bluer skies, hotter weather, and a castle…the Hearst Castle to be exact, with its Roman and Neptune Swimming Pools and magnificent hilltop location, rose gardens, antique art collections, and unbelievable opulence!
I have asked myself many times, “Why am I on this road trip?” A road trip takes me out of daily routine and paves the way for newness. I get to be in a new location every day. On this trip, we stayed at the literary hotel on Newport Beach, The Silvia Beach Hotel, where we stayed in the Fitzgerald room. We had dinner in the formal dining room where we were seated with other hotel guests. We sat with a couple from Wales, Gaynor and Phil, and another couple from Redmond, Oregon, LeRoy and Judy. The two couples’ grown children are married to each other! Rick sat closer to the Welsh couple and I didn’t find out until after dinner how much Rick struggled all evening to make sense of what they were saying through their strong Welsh accents! As we finished our dinner, LeRoy and Judy’s daughter, Amy, and her Welsh husband, Andy, came in. Amy looked like a brunette version of Princess Grace Kelly, perhaps even more beautiful. She took my breath away and was equally as kind as she was beautiful. We left the dinner table with an invitation to go to Redmond, Oregon and to visit North Wales! I’d say a road trip is mostly about being open to the moment, to Welsh accents, to adventure, and about gaining perspective about where you are in your own life.
We drove and listened to Otis singing Sitting on the Dock of the Bay as we crossed the fog-obscured Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Later, the Mamas and the Papas belted out California Dreamin’ as we drove along Big Sur. I sang along to these songs and felt part of a movie set, feeling free and full of wanderlust!