Sunday, June 01, 2008

Birthday Celebrations

My Birthday Two Weeks - Bubbles, Rock Therapy, Friends, Yummy Food, The Ocean, The Mountains, Hiking and More Hiking...

I thought last year's monumental birthday was fabulous, but this year was a different kind of fabulous!

I had taken a long weekend early in May that was terrific and I thought three days away would get my creativity going and take my numbness away. It only took a couple days back at work to realize I needed a REAL vacation to get me going again.

I contemplated going out of state (thanks to my friends who invited me to faraway and fun places, but I needed to get into 'vacation mode' very quickly and cheaply). It was a quick and last minute decision to go to a place I have been many times and love - Cambria. It's a quaint, artsy small town on California's Central Coast. No cell phone reception and no computers for six wonderful days. I didn't have any specific plans, so it was wonderful to get up when I wanted, hike when I wanted and do whatever my heart wanted to do.

I rented a fantastic house near the ocean and across the street was a preserve with 240 acres of hiking trails. The trails presented everything from very secluded forests to ocean cliffs to wild flowers...ahhhhhhhhhh. I enjoyed the unusual sunshine and wonderful weather. I have been to Cambria so many times but never knew these trails existed.

Every morning I got up and fixed a nice breakfast (I have to admit breakfast is a hard one for me since I'm usually already sitting at my desk anywhere between 6:30 and 7:00). I love to cook and haven't taken the opportunity to do it for a very long time. I took along my lovely new apron I picked up on my trek to Big Sur. Notice I said took along - it looked quite lovely hanging over a towel rack in the kitchen. I'll break it in one of these days. I've already invited over a friend for my signature Broccoli and Chicken Crepes.
One day I spread out a plastic tablecloth and got into something I've wanted to try for awhile - I call it Rock Therapy or Burden Therapy. I chose my rocks before I left home - the rocks in themselves are an interesting story - I asked my bro for rocks when I saw him a couple weeks ago and he said 'sure', but did I get them? No. I was out for a walk shortly before I went on vacation and happened to take a little detour (I don't remember the reason) and right there in front of me were awesome rocks, like they were waiting for me to stumble across them.

The idea behind the rocks is to think about your 'burdens' or things you'd like to change or be able to dump from your brain. I selected a rock for each of my categories and got out my nontoxic paint and painted them - no rules and no preconceived ideas of how they should look when they're done. It was fantastic! I was amazed at the direction that most of them took. I let them sit for the next couple of days because it was party time! (there's more to the rock story).

On my actual birthday, my sister, joined me for an impromptu day - we did the two hour hiking trail (we both got a little sunburned). We went to lunch at my favorite bbq place in town, we drove around the area, had birthday pastries at my favorite restaurant and just chilled.

The next day my friend, Frances, took the 2-1/2 hour drive over to spend the day with me - again, the 2 hour trail, lunch at a restaurant overlooking the ocean and some much needed girl time.
Here's Frances on the trail.

Oh, yes, the bubbles - I have always had a fascination with bubbles, so this year I decided to buy a cute little bubble machine - I found the perfect designer one at Target for only $9.99 (including 6 batteries). There were so many beautiful bubbles! I am in the process of taking some of the photos, cropping them and having them enlarged.

Here are some more pictures from my vacation:

Hearst Castle is always a showstopper.

Here's a wreath at the house I stayed at - very simple, very unusual.

The theme of the house was lighthouses and all things nautical. I just loved this picture!

A sunset overlooking the Pacific Ocean taken just a few steps from the house.

Art is in the eye of the beholder. A driftwood 'plant' in the 'town' of San Simeon.

Near Ragged Point on Highway 1

Before I left for the coast, a friend invited me to a local lake for a day of hiking, sitting on the deck and relaxing.

Well, strange as it may be, we had a very cold storm move in for Memorial Day Weekend - you can see here, I had on my coat and gloves - it was a might chilly. We had an early birthday lunch overlooking the lake, sat in front of a warm fireplace, we did sit and do nothing and we did hike - only the rain and hail started coming down pretty good so we had to take a little break in an under construction home. Loved it!

The next day a friend and I got together for an early birthday breakfast at a new restaurant in
town. I suggested the Maple Nut Coffeecake French Toast. I had a bite and it was fabulous!

Thank you to all my friends and family who made the last couple of weeks so special and thank you not just for the NOW, but thank you for the ALL THE TIME.

Oh, I almost forgot - the Rock /Burden Therapy was awesome. After my guests left, I sat and journaled about each rock, the person, place or thing I had 'rocked' on. If that wasn't wonderful enough, I took a drive up the coast and one at a time and with much thought and even a few words said outloud, I tossed each rock into the ocean.

Make it a great week - it will be interesting to see what's changed over the nine days that I was gone...


Anonymous said...

Awesome! You ought to write a book!

Joan said...

We'll just see about that...thanks for the suggestion.

Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica said...

I hope you had a wonderful time and a happy birthday. That post has so much energy, so many layers between your words, I hope it was healing and inspiring! Looking forward to Fresno in a couple of weeks. I'd love to hear all about your trip!!!! Have a super week!