Last week, Mr. Wonderful and I took a road trip up to the central coast of California. We started out with a quick visit to his dad—and the flip house—in Fresno, then ventured to Paso Robles for some fantastic wine tasting, followed by a fun night in San Luis Obispo, and a trip up highway 1 to Carmel and Monterey. On the way back down, we stopped in Santa Ynez for some more wine tasting and a schnazzy New Year's Eve dinner with my parents. What a fantastic week.
Although I'd driven up the California coast many times before, this time I felt very aware of the impact such incredible surroundings have on me. The sights along the water truly lightened my heart.
Seeing baby elephant seal pups bark at their monthers and curl their chubby little bodies around flippers and muzzles plastered a smile on my face for about an hour. I could have stayed and watched these sweet blubber balls all day.
As we drove, we listened to Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol on Mr. W's ipod and at one point the story explains the chemical effects meditation has on the brain. I can't remember the specific details, but meditation-induced brain secretions actually have healing powers. It probably isn't the same sort of reaction...but I would swear that being in surroundings like this facilitate some sort of healing in me.
It's impossible to not feel a high when you're looking out at a view like this. It's like magic.
We stopped at the Monterey Aquarium and I could barely pull myself away from the otter tank. We were lucky to see a few in the wild (above) but watching them up close in captivity was, well, captivating. The way they would kick off from the edges of the tank with one corner of their flippers, propelling themselves around with swishing tails. They're amazing little animals.
We will definitely be heading back up to the Central Coast sometime soon. And hopefully I'll be able to take a few minutes to just sit by the shore, breathing in all the goodness that stretch of land and sea has to offer.