Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting Centered Along the Coast

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.

12 comments:

brookem said...

oh that sounds like such a great trip! love those pictures.

happy 2010 babe!

Mike129 said...

It is a very beautiful part of the country. I also find it relaxing, and I love the marine critters. Unfortunately, I now live too far away to get there very often.

Mandy's Kidding said...

Staring at nature, road stare, being in the "zone" — they are all the same state we aim to achieve on-command through meditation.

I'm glad you got some brain candy!

blakspring said...

what a great trip, and super photos. the seals look so sweet. i visited friends in san francisco a year and a half ago, and they also took me to the aquarium and on that coastal road with the lone cypress. loved it.

Wow, that was awkward said...

I have driven up and down the central coast twice and both times felt magical. I need to go back.

geekhiker said...

If it weren't for the fact that the job market up there sucks (and believe me, I keep checking), I'd SO be living in SLO right now!

Danielle said...

OMG that looks awesome. I am so jealous.

laura said...

great pictures!!! sounds like a fabulous trip!

Sizzle said...

Oh how I miss that view! Home (to my heart). What a great trip. :-)

P.S. I am wearing the adorable earrings you made me today. Thinking of you, friend!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I've gone camping a number of times in Big Sur. It's so amazingly beautiful, powerful and peaceful all in the same breath. So glad you had a great trip!

justrun said...

Are otters not the most adorable thing ever? I want one of my own, even if they will probably tear my arm off.

Looks like a wonderful, relaxing time!

Alysha said...

Looks like a gorgeous trip! So glad you had fun! Love the pics. You are pretty talented