I’m sitting on an airplane that feels like it’s about to shake right out of the sky. There’s so much turbulence I can’t drink my coffee without spilling it. Had this happened a year ago, I would’ve been hyperventilating and hysterical. Right now the only thing I am is annoyed because these bumps are making it difficult to type. Life has changed in so many ways.
Spoiler: I stopped typing after that paragraph.
A year ago. I wouldn’t have believed anyone who told me I’d be hopping on planes to experience different places and adventures all by myself. Back then, I probably wouldn’t have even eaten at Subway by myself. So much has changed that I almost don’t recognize myself — and I love this new girl so much more.
I knew I wanted to take myself somewhere for my birthday, a weekend that happened to coincide with the deadline for my book edits. I researched the internet for the perfect place, excluding the north because the birds packed their bags a while back and headed down here for the winter. I found a million amazing options, but my heart kept going back to that houseboat in Sausalito, and this part of the country. And it didn’t hurt that the familiarity of it made it less intimidating. But, just as I was about to book my boat, I saw a related search for Stinson Beach.
Where have I heard that name before?
I googled it, scrolled through images, and it hit me. I’d been here last summer with the dude I dated after my divorce. It’s a tiny community, picked straight out of the pages of a storybook, nestled between the ocean and a mountain. I remembered the book store where I bought books I never read and a small place with huge ice cream cones. I kept it in the back of my head and sat on things for a while. Then, as fate would have it, my half-brother who lives in California had plans to be in Napa — a short drive away — at the same time.
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Last night after I landed, I grabbed an über outside of baggage claim and asked if he was up for driving an hour thirty in the middle of the night. Despite having grown up in Oakland, he’d never heard of Stinson Beach, so he was totally down for a new adventure. We talked the entire time making it the most fun uber ride to date.
We made it into town, headed to the property management’s lockbox, grabbed the house key, and found my rental. My driver, who’s name was Ben Love, made sure I got in and then lectured me to lock the doors. True to form, I didn’t listen and went outside at 3 am to listen to the ocean. Heaven. I went to sleep at four and, too excited to sleep, woke up at seven.
This house is gorgeous and so inspiring, much like this area of California. Sorry SoCal people, I’m on team NorCal for life. I’ve already made great progress on my book edits in just a half day. And, the birds … THE BIRDS … it’s basically like a Disney movie in the backyard. After I post this, I’m heading down to the beach, then back up here to take a dip in the hot tub. It’s a great way to enjoy the last few hours of being <redacted> years old.
I’m meeting up with some people tomorrow for some shenanigans and fun, so hopefully I’ll be a good girl and go to bed early.
Tomorrow, I begin another trip around the sun. Considering how much I love my birthday and my new life it all seems perfect — including the flawed events that got me here.
Apologies for typos but ocean waves > editing right now.
Finally, a few pictures from today.