Each year, the Beloved runs a big scientific meeting during the first week in January. It’s the most time-consuming thing that she does all year. It’s a little bit of a bummer that it hangs there on the horizon during the holidays, but that’s the way things go sometimes.
Because it’s a pretty big deal and fairly stressful, we often try to take a day or two afterwards for something fun and to give her a chance to unwind. For example, last year we went to Disneyland for a couple of days.
This year, the meeting was held in Santa Clara, so we decided to head over the coast range to, well, the coast for a few days of peace and quiet. We chose a resort near Año Nuevo State Reserve (first sighted by the Spanish > 400 years ago – around New Year’s Day, hence the name) that seemed to specialize in “down time” – no cell phones, no TVs, plenty of hiking and clean air.
Often central California can be pretty wet in January, but we caught a serious break by having clear skies and temperatures in the upper 60s and spent a day hiking around Año Nuevo State Reserve – a gorgeous area of coastal prairie, rich in wildlife and native coastal grasses. Just stunning.
On our getaway day, we slowly drove up the coast, stopping in the small towns of Davenport and Pescadero and trying to decide if they could go on the “we could retire here” list. Along the way, we stopped at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse (named for the 19th century ship, Carrier Pigeon which wrecked nearby) – the tallest lighthouse on the Pacific coast – and you know I like me a lighthouse.
Finally, after passing through Half Moon Bay (which did not pass the retirement test), we angled back through the switchbacks of the coastal range again and headed to San Jose (we knew the way) and our flight home.
After such a restful couple of days, maybe I’m ready to start this new year after all.