I have been flirting with the idea of driving to the California coast lately, especially since my birthday was coming up and it was my wish to go somewhere I’ve never been before. I have been to Santa Cruz before but the traffic was horrific and I have no appetite to drive hours to a crowded beach again. I have not really expended any substantial energy into planning it, much less making it happen because of the travelling I have been doing lately. So it was a pleasant surprise that I found myself on a full day junket with the Italian and a couple new friends at, well, the beautiful California Coast.
You know that tingly feeling you get inside that somehow tells you that it’s going to be a great day? It was one of those days. The original plan was to run in Stockton in the morning and maybe throw frisbees at some park, but the weather was going to be punishing so to indulge me and my outdoor fix, we were going to rent bikes in San Francisco instead. The next morning, someone somehow discovered that the Gay Parade was happening that day, so we averted that “disaster” (not my words). We drove on I-5 without a plan. We were young and a full tank so we can afford to make plans on the fly. The consensus was the Coast which thrilled me.
We got to Half Moon Bay early enough that there was no traffic to deal with or parking problems to wrestle with. I have never been nor even seen pictures, so it was stunning to see the vast blue Pacific Ocean, the golden sand and the dramatic cliffs of Half Moon Bay for the very first time. Hello, God. Nice to see you here. We hiked on cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean and just took in the sound of the crashing waves and salty ocean air. Ahhh.. I'm home again. We climbed down, the shoes came off right away, and we started flinging a frisbee. Of course. My infatuation with summer continues.
On the way back, we decided to run instead of hike. The sheer beauty of the place just infuses you with so much energy that hiking just doesn’t quite do it. Everything in you wants to release, but since flying is not really an option, your being almost commands you to run.
Time stopped to matter as we kept on exploring, discovering, driving, and laughing on Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay to to Santa Cruz and finally ending at Capitola. The music ranged from Benny Benassi to The Doors. We found two excellent restaurants that day, and got free food at both places - vegetable rolls with mushroom, watercress and garlic at Main Street Sushi and a tiramisu at the superb authentic Italian restaurant in Capitola. We were collectively so high from that day and the wonderful love food from Capitola that at one point, we were all thrown into a sober giggling fit for no apparent reason.
I try to cling on to that day but somehow could not find it in me to. That day was what it was and what it needed to be and today is yet another day and tomorrow will be another one. While it is true that we need to be grateful for such beautiful moments and while there is enjoyment in recollection and remembrance, it is not here today. All we can do is ingrain those beautiful pieces, places, people and experiences to who we are so that they BECOME us.