Shortly after Chris and I started dating last year, we took off for a couple of days to Las Vegas. It was the first vacation he had taken in a very long time, and it was really what sealed the deal and made us officially “us.”
I didn’t talk much about that trip because it was a little bit scandalous among my circle of friends. After all, nice Mormon girls don’t take off for trips to Vegas and stay in hotel rooms with boys.
But I have never claimed to be nice, so off I went. And I didn’t even feel a little bit bad about it.
Somewhere around the beginning of this year, Chris put in requests for vacation time for the year and requested a few days around the week of his birthday. At first, it looked like he was going to be heading up to Oregon for a family reunion, but that got moved up to August. I had been pushing for us to take a short trip up the Central Coast to where my family still has my grandparents’ house. When the dates changed for his family reunion, we decided to keep those pre-scheduled vacation days in September and take advantage of that time to head north.
And last week, we did just that.
Let me tell you, it was HEAVEN. Everything about it was just perfect. I can’t even express to you how much we needed this trip as individuals, but also together. Life has been busy and stressful. And after the horrible summer I had, I really needed a few days away from work and doctor appointments. And he needed time away from work and other obligations. It honestly could not have come at a better time.
We left Tuesday morning and drove straight through. It’s only about 3 1/2 or 4 hours. The torrential downpour of rain we got in So Cal didn’t hinder us. We made it closer to the 3 1/2 hour mark, and the weather up north was perfect.
The water to the house is left off most of the time because we’re just using it as a vacation house and it’s usually unoccupied, so we turned it on as soon as we got there and everything was working perfectly. I showed Chris around the house, and we sat down to relax for a bit before going to dinner.
As we were sitting in the family room, someone walked past the sliding glass door, across the back porch. Then someone else did too. And then they turned around and walked back the other way. I was annoyed and confused and went outside to see what they wanted, but they had disappeared. Whatever. I went into the bathroom to start getting ready. That’s when I turned on the bathroom faucet and received no water.
What the hell?
I told Chris that those strangers must have turned off the water, so he went outside to find out what was going on. He saw the strangers and they were surprised to see someone at the vacant house and told him that there seemed to be a leaking pipe, so they had turned off the water and called the Water District.
I walked outside and the neighbors vanished. They hadn’t knocked on the door to see if anyone was there, and as soon as they saw me, they couldn’t bother talking to me. They just scattered to their homes. Now I was kind of pissed.
We tried to turn the water back on, but it turned out they had actually shut if off at the meter at the curb, instead of just at the house. I just about lost it. Luckily, the Water District truck pulled up right then. I explained the situation and we got it all worked out. Apparently, someone had left a hose turned on in the back. Full blast. So it flooded the side of the house and ran out to the street.
I was still really annoyed at the neighbors, but tried to ignore it as I went back in the house to finish getting ready. Shortly after that, we left and drove up to Pismo Beach for dinner at a nice restaurant on a cliff, overlooking the ocean.
Did I mention it was Chris’s birthday dinner?
Oh my gosh. The view was amazing. In my reservation request I had asked for a table with an ocean view and they delivered. We got there as the sun was setting and it was spectacular. And the food. Holy yum. On my sister-in-law’s recommendation, I ordered a cup of clam chowder. He got a Caesar salad. I ordered salmon and he got the mahi mahi. And then we split a side of Terragon-infused Lobster Mac n Cheese and grilled ratatouille. And then I talked him into the chocolate lava cake for dessert. It was all so amazing.
It’s funny because I stressed WAY more about this particular meal than I ever should have. I just wanted his birthday to be special and I scoured Yelp looking for the perfect place to go. I had found one restaurant that looked great and had amazing reviews and the menu sounded interesting. And then when I checked out the pictures online, I realized it was the place where my brother and sister-in-law had their wedding reception and then that just felt kind of weird, so I decided not to go there. I think I made a wise choice because where we ended up was so great. It was actually the place where they had their rehearsal dinner…
The next morning, we woke up fairly early. I suggested driving up the coast a bit to the town of Cambria, where my cousin has a cute little shop called Maddie Mae’s Pet Pantry. (Shameless plug if you’re ever in the area!) I had never seen my cousin’s shop, and it had been forever since I’d seen her, so we decided to stop in. She was out that day, but my aunt was there, so we got to chat for a bit. And then we went to Linn’s for some olallieberry pie, which was SO yummy.
From there, we went to see the elephant seals in San Simeon. We got to the vista point and parked, and found a good spot where there were 6 or 7 seals playing in the surf. It was fun to watch them. We were getting ready to leave when Chris suggested we follow the path a little farther, because a bunch of people were coming toward us from that direction. We went around a bend in the path and lo and behold! There were at least a HUNDRED seals all sunning themselves on the beach. It was awesome.
We left there and went to this cute little pier across from the turnout to Hearst Castle, hoping to see some whales, but we didn’t. So we took off and went to the movies. We saw The Visit, which was seriously creepy and gave me a little bit of a freak out moment in the middle of the night when I had to get up in the pitch dark house to go to the bathroom. As the movie was about to start, I commented to Chris that it was a little weird that we were watching a creepy movie about kids visiting their grandparents while staying at my grandparents’ house.
This post is getting super long. Sorry about that!
On Thursday, we went to Pismo Beach for cinnamon rolls from Old West Cinnamon Rolls, which is famous and has been on the Travel Channel and the Food Network. They were super yummy. We walked out onto the pier and caught sight of a couple of otters hanging out in the water. We went back to the house and relaxed and took naps. For like three hours. And then we went and grabbed some dinner and then went over to catch a screening of Black Mass.
When Friday morning dawned and we accepted the fact that we were going to have to go back to reality, we were both a little bit disappointed, but we were so glad to have gotten that time together. It was definitely too short, but I was really happy when he said things like “next time we come up here.” I had felt a little bit of pressure to make it a good trip, since I was the one that had talked him into going up there. I hoped he would love the area as much as I do, and I was so glad that he did.
So…what did I miss last week? And please don’t say the debates. Because I REALLY didn’t miss those!