Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Goodbye Wave

From where I live in Sacramento, I am two hours from Lake Tahoe (snow! skiing! a shinier, cleaner alternative to Reno!), two hours from wine country (vineyards! cuisine! free booze!) and two hours from San Francisco (arts! culture! diversity! streets so steep you question whether you ever DID learn how to properly use your parking brake in Driver's Ed!)

But of course, California is DEFINED by it's magnificent coast. Thanks, Pacific Ocean, you sure do make this state a very special place in which to pay one of the highest costs of living in the nation.

Since I am about to move hundreds of miles from the only ocean I have ever really known, I figured the Pacific deserved a formal and sincere farewell. So my friend Jen and I hit the beach!

We went to Stinson Beach and (here it comes again) it is about 2 hours from Sacramento. Northern California beaches are not the type of beach you see on Baywatch. Notably, there is not an abundance of silicone on NorCal beaches.

But there are often steep cliffs and rocks right up against the shore, so in order to get there you have to climb up and then down some pretty windy and twisty roads. There are lots of pine trees along the coast and their scent mixes with the salty air creating a mix not unlike a really clean taxi (minus the taxi driver) but much, much better. You will find yourself taking the deepest breaths you have ever taken outside of a Cinnabon. The skies usually start off overcast, but the fog burns off during mid-day and once it is gone, the sky turns a vibrant blue and all of a sudden the massive ocean is dwarfed by the endless sky in every direction.

If you wanted to recreate what it's like to stand in the Northern California ocean, stand in your igloo cooler while your pal pours bags of ice on top. Yeah, it stings. But just for a couple seconds. Because then your feet are numb and the roar of the waves have you hypnotized while your feet stay planted firmly in the velvety sand. I have evidence. Here's a little clip of my feet making out with the ocean:

For more pics, check out my flickr set. Then help me figure out how the heck I can pack this up and bring it with me to Oklahoma.


Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Been to Sacramento many times for my husband's surgeries. Been to San Fran a few times for the same reasons and business. Been to Tahoe once after a very successful surgery that lasted less than we expected. It is all awe-inspiring. It is beautiful. It is fun. and Yes, It is expensive.

Oklahoma has - fields and tornados and lakes and fields and rivers and fields and accents and SOME hills....


MomMega said...

Oh yeah, NorCal beaches are c-o-l-d. Brrr! But, you gave a perfect description of the air and the smell and the "decor". My parents live right over the hill from Half Moon Bay, so we always have breakfast there when I visit!

Thanks for visiting (and commenting)!! Hope to "see" you again!

so NOT cool said...

I love the video. While I'm not really a water girl, I do so love my local (dangerous) river, and dipping my feet in its frigid waters.

The waves are absolutely mesmerizing. I have some friends in northern California (Santa Rosa), and I can't wait to visit them, see the ocean, swing by San Francisco, and go to the Redwoods.

Eternal Sunshine said...

oh - i miss the beach!!

I need a vacation!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

Tracy said...

I've never been to either state, California or Oklahoma but I was once in my school play called Oklahoma and I had a great time. I think you will to in the real place. It's a new adventure!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you'll come back!

See Jane Blog said...

Really enjoy your blog - good luck in Oklahoma.
I love it when people take a leap - look ma no hands!

sweetcheese said...

I agree--the beaches (and forests near the beaches) are the best part of this state! Maybe we'll mail you some sand. :)


I've been talking about California all weekend. J's uncle lives there, and a friend at work just moved back from there. I want to visit CA SO badly! One day......

Cookie said...

A big move can be tough. We moved from NJ to Seattle over 2 years ago. Good luck! Don't worry, I'm sure it won't be the last time you visit the ocean.

And thanks for stopping by The Cookie Jar :)

Anonymous said...

I miss California. While I grew up in southern California, it was the northern region of the state that was always my favorite.

Thanks for stopping by to say hi :)

Walking With Scissors said...

I've never lived near the ocean, but that video made me homesick. I was meant to live there. Every time I've ever been to the ocean, I've felt like I'd gone home.

Oh. Ahem. I think that my point has gotten lost in the tide. I meant to congratulate you on living inland. Lots of us do it and survive. I'm sure you will too!

So. Oklahoma. You've got the musical and also Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels declaring, "O-kla-homa! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! OklaHOMA!" (Hopefully I'm not the only one who remembers that part of the movie...)

Uh. Yeah. This comment is going nowhere. Good luck in Oklahoma!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Hey Oklahoma is sorry that you don't get the ocean! :) I feel ya...I'm not quite on the west coast...but it's only a few house drive our less than an hour flight!

Good luck in the Midwest! :)

aeb said...

I love the beach. Thanks for the mini-vacation!