….after lunch, we explored Sea Ranch, walking along the paths, and taking pictures by the large deck areas. I really wanted to go inside–as the spaces are amazing, but we could only really gain access to the lodge, not the condos, being that they were in use. Oh well. Had fun just walking around though–view was stunning, and it was nice to just be outside. Not sure if scb was too terribly fascinated as i rambled about charles moore this and that (much like i am now) but he feigned interest and seemed happy enough to just relax in an adirondack chair while the outer space hippies stared at us in amazement (probably the first time they ever saw a camera).
back in the car and back on the road…
lunch began to set in and we were both feeling lethargic. the winding roads and balmy air made put us in a stupefied state. stopped at <Point Arena Lighthouse to take a break. lighthouse was closed, but we bypassed all the shocked tourist types standing blankly in front of the closed gate staring at the hours of operation sign, and found an awesome spot with an awesome view. coast line was so pretty here–looked fake, almost.
finally, after another hour or so of roads so windy and steep that scb became carsick, we arrived in mendocino. saw a ton more hippies along the road on the way up (later found out that mendocino county has a huge marijuana community or something). Our fav hippie/vagabond type was walking along the steepest part of the highway, with a huge backpack, and a metal military helmet. WEIRD.
we drove through mendocino, blinked, and it was gone. then pulled over and tried to see if we could find a place to stay. this is definitely not a motel 6 type of town–only B&Bs need apply. the entire town is perched on this bluff–all the buldings are more or less victorian. reminds me a lot of anne of greene gables, or some type of impressionist painting where a girl in a white dress and straw hat looks out onto the water. apparently a lot of movies were/are filmed here, including East of Eden, Summer of ’42 (heh), cujo, overboard (kurt russell/goldie hawn), Dying Young (strange, i always thought that had been filmed in like Maine or something), Forever Young, as well as the Murder She Wrote tv series.
ended up renting a converted farm-house b&b. our room was actually a vacation rental, but b/c we got there pretty late and b/c it was slow, we got the room for a pretty good deal. when scb walked into this b&b rental place, they took one look at his face (looks 15) and just assumed that he wouldnt be able to afford anything. the lady at the desk, though she was polite, kept reiterating, “b&bs start around $80-$90” scb: okay. “we might be able to find you one that is $99, but it will be in town, and wont have a view of the ocean.” scb: um, im willing to pay a little more than that.” And with that, we ended up staying at Village Farm Retreat. Our room was located near the water tower, and included a downstairs (living room/kitchen/bathroom) and an upstairs attic/loft-type room with a view of the ocean. We also had our own private entrance, and a front porch, complete w/chairs, table, and cats.
We explored our room a little bit, then went to the nearby grocery store to grab stuff for dinner. The innkeeper guy (kinda weird) suggested all these places to us that didnt sound remotely interesting. Mendocino needs help in the restaurant department. All the dinners are like lambchops with lavender rice served with seared vegetables type dishes. Or like Thai burrito (wtf??). Nothing under $15. And trying way too hard to be trendy w/the cuisine dude. We just wanted something simple, well-prepared, and seafood-based.
At the grocery, we found an amazing selection of fresh ingredients–shrimp and scallops from a nearby fishing village, and locally grown organic vegetables. also picked up toothbrush and toothpaste–since this was a pretty spontenous stopover.
We ran into a group of drag-rat/riff raff types chilling in front of a dilapidated house (which, i found out later, was some kind of pottery/glass blowing place). While harmless, they were also not shy. talking about take a picture it will last longer. they would not stop staring at us as we got into the car.
by the time we finished shopping, the sun had begun its descent. we ran back to the house to grab a wine opener and some wine glasses, then rushed to our private beach. I was still wearing coach shoes at this point, and the steep climb down was treacherous. finally, we made it to the beach and realized that we couldnt even SEE the sun. scb was content to just watch the sky set, but I refused. With time slipping away, i kicked off my heels, and just started bolting up the rocky prickly cliffy terrain–back up to our car. scb followed, stunned by how quickly I could move in heels and then w/no shoes. He raced ahead of me, grabbed the car, and swung by the church just in time to see me running towards him, frantically waving my hands. it was a pretty funny moment, as its seemed like I was a bride running out of the church, and scb was there to pick me up and whisk me away.
we caught the sunset just in time. everyone seemed to be content to watch the sunset in their cars, but scb and I braved the brutal wind to sit at the edge of the cliff w/a bottle of wine. after 2 short minutes in that weather, we understood why all the people were in their car. we didnt care. our wine was practically blowing out of our drinks, but we still managed to make a toast. scb toasted, “to 6 great months together.” Im not one for cheesy moments, but I was totally caught up in the moment. And it was very romantic.
Back at the VFR, we threw together dinner. I made scallops in a white wine garlic parsley sauce, and chili garlic shrimp with scallions served with herb and garlic linguini and a garlic lemon cream sauce that I made. scb clumsily made and burned some mushroom biscuits (he was very pissed about that–kept saying how stupid he was and how he fucked up our perfect dinner), but they were salvageable. At dinner, it was my turn to make a toast. I took a while to think about it, then said…”to more moments like this…maybe…” and then I quickly clinked my glass and gulped down the wine hard. I looked at him for affirmation. His face softened (he looked almost relieved, but i could be wrong) and he nodded eagerly. Then he reached over and grabbed my hand.
rushed to the hot tub after dinner. hot tub=amazing. perched out over the water. stars were crisp and sky was clear. our swimsuits were really ghetto too, as we hadnt brought anything. oddly enough, i was wearing a camisole instead of a bra, so it looked like the most white trash swimsuit ever. but it worked. again, amazing time.
back in the farm house, we set our wet clothes in front of the oven to dry out. then we drank tea and ate ice cream, and read until bedtime. We fell asleep to the sound of frogs croaking in the pond. felt like some country time lemonade commercial.
in the morning, we just laid in bed talking. we were talking about what an amazing time we were having, about how perfect everything worked out to be, and then…fuck me…i started to cry (where do the tears come from?), and then he started to cry. so then i fucked up that happy moment and made it a sad moment. but really i was crying b/c i was so happy and then so sad b/c i wanted that happiness to last forever. anyway, embarrassing.
scb made an amazing breakfast–just an omelet w/fresh ingredients, and half a grapefruit. we ate on the porch of the VFR along with 2 cats. One cat was very friendly and waited patiently at the door for me to come outside. He sat inbetween us during breakfast while i fed him a few egg scraps. scb, who has never had a pet before, and who is convinced he hates cats–loved this cat. even tentatively pet the cat. cute.
i was sad to say goodbye to our retreat. we explored mendocino a little–it was another warm, sunny, beautiful day. walked along the main street and went in and out of all the cutesy Laura Ashley-type stores. Then we scaled down the cliffs to a secluded beach. There were so many little coves with water falling over them. scb and i tentatively climbed our way over a sea of floating driftwood to make our way to the space behind the waterfall. we both were soaked, but it felt so refreshing. from this vantage point, we watched yet another weird guy doing speed drills, in particular, the “grapevine” on the beach, while this 11yr old kid watched him. I have no idea what their relationship was–grapevine guy seemed like some weird older potsmoking brother that liked to yell at the younger kid. or he seemed like some vagabond that the kid befriended at the glass/pottery shop in front of the grocery store. whatever. it was really strange.
we spent most of our time in mendocino exploring the rocky terrain near the water. it felt like we were standing in the middle of the ocean the way the waves crashed so close to our feet.
back at the top, scb took me in his arms and just kissed me forever. yes, you can throw up now, but it was the single most romantic kiss in my life. totally in the moment, totally swept off my feet. sigh. of course it would happen now, of all times.
i took scb down a trail, and started picking flowers and collecting rocks. scb gave me a gay look and said he loved that i did stuff like that. yeah, this was before he stepped into a large muddy puddle. then he was pissed b/c one of his legs was completely wet, and one of his shoes was all squishy.
we had lunch in noyo harbor–a gritty fishing village type place that is actually still in use. scb and I picked out a huge dungeness crab, some oysters (which we had bbqed) and 2 beers, and sat outside on the deck drying out our feet. another weird character: the chef at the place–the guy manning the bbq grill–was some french dude. totally reminded me of my ex–down to the tight tapered jeans,and white reeboks. french dude was cool, and was cooking up some gourmet french seafood, but what the hell was a young french cook doing in noyo harbor of all places?
after lunch we went to nearby fort bragg and waited in line for hand-made ice cream. ice cream was okay, but in line, scb started acting all goofy–getting on his knees and fake proposing to me w/one of the rocks i found on the beach in mendocino. i told him if he didnt get up, i was going to scream really loud and say, “yes, yes, I WILL marry YOU!”
it was nearing the end of the day, and we decided to head back to SF. I fell asleep one of the windy roads, and woke up to find that scb had draped a blanket over me. sweet.
our last stop was the drive-thru tree park. After entering the park, scb commented that he wished my car had a sunroom. I asked why, and he responded that he wanted to be able to look up at the trees. Um, ok, i guess thats sort of logical. When we pulled up to the drive-thru tree, scb became confused, “OHHH, i thought it was a drive through TREE PARK, not a DRIVE-THRU TREE park” silly boy. funny though.
drive home was relatively painless. we played all sorts of road games and munched on beef jerky. the landscape was more beautiful than I had anticipated–looked like it was right out of City Slickers or Bonanza. We were both really sad that the trip was over. Really really sad. but both happy to be home.
During the trip, we talked about all the trips we wanted to take together. I wanted to go to the desert, to mount shasta, to yosemite with him. He wanted to take me to disneyworld. It all seems like empty promises though. like we are still living in a dream world until the brutal reality of him leaving truly sets in.
The next morning, I told him that I didnt want him to leave. We talked about it some more, and then I started to cry again. (i swear to god i have never cried this much in my life–esp not in front of people!!!) I told him that even though hes here, i feel like hes already gone. Scb told me that even though he’s leaving in a month, he doesn’t think it will be the end for us.
Even knowing that, or believing that, Im still sad. I keep thinking that this is it. That these are our last moments. Scb told me that its hard for him too–but even knowing how hard it will be in a month, he still thinks its worth it b/c hes glad for the time we do have together. He said he was so happy that he/I decided to spend his remaining weeks together, instead of him walking out the door the day he told me. Reluctantly, I agreed. Its not ideal, but in the end, I’d rather have what we had/what we have, than to have not had it at all.