Tag Archives: Calistoga

Those absurdly beautiful moments…

As I walked down the little country path with my arm through my father’s, the lace hem of my wedding dress was gathered in my other hand as not to pick up too much dirt along the way, the sun glittered through the trees. Time stood perfectly still for just a moment, my entire life suspended in two parts, one married and one not. My closest friends and sisters smiled back at me, their bohemian tresses moving in the wind. We giggled as we walked, careful of the uneven ground in satin heels, giddy over what was happening, my dad’s tight squeeze of my arm.

I wanted to walk just a little slower, to savor those moments before my dad gave me away, but also a little faster to see Alex’s face when he first saw me, his bride in the dress I carefully hid for months. I floated, euphoric, tethered to the ground only by the twinges of melancholy that come with the arrival of life’s most anticipated milestones. I was my father’s little girl and my soon-to-be husband’s wife. Everything at once. Tears and smiles, past and future, present.

Last night as I remembered the peace I find in my wedding day, this memory surfaced to the top. For months afterward, I would sit in my cube and look at the pictures, reliving those intense feelings, the happiness they brought even on the most stressful day of work. Weddings may only span a few sweet hours, but the memories are lasting magic.

Photo credit: H. Starkey

With my dad on our unexpected hike to the ceremony site. Photo credit: H. Starkey

Photo credit: E. Heizer

My beloved friends and sisters as we waited to walk across the bridge. Photo credit: E. Heizer

What are your most absurdly beautiful moments? Do you escape inside them, like I do?

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Weekend Escape: An Adventure in the Making

It’s funny. I wanted to force myself to stay off the computer this week as a break from my book, but I can’t help it. I want to write, so here I am, blogging.

This weekend, however, I’m headed to a place without technology, a hot springs retreat with my mom about twenty miles outside of Wine Country. While I welcome the break, I am also a little nervous. This trip is undoubtedly outside my comfort zone. See, I have a lot of hippie qualities, but I have a lot of mainstream ones too. Growing up with a hippie mom, I was a late adapter. I resisted up until a year or two ago and it has definitely not been a full transition.

What will be outside my comfort zone, you ask? Public nudity, mainly. I’m sure I’ll deal with it, but I have to admit some of the Yelp reviews made me cringe. The hot springs are the only part of the resort where clothing is optional, but somehow poolside naked yoga and couples enjoying each other is not really my spectator sport of choice. Not to mention the weird grunting men. Thanks Yelp for giving me so much to look forward to…

My mom has assured me these scenarios are not common. Admittedly, I was swayed by a free massage, my own room, multiple yoga options per day, and quiet time hiking. The dorm room scenario was almost a deal breaker. More than anything else though, I am looking forward to a nice long weekend in the company of my mom without the distractions of normal life. No tv, no cell phone, no computer…

I am also looking forward to the drive. I will pass through Wine Country and Calistoga, (where I got married), on my own. I have never done this drive alone. The year we got married we drove to Calistoga almost monthly. It is one of my favorite drives in California. Returning on my own feels somehow introspective and meaningful. Maybe I will even stop for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. I have never eaten at a restaurant alone. I do not even know what it would feel like.

Needless to say, this weekend will be an adventure. Despite my apprehension, I’m excited. Yoga, wine country, hot springs, my mom. Worst case scenario I add another hilarious review to Yelp. Best case, I’m one of the staunch defenders of how wonderful it is to get away from it all. Either way, I will see a different slice of life than usual.

Are you good at pushing yourself outside your comfort zone? I’m working on it.

We began our little trip by driving through wine country to Calistoga, one of my favorite drives in all of California.

Excited for one of my favorite drives, even if I’ll be on my own. January is oddly a gorgeous time to visit, little yellow flowers everywhere.

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