A few years ago, G and I vowed to take more time away alone. Until that point, we were maybe getting one weekend away a year with more time being spent away with other partners than with each other. It was fine for a while – but truly started taking a toll on things as one would imagine. Not getting away when the relationship has the complications of other things like finances and kids and other responsibilities truly forces the relationship to be only about those things – the relationship between G and me being forgotten or at least backburnered. And while things can go fine for a while, the wear and tear on it starts to show as conversations are exclusively around kid issues, bills, what to do with the neighbor, who is going to do the laundry, etc. After an escape away resulted in our own sort of “come to Jesus” discussion about things, we agreed we needed more nights away during the year. We established a Friday night date night – and planned time at the beach. Not only to recharge ourselves but our relationship. As G likes to say – time to just be G and just be Emmy – not mom and dad, teacher and project manager, etc. Shed the other monikers and just be us for a while.
We always choose the coast for our getaways. I guess it’s a draw for me having grown up no where near a large body of water – so the ocean just calls to me. And who am I to resist it. Because, for me, the ocean recharges me – puts life into perspective (how can that small issue at work seem as large as it feels when you are standing next to this huge body of water) – and feeds me by offering me amazing things to photograph and see but also because its power and energy simply feeds me.
This weekend, we found a one bedroom apartment for rent overlooking the ocean. It was a long drive Friday night – through lots of rain and wind and dark, twisty roads – but we got there and found a place that the photos did not do justice is showing. The little living room has huge windows overlooking the ocean – the bedroom was a great size – and the galley kitchen in the photos looked old and outdated but was instead very much the opposite. The downside of our arrival time was that every restaurant closes at 9pm. We got there at 9pm. We were starving and hoping for a beverage. Thankfully the pub was open until late – the kitchen still going – and the colorful locals were in full force. I think, in the end, finding that little place was perfect because the food was from scratch – not frozen stuff reheated or deep fried. And they had decent beer. And the colorful locals were quite entertaining. We ate, we drank, and we came back to collapse into bed.
And we were awaken at 2am to a huge storm hitting the coastal town. The wind had the rain going sideways – the rain was hitting the roof so hard it sounded like hail. We went to the huge picture window overlooking the ocean and could see the waves hitting the shore hard with huge swells. We both grinned, then went to lay in bed to listen to it.
We slept about 12hrs, then got up for coffee and just gazing at the ocean. People watching those brave enough to go walk the beach only to get hit by the sudden storm that rolled into it – and running for cover.
Between storms, I grabbed my camera – and we went to a federal forest area with an amazing visitor center that overlooks the ocean. It’s set in a location native american tribes settled in because of its access to the beach and the abundance of food. I recall the last time we came to this area seeing huge mounds of their “table scraps” on the beach – oyster shells, fish bones, etc. They rarely whaled – mainly taking advantage of beached whales when that happened. The area has enough shelter that even in 60mph winds, they were safe and out of the weather from it. It’s a perfect location. I’m glad they have made it a natural area and have it as a protected area. The couple running the center yesterday gave us the skinny on the whale migration (too early for the migrating ones, but the pod that stays in the area year round can be seen off and on). We chatted with them a bit more – bought a pass to all of the forest areas and went to take photos. We got caught in the storms – being pelted by rain – and hit by huge wind gusts that felt like the could blow us away. It was a great being out in it – thankfully it was still like 55 degrees even with the storms, so we were not cold. We followed the ocean along Highway 101 stopping at all of the little turnouts and all, laughing as we climbed on the rocky shore as the tide came in that we were going to get stuck on the rocks if we didn’t get back onto high ground soon. (A “we have about 15 min before we’re stuck on the rocks became a “we have about 5 min” realization at one point.)
When it became clear the breaks between the storms were becoming too few, we drove back to the place we were staying & stopped by the little market to get supplies. We got food we rarely eat but seemed to be what was appropriate to nibble on given the weather – and beer – then headed back to the apartment. We watched MLS soccer match on TV, ate junk food, drank beer, and enjoyed the main show – the storms hitting the coast over and over again.
We spent the evening just like that. Enjoying the storms – enjoying the company – and exhaling.
When we went to bed, we both fell asleep fast. But I didn’t sleep. It’s funny how the ocean affects me. I feel recharged – I feel energized – I feel relaxed – and all without the sleep – the shuteye. I sort of floated in that state between awake and asleep all night. I knew I was getting my energy from the ocean, but part of me wondered if I also got it from SB who was off feeding himself. It has been known to happen that way. Regardless, I was happy – I was content – all was good.
Energy is a funny thing – a funny GOOD thing.
Today we drove home in a combination of sun and rain. We counted probably 8 rainbows during the drive. We listened to the Coraline story as read by Neil Gaiman. What a great story. We stopped for coffee and pastries at a tiny bakery and found amazing food and coffee. Funny what you can find in small towns. When we got back to Portland, I got flipped off by an angry man in a big ass truck (his penis, apparently) because ….. get this – I passed him on the freeway. I flipped me off 3 times and flashed his lights at me too. What a fuck head.
I didn’t care. I was happy – I was buzzing – and all was good.
I needed this weekend. On so many levels.
I am thankful I got it.