“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”
— Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa
I am the third of my father’s — surprise! — four daughters which made me subject to the wishes and whims of my much older sisters, Gina and Lorrie, on a daily basis. One such preoccupation was Lorrie's cult-like obsession with soap operas.
Never much of a girly girl, I cringed at dolls and dresses and, to this day, all but lose my shit at the words “cheerleader” or “princess.” But, for some reason, when it came to the 1980’s soap opera phenomena, Santa Barbara, I was powerless.
In neither our real, or imaginary life, would we be considered fearless or feisty. I mean, it’s not like we circumnavigated the globe at 14 or sprinted through all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail… Without a reckless bone in our collective bodies, I’d say our tolerance level for risk hovers somewhere at 3-3.5.
So why then should we bother to blog? What's even remotely interesting about a middle-aged, married couple traipsing around the States for a month?
On our drive from San Diego to Ventura, CA we took a quick lunch* break at Milo and Olive in Santa Monica, CA.
Consider the following our personal, non-solicited endorsement of their joint...
* File in Mental Recipe Rolodex: Warm fresh ricotta cheese and seasonal stone fruit, smother on toasted baguette and drizzle with amazing EVOO. Guh.
For several months leading up to this trip falling asleep has been a challenge. Not because I am preoccupied with a cornucopia of vacation fantasies — nay — apparently that seems too obvious for my overactive brain.
Up until our trip into San Diego, I knew next to nothing about the city. As a recent Google search would prove, it turns out that a few of my flimsy facts were not even correct.
There is a pretty decent zoo in San Diego. (Not that we visited it but...)
Aside from that one time in Texas we opened our sunroof all the way up and waved our hands in the air squealing like a bachelorette party in Vegas, we traveled the first 2,450 miles in relative quiet.
The sound of my typing on this laptop or Zan’s Rainman-esque running tally of roadkill — 8 armadillo, 3 skunks, 2 rabbits, 2 deer, 1 jack rabbit and an inordinate amount of indistinguishable lumps — the car was mostly calm and hot.
During their portrait session our Austin hosts, Jeany and Mose, randomly mentioned that their family was making a trip to Marfa, TX.
“Marfa?” we asked.
“Marfa,” they nodded.
“What in the heck is Marfa?”
This blog post for Austin has been nearly impossible to complete. I actually wrote three posts for our subsequent stops before I was able to scribble down even mindless notes from our stay.
I initially attributed part of my block to performance anxiety...
CONFESSION: Now is as good a time as any to admit that this trip is neither 30 days long, nor does it involve a different city per day. I’ll confess that my obsessive need for structure, combined with a shameless attempt at self-promotion, has given rise to this subtle misnomer.
Remember when we said that some of the best bits in life included time spent with special people? Meet Tara, our gracious host in New Orleans, and her legion of adoring animals (seriously, there are like so many more cute cats not pictured. Sorry cats.)
So as we begin what many have described as an impulsive, unimaginable trip around the country, I wonder if anything could be more fitting. While our own endings come much too quickly, what we do with the time we are given is totally up to us.
Say hello to our newest obsession — bean to bar / small batch / artisan / homemade / handcrafted / holy cow / are we really doing this? — chocolate.
That the moment that one definitely commits ones self then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
Taken over the course of the 2011 Spring and Summer growing season, we decided these precious pics were too special to keep in the vault.
Ancient rock formations, check. Super old insects, check. Impromptu history lesson, check, check, check.
A photo essay of a day in the life of Ithaca, NY.
There will be a day (or more) when you may be sad... or tired... or restless... or maybe missing Kean... or simply preoccupied by an exceptionally bad hair day. Or whatever. The point is, future me, I have created this blog post especially for you, for those days.