It was our first vacation alone, and our last for some time what with the purchase of a home and all, and now we're back… to tell it…
Parenthetically, I find it amazing how quickly life reasserts itself upon our return and how distracted I already feel by the demands imposed by it… but I'll tell it as best I can.
We left Saturday morning and, for those of you who doubt how quickly we can start fighting, we started fighting almost immediately. Vicky began what she calls her "teasing" and what I call being belittling, insulting, and just plain mean. By the end of the weekend, she said, "Well, I guess I just can't tease you, can I?" and I replied, "No. You can't." Let's not mince words: I do not have a thick skin. I am sensitive to insults. I don't much like them and I don't expect them from someone in whom I trust me emotional well-being.
The drive up, therefore, was pretty excruciating for me. We stopped in Santa Barbara for lunch at Ruby's (yes, we drove all that way for Ruby's)(… it's good.) and, by the time we were done, we back on our feet, relationship-wise speaking. I'd downloaded The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for Vicky. She said she'd always wanted to read it and I thought this'd be a fun way to catch it. There wasn't much listening, though, by the time we hit the Salinas area. From that point on, we were off the 101 and I was paying close attention to what I was sure was getting us lost. Thankfully, though, the old Ken luck with finding my way worked and we did. We pulled up to the Sand Rock Farm B&B around 5pm.
We were greeted with glasses of wine and directions to what we were promised would be a smashing place for dinner. Theo's. It was a small restaurant, refined, the kind of place that uses goat cheese and Disney animals… actually every place in the Capitola area was like that. It was disconcerting. Vicky tried the Gnocchi, which I mispronounced for her… but then I'm not quite as high-falutin' as they were at Theo's. Breaking my lifelong rule of not eating cute Disney characters, I had Thumper for dinner. It might have been good; I felt too guilty to really enjoy it.
Back at the room, we enjoyed the in-room jacuzzi and pretty much passed out.
The next day, our only full day there, started with an incredible breakfast. They really know how to cook at the Sand Rock Farm. I can't give you exact details because each breakfast had several courses intricately prepared with wonderful ingredients - you just wanted to ask for FOURTHs! On top of that, everything there was beautiful. You just want to die there because you knew that, even if you lived in the Hearse Castle, going home would be a let-down.
Chris and Lynn, our hosts, were both incredibly helpful, giving us more suggestions of great things we could do than we could possibly do if we moved in there. We started the day with a hike at the Nisene Marks Forest, woods that had been clear-cut a century before but were looking very good - as forests go… Vicky was great. She kept saying, "No, let's go further." Our hike was eventually eight miles long… about four miles too long for Vicky. She suffered for it. But we both loved it while we were doing it. The woods were so cozy and walking through them had a very "Hundred-Acre Wood" feel. We took lots of pictures but missed taking pictures of the enormous slugs we saw… okay, who takes pictures of slugs - but now we have no proof! Rats! From there, we went to the Capitola shore and meandered around the shoreline shops and had lunch. It was around that time when I decided I wanted to move there. I figure I can sell my townhouse ("my townhouse" - I like the ring!) and buy a well-accommodated shoebox, which is all you need, really… Okay, so I'm not moving. Dinner that night was at the Bittersweet Bistro, another recommendation from the Sand Rock folks. There, I was able to get my "Extra-dry Absolut Martini w/no olive", so I felt at home. Of course, dinner was fantastic. We decided to forego dessert and bought a bottle of wine to bring back to our room. The wine remains undrunk as did we - passing out from an extremely full day.
Monday was our last day… dammit. We were greeted with an intimate breakfast for two - it was really sweet - and spent the rest of the morning taking pictures around the grounds. This place is too beautiful to be real and cozy as my great-aunt's home… you know, if I had a great-aunt. When we'd first arrived, we'd walked the grounds and watched deer nibble across a meadow. Now, Vicky kept taking pictures because she just didn't want to go and I kept wondering how I could get SIXTHs of breakfast! Our first day there, I'd told Vicky, "The only thing they need to make this place perfect is a cookie jar with oatmeal-raisin cookies." I stand by that.
Heading home, we started fighting again. Vicky says we don't fight but, guess what, it troubles me. I consider it serious.
I wish we'd stayed there. It was the perfect retreat. But we're back...