IT has arrived IT is the haze that moves in on Southern California every June ( sometimes May, but we were spared this year). People who live in colder climates will know doubt say, “cry me a river”. For us who are use to days on end of perfect days the unceasing haze can drive us to re up long dormant prescriptions for happy pills, or try out new cocktails.
The trip I had postponed so I could be home for Oliver’s prom. With five offspring there is never a good time to get away. By going away this weekend we missed Viv’s best friend’s birthday party and spending time with my stepdaughter who is visiting ( we will see her this week however), but I would lose the money I had put down on the cabin so we went.
Just getting my husband away from striking distance from his restaurant has value. He is trapped, he has to stay with us. We drove north and stopped at this cute little place in Summerland. I really wanted a non corporate cup of coffee and this place, Cafe Luna, reminded me of college days in Santa Cruz. The kids loved their smoothies.Just when we were going to get back on the road to our “glamping” site Mark spied an outdoor oven in the back. Ends up they have a chef and make a few things in this outdoor oven for dinner. Oh, let’s stay I said. I chatted up the owner ala John Carl Brogdonand ordered the roast chicken- fantastic and the meat loaf, good, but would use a tad less sauce and peppers. The smashed potatoes had rosemary and truffle oil. Yum. We brought in our bottle of Sancerre we had. The kids could scamper on the patio.
Great places for a family. We hit the road the next morning awoke to a gloomy day north of Santa Barbara. Sigh. There goes the beach swim thing.
Fortunately, a Llama farm hike saved the day. We hiked up a hill to visit with Llama and goats and sheep with a view of the water. Usually I only see this view from the window of a speeding car. It was nice to be in it instead of looking at it. We didn’t need clear sun to make this a sweet outing.
For dinner we made tri tip over an open fire. Great for the kids to scamper outside. Dodge poison oak instead of cars, avoid skunks instead of creepy people who park their cars a little long on a street. But, dang it, there is NO way to look pretty when you camp. It can get to me.
I told Mark that if we could cover our computers, TV and phones at home we could stay in our home comfy home with our full bar and save a lot of money. He would have to vow to stay with us for 36 hours. Even on the hike I caught him checking his phone sometimes, “put that down” I yelled.
That night the place we stayed had an awesome band, “The Rawhides”. Country by way of rocka billy. They were tight. I loved hearing music, outdoors and being able to dance with my kids. The normal schlep of concerts. Babysitters, late at night, sitting down or standing up in a stinky bar does not appeal to me, but I miss out on the magic of live music. Here we got it. I danced some, but the sweetest thing was to see Viv and her dad dance. They never sat down.
The next morning more haze. I needed some reframing, ” let’s see the beautiful overcast beach” in my head I thought, “I’ll pretend it’s the Oregon Coast”. My sensitivity to cloudy weather is a big reason I fled back home after many years in Northern California. But, this morning I adjusted, we all did.
I love this picture.
Of course when we got back to the big city the haze had burned off. I did three loads of laundry. And more gloom with my dinner. It laid an egg. Oliver didn’t eat it because I had served him a late lunch, Vivien said, “Is that all there is?” Pork and Salad. What more do you want?
“all pork is dry”
” Where are you picking up these crazy ideas. It’s pork shoulder not a chop. I brined it.”
She was use to Sunday dinner with dad when their are more things on the table. I found some leftover arancini balls and she ate those. Rex was wound up. Literally. He was lying in my suitcase, nearby as I had unloaded it’s contents into the washing machine. ( Later I tricked him into eating while he watched Mickey Mouse on youtube)
I fell asleep holding Rex and smelling the campfire in his hair. I’ll deal with that tomorrow.