this past weekend i celebrated my 29th birthday. i’m not one to make a big fuss or throw a wild party, and i’ve very specifically informed all of my closest friends that i do not like surprises. instead, i prefer to take the opportunity to ease into my new year on a relaxing weekend away. it’s actually become a bit of a birthday tradition for me. and this year, we drove three hours north to a little town called gualala along the california coast, to stay in a beautiful beach house at st. orres overlooking the ocean complete with everything you could possibly need: expansive views, a cozy fireplace, a sauna, and a jacuzzi overlooking the water.
the beginning of the trip was just a bit tumultuous. the forecast threatened rain and thunderstorms, and we found ourselves driving through winding country roads when the gas light started blinking. past the point of no return, we meandered along the hilly terrain for 50 miles until we finally popped out on the coast to be greeted by a service station. the entire time, we were doing our best not to imagine what it would be like to find ourselves stranded in the middle of a thunderstorm on a windy one lane road without cell phone reception. but our fears were for naught because we we made it out alive with .2 gallons of gas left in the tank, and a bright blue sky with the sun continuing to shine as we explored the area before heading to the house for a very pleasant evening (see photos).
the next morning wasn’t quite so kind, but it was honestly just as beautiful. i woke up obscenely early to look out at the ocean and watch the waves crash along the shore while big grey clouds filled the sky and it began to rain. and it pretty much rained for the rest of the day, foiling our plans to explore the nature areas, but certainly not stopping us from enjoying a few indoor activities like breakfast in bed, naps, and more sauna time. on the way back, we drove along the coast and reminisced about our bike tour, almost amazed that a couple of years ago, we actually rode that entire stretch of highway one on our bikes.
all in all, it was a weekend i will not soon forget!
a beacon of light. never have i been so excited to find a gas station.
quite possible the prettiest gas station ever.
a room with a view. i could seriously get used to this.
i still can’t decide what was better. the jaccuzzi overlooking the ocean, or the sauna.
sometimes rainy mornings are the best.
the saddest part of my day was when we had to pack up and leave. i stuffed all of my belongings into my amelia weekender by portland-based line, ellington.