Probably the best thing about being on vacation (besides not working and losing all awareness of the calendar) is being on vacation in California. Yes, it’s home and yes, I grew up here, but it’s still definitely vacation and it always hits-the-spot. It’s as if my job is to relax and eat. Literally. All I’ve been doing is visiting with family and friends, soaking up the rays, planning day trips, losing Joaquin among the cousins, and thoughtfully spending far too much attention to menus for picnics and bar-b-ques and dinners and breakfasts and coffee stops.
Heading out to the Marin/Sonoma coast is definitely high on my priority list when I come home. I love driving out from hot and sunny Napa, over the gently rolling hills towards the Pacific. Vineyards turn to cow pastures, suburbs turn to farmhouses, oaks turn to pines and redwoods. The dry, inland heat slowly fades to a cool,crisp air that feels entirely fresh and rejuvenating. Usually the car is packed with boots, puffy vests, fleeces, and blankets as we never know if that gorgeous white wall of fog will greet us, low over the coast. On the occasions that it does, I graciously let it seep into my pores as if I need it for reserve when I return to Panama.
While home I’ve been lucky to make it out to Point Reyes. If you’ve never been, you must go. If you have kids, they’ll love it. If you have dogs, they’ll love it. If you’re a hiker, a kite flyer, a picnicker, a hippie, a yuppie, a retired teacher, a relentless banker, a cheese lover, a beer aficionado, a sand dune roller, a lady bug catcher, a tree hugger, a photographer, a canoe rower, a wanderer, a child fearless of cold water, a reader, a local, a tourist, a philosopher, a papa with a baby in your backpack, a geeky blogger, or just someone looking for a good way to spend the day, head to Point Reyes.
You can stop in Point Reyes Station and stroll around with a coffee from Toby’s and pastries from Bovine Bakery, pick up some picnic deliciousness at Cow Girl Creamery, then head out to any of the hundreds of coastal stops. On one of our family trips this time, we went to Abbotts Lagoon which was really, really fun. The only problem was that time didn’t stop and the day, as always, came to an end.
Panama has got some serious competition, wouldn’t you agree?