Friday, February 2nd, 2018
It’s funny how the Universe works… I asked for more kid time, and it was certainly delivered, much to my delight. My last post I wrote about how Claire and I pretended to be making ice cream. I thought about how much simpler life was as a child and how our hardest decisions were which flavor we were going to eat. While I was in Sebastopol, CA with my cousin and his family, I was faced with the idea cream challenge as an adult. I followed my own advice and went with my gut: Cookie Dough and Caramel Swirl.
Claire would have loved it… The week in California was a total blast. My days were filled with jumping on the trampoline, riding scooters, exploring the coast, looking up at the giant Redwood trees, visiting San Francisco, and spending time with some of the greatest people I know. I loved picking Harper and Max up from school then heading home and playing all afternoon; spending time with Corrine and Remy (not to mention watching Corrine making delicious meals from memory while Remy was hanging on to her – Supermom!); and coming up with crazy business ideas with Scott. I was certainly jumping for joy every day.
Harper and I became attached at the hip and it was so fun to see the world through her eyes. Her world is SO FUN. We took a day to go to the Redwood Forest and go on a little hike. One of my favorite activities with one of my favorite people in the most beautiful setting. The sun beaming through the trees was the cherry on top.
We talked and talked and talked and I seriously wondered if I was going to lose my voice. We talked a lot about dreams and it was so fun to talk with someone so curious and get inspired by what I had to say. She became so excited when I told her about my life-changing lucid dream and she wanted to start a dream journal herself. I had purchased a tiny journal at one of the cute bookstores in Sebastopol for her to do so and the rest of the time I was there, she wrote down her dreams. Made my heart happy. I grew up having vivid dreams, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I really started paying attention to them and believing that they mean something. My dream journal is probably my favorite journal in my entire collection.
This walk felt like a dream because it was so magical. A daydream come true. We reached the Armstrong Redwoods Amphitheater and Harper was in her element. We stood on stage with the trees as our audience and started belting out Disney songs. When was the last time you busted out in song at the top of your lungs outside of your home or car?? We danced and didn’t have a care in the world. One of the best trails I’ve ever been on, that’s for sure…
After the forest, we made our way to the ocean. Talk about a perfect day. We stopped and watched the ocean for a while – soaked up the sun like the seagulls all around us. I loved the time bonding with this little human and attempting to be a positive influence for her. More importantly, I loved how she brought out my inner child. She is such an energetic, thoughtful, and sensitive soul.
When I was a kid, for some reason, I was obsessed (emphasis on OBSESSED) with milk cows. In school, if there was a pottery class or an art class, you bet I molded or painted cows. I remember I found out a family friend had a milk cow and I was so jealous! I can remember wanting one so badly. Weird, I know. But it was my thing. As I got older, my obsession faded and I don’t remember the last time I’ve actually seen a milk cow. So imagine my surprise when we left the coast and ended up driving through the most lush, green pastures with the MOST BEAUTIFUL milk cows!! Harper thought I was so silly for getting so excited to see these cows all over the place. I guess my obsession isn’t completely gone… I must admit, even as an adult, they really are beautiful animals.
Onto the next adventure – San Francisco!
Remy and I went on a road trip down South and I was so excited to see the Golden Gate Bridge. My Mom and Dad lived in San Francisco in their early 20’s and I had asked them to send me lists of what I should check out. It was so fun to have them as tour guides. Remy and I pulled off the highway before we reached the bridge and made the trek to see the beautiful view.
I went to San Francisco when I was a little kid, but I don’t remember any of it. So seeing the bridge on this day felt like it was my first time. It was really special to share that moment with baby Remy. I dropped Remy off to Scott and Corrine once I arrived in the City, and then I was off on my tour. I visited the apartment my parents lived in which was really special for me. I was too young to remember the time in my life that they were still together. So it was really neat to see a place that they shared before I was born. I continued on by seeing the hotel my Dad managed and visiting the Green Apple bookstore which was my version of Heaven. As I was browsing, I got a cute “hello” from my Grampa, Roy Nichols. What a coincidence…
I had some time to kill before I met with my friend Nicole, so I visited a coffee shop recommended by a couple different people: The Blue Danube. It was fun to watch the locals flurry in for their morning fuel, and I found one open spot by the bookshelf. There were dozens of notebooks that were all numbered. I picked up a random one near me and opened it up. There were hundreds of entries from patrons in the year 2008. A Time Capsule. It was ironic that the dates matched the time that I was in this coffee shop – I was reading these entries almost exactly 10 years later.
This entry stood out to me. I wondered if Ben was still happily married to his love and still enjoying his fulfilling job. I really hope so. It’s amazing what happens as you keep discovering layers of yourself.
“(1/9/2008) – I feel so lucky to be able to say that this is not my last week in San Francisco. I love this city. I found myself and my true love here (we’re getting married in May!). I have a job doing what I love and enough money to eat at Q or Burma Superstar every now and then. I never thought that life could be this cool! – Ben”
I then came across this drawing that spoke to me on many levels. I’m so fascinated by time and I love encountering moments when I’m reminded that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Time is always running, but this is why I love journals (and blogs!), because they make certain moments last forever. Thank you, Stranger, for creating this 10 years ago. Timeless.
Then it was time to meet up with my adventure buddy, Nicole. There is something about Nicole that makes everything extra magical when we are together. We used to always go on adventures in the PNW, but Nicole moved to San Jose last year, so it was extra fun to reunite and experience California together.
We enjoyed a delicious burger (our tradition) and went on a two mile walk through the neighborhoods. We would look at our surroundings and often stop at the same time to admire anything and everything. It’s so perfect with her because we get excited about the same things – views, flowers, architecture, anything. Taking time to admire the whimsical colors…or completely black homes.
We started talking about daydreams and imagining our dream homes. Nicole dreams to be near the ocean and have a darkroom for her photography. I’d love a room full of bookshelves, twinkle lights, and space to create. I’d love a desk in front of window to write and daydream at. As we continued walking, we looked to the left and noticed a spiral staircase in a window – that’d be a nice addition to my dream home! We noticed the main door was open…. OPEN HOUSE! We had to go see the staircase for ourselves. We walked in and the agent immediately knew that we were not going to be potential buyers (For $6 million, maybe after we win the lottery! Ha!), so she didn’t wander with us. We happened to run into two other folks checking the house out and where were they from? Wedgwood neighborhood in Seattle! Another coincidence…
We found the spiral staircase and I wondered what it led to…
What was at the top? A teeny nook with two things: a desk and a window. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket!
Nicole and I continued on our walk and she would say, “We’re almost to the Painted Ladies!” I was too embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know what the Painted Ladies were. Nicole is really into art and museums, so I figured it was some famous painting and I’d recognize it when I saw it. So I didn’t ask her and I was waiting until we arrived at the museum to see it for myself. We were across from a park and she said, “I think that’s them!”
“Huh? But there’s no museum over there…”
“No, it’s the Full House houses!”
“WE’RE AT THE FULL HOUSE HOUSES?!?!?!?!”
I had no idea that’s what they were called and I got so giddy! These houses were on my list to see, so it was extra special having it be a complete surprise (nevermind me feeling like a doofus.). I grew up watching Full House and wanted to be best friends with Mary-Kate and Ashley. So seeing these iconic homes with one of my closest friends was certainly a highlight of my life.
We sat and pretended to have a picnic like they do in the intro of the show and soaked it all up. Happy vibes all around. But our tour wasn’t done. Both my Mom and Dad recommended watching the sunset at The Cliff House. We set off and found the restaurant on the coast. Magically, there was a table at the window with a perfect view.
The rest of my time in California was spent wandering the little town of Sebastopol, meeting wonderful people, and checking out the coffee shops (SO CUTE). Amazing things happen when you wander…and live in the moment.
Rameh was a woman I sat next to at a cafe and we began talking about dreams, coincidences, and life in general. (Big surprise…) She told me about a man named Edgar Cayce who was a pioneer in America about dreaming. Rameh happened to miss her flight that afternoon and I smiled when I happened to run into her again the next day. By the time I bumped into her the next day, I had purchased a book on Edgar Cayce and was so grateful to have learned about him. We were definitely meant to cross paths.
I’ve visited California every year for the past 4 years. I tend to go after the holidays in the Winter months that are tough to make it through. My visits always kick-start my year with positive energy and enough Vitamin D to hold me through until Spring. This trip did not fail. Once I returned from California, it was a whirlwind and I was on a mission (which I’ll elaborate on another time). Spending time with kids, exploring, and having moments of tranquility with a good book are the cure for anything. Thank you to the Barrows family for hosting me – I love all of you!
Two weeks later, back in the PNW, and I’m feeling as good as ever. Right now, I’m at my favorite coffee shop in Marysville called The Living Room and the sun is starting to pour in. It gets really tough when Seattle is covered in a blanket of rain clouds for so many months. But since we don’t have sunshine every day, I feel like I have a deeper appreciation when the sun is shining. Yin and Yang. I feel like during the Winter months, we hibernate and take the time to work on ourselves; being inside sometimes makes it easier to turn inward. Then Spring comes and it’s our time to shine and show off what we’ve been working on. Throwing in a quick trip to California certainly helps to get a good dose of Vitamin D. If anything, it reaffirmed to me that dreaming is healthy and can lead to the greatest moments and encounters.
Similar to what Ben felt 10 years ago in a little coffee shop in “The City by the Bay,” I also didn’t think life could be this cool.
“Mind is indeed the Builder . . . what is held in the act of mental vision becomes a reality in the material experience. We are gradually builded to that image created within our own mental being.” -Edgar Cayce
Believe it. See it.