When California is Even Better than the Dreamin’: America’s Incredible Backyard and the joy of hanging with your adult kids

Road Trip IV, Days 5-9: Oakland to Los Angeles, via Santa Cruz and Big Sur.

I have only two points to make, then I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

#1: Even with all the movies and car ads and calendars I’ve seen in my life, I was not expecting Big Sur.

We spent 10 days biking around islands in Greece last fall and never saw anything this beautiful. It is RIGHT HERE. It costs almost nothing to get to. There is no admission fee (ok, a $10 day use, but we saw plenty of cars avoiding that by parking on the road). There is no platinum class that gets to cut ahead in line. Everyone can walk and look, or just drive and look.
It is beauty on a huge, American, democratic scale.


#2: Even though they were great guys growing up and everyone says nice things about them as young adults, The Mate and I are still overwhelmed by how wonderful it is to camp with our adult sons.

All we’ve done is walk or drive or sit around the picnic table together, eating and drinking, playing guitar, playing Farkle, and we’ve been about to bust into tears of joy the entire time.

My conclusion: family love is like the scenery at Big Sur. Sometimes just being there is enough. More than enough.

I would love to hear from you. What place of simple, accessible beauty has taken you by surprise? What simple, accessible joy has done the same?