Note: Entry title not to be confused with Cruise-on-Holmes’ (needed more grave-sounding portmanteau than TomKat) big reveal of their inexplicably Chinese child 7 years ago.
This one’s about a recent trip to the Central Coast/Big Sur area. No, we didn’t quite make it to Big Sur during this trip, since we took the ridiculously Inconvenient Truth-frowned-upon 40-minute flight from LAX to Monterey. But please allow the title a bit of latitude.
Yesterday, I recounted my boyfriend’s and my latest trip back for my family reunion in South Carolina. It was a pilgrimage of sorts, and while we packed a lot of fun (and BUTTER) into the visit, there was a heavy obligational element. Now that we’ve completed our seasonal fall genuflections and given my grandmother plenty of fodder to gossip about with her bridge mates (“young Violet is living in SIN with an INDIAN”), we can safely rest until the holidays.
Shortly after we returned from the Cackalack, we were due to turn right around and head out on another trip. Now, I’m having trouble framing the circumstances and conditions of this trip, because I don’t want to seem flippant and jaded.
The fact is, despite the fact that we traveled a mere 300 miles up the coast, to Monterey, CA, we were transported to a luxurious time and a beautiful place where I was treated like the Travelocity gnome. (At least, the way they treat the gnome during commercials and “Amazing Race” prize announcement segments. I have no idea whether his day-to-day working conditions verge on Triangle Shirtwaist Factory-esque.) Unfortunately, my poor boyfriend had to attend some meetings during this trip, but after those morning obligations he got to join in on what Phil Keoghan might call “ee-yow-hers and yow-hers of SPARZ ageen-st a beauti-fuh backdrawp.” (Note: I mean when he says “hours and hours of spas against a beautiful backdrop” to the team who wins first place on a leg of “Amazing Race.” Is anyone else as confused as I am about his randomly shifting Oceanic accent, which goes South African/American/Kiwi by the syllable, like a linguistic kaleidoscope?)
Anyway, we stayed at a resort in Pebble Beach. Which means I was right at home, because I grew up in Augusta, Ga. (Home of the Masters! Not to be confused with Augusta, Maine: Home of the Lobsters). Just the sight of those pastel polos and the sound of those dog-whistle cart beeps takes me back to my salad days tooling around in our golf cart, cleanin’ pools and tutoring geometry (note: I’ve always been a believer in Egg Timer Jobs). As a bonus, all the streets in my childhood neighborhood were named after world-famous courses. In fact, one of the main drags was Pebble Beach Drive.
Much to unpack about the trip. Let’s start with the first day. Deepak and I arrived early, so that we could meet with friends and explore Monterey/Carmel a bit on our own.
I’m usually keen to return home after an extended absence, since I get too NERVOUS about the passage of time. Also, I want to be a cultural tastemaker — don’t laugh! — and worry that people back in L.A. are moving & shaking and making tastes without me. But! Ever since returning from our trip, either because of the beautiful and different scenery or what, I’ve had this weird tug of sadness. I think of the songs “Brigadoon” and “Bali Hai” — because I have a collection of corny musical songs and use them on my sappiest moments — and wonder, for once: Was it the place I just left where the magic is happening, rather than home?