I was warned, and I knew that starting July 1 all travel would explode with screaming children and overall airport hell.
I hate modern holiday travel and decided to stay the summer in the flames of Los Angeles not moving ‘till the beginning of September — when everyone else has returned in a heap at home.
Summer travel is hot and tough and you have to be in fighting shape to withstand it. The endless security lines, the highway back-ups, the screwed-up restaurant reservations... Even if you already have a chic summer rental in Provence or in East Hampton, or a yacht in St. Tropez, or a suite on the Seaborne, nothing can make me want to withstand the rigors of just getting there! Except ...a complete disconnect-a retreat. A fast from food, people, media and technology.
I am not talking about a destination spa vacation (too much of a commitment) or a weekend ‘get away.’ The latter reeks of Vegas, booze, strippers and Cirque de Soleil. I realized that nobody ever returns from a summer jaunt feeling refreshed or revitalized. Who can honestly say that after a trip that includes standing at any baggage claim carousel?
Airports are notorious for being unpleasant. But there are a few that stand-out in my mind. The arrival hall at Calgary International Airport is one. Both fun and educational.
I am a pill when it comes to travel as you can see. I only desire an absolute ‘Stop the World I Want to Get Off’ moment, or nothing. I say: to be constantly everywhere is to be nowhere ... and exhausted.
So, where do I go? The Central California Coast between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. I can get to Carpinteria in the blink of an eye and it always feels vintage California and very ‘under the radar.’ And yes, I don't run into any bling and glitz.
The days vanish in a blur of reading, hiking and most of all sleeping to the sound of the ocean which is better than Ambien. That hypnotic thunderous sound of waves took me in and under, and frankly I don't remember much of anything. Imagine having such a front row seat to nature without a single wail from a distant toddler. I can hear and smell the waves at all times. The ocean becomes a backdrop. The smell of iodine, seaweed and eucalyptus is like no other and heals me instantly. The sound is nature's original white noise.
In spite of the fact that I stopped all calls and the laptop remained unpacked I found out all the news fit to print or stream through a few neighborhood market excursions (some shoppers thought they spotted Edward Snowden on the beach). Ah, small towns ...the real CNN of life.
Back home. It is hot! No problem ... I am relaxed, centered, clean, clear, aroma-ized, freshly flip-flopped ... and ready to listen to a stream of messages demanding I get my lazy *** in gear. Ah well, home again.