“Smelly that salty air.”
That’s what my six-year-old son said over and over during our recent stay in Cambria. Cambria, half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, has been one of my favorite vacation spots for several years now.
Sharing Cambria with Ryan brings me back in time to when I was pregnant and we enjoyed two trips to Cambria. The first was in August 2007, newly pregnant (meaning, beyond family, most people didn’t know I was expecting). My husband and I arrived shortly after midnight. I had just completed serving jury duty; the case had gone to trial and it took longer than expected for the jury to reach a verdict. The second time was in February 2008, a month before Ryan was born. At that time, my large stomach prohibited me from zipping up my non-maternity jacket.
Now, April 2014, was the second time our son joined us on a trip to Cambria. And anyone who has ever traveled with children knows that a vacation with a child is not exactly the same thing as a vacation without a child. With Ryan, I am listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean while hearing “Curious George” on the television. Instead of a purse, I am walking around town with a small backpack filled with the essentials: baby wipes, juice boxes, Kleenex, and Cheerios (the quintessential kid-friendly snack).
And while reminding Ryan to use the restroom, I am trying to remind myself the reason why I need to visit Cambria. Yes, need. Because I don’t think a trip to Cambria is just a want. Something happens to my soul here. First off, I slow down. There’s little housekeeping and cooking required of me. There are no phone calls or mail or chores to take care of. In Cambria, I am humbled and inspired by the power and force and beauty of the ocean.
In Cambria, I slow down and remind myself to breathe deeply and “smell that salty air.”