Driving down the Pacific Highway I’m stunned by the steep cliffs that cuts straight into the sea. I’ve always loved the ocean. Rarely scared of it, always in it. We pull up on the side of the road to look at the view, smell the salty water and let the wind mess up our hair. It’s crazy beautiful. Crazy.
As we sweep along the coast clouds fill up the sky and we play the Stones on high volume. We pass a tiny coastal town and stop at a seafood shack. Splitting a lobster roll and a salmon burger that melt in our mouths. Nothing but Americans around us makes it feel like this is an actual gem and not a touristy trap (which it is, because turns out Americans are tourists too, who’d thought it).
We reach Carmel late afternoon. Checking into an adorable little hotel where I’ve booked a room for us as a birthday surprise for Nicole. The hotel manager asks us out before we’ve even checked in and we head down to the beach as soon as we have. A broad, white beach with turquoise water and lots of dogs running around. The sand between my toes feels like summer break and even though it’s windy and chilly, I run into the water to let my feet get soaked by the Pacific Ocean and have a true Britney in Crossroads-moment. I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.
Strolling through the tiny village with tiny houses makes me think of old fairytales. Everything is annoyingly cute. Even their one gas station where we get cigarettes is fucking adorable. Later we sit down at an Italian restaurant and we eat vegetarian meatballs and share a bottle of wine. At 9 we walk home and it’s pitch black, no street lights, no nothing. Lighting up the streets with our flashlights on our phones we make our way back to the hotel where we fall asleep in a hotel bed that feels like heaven. 9 hours of sleep later we wake up at sunrise and birds singing and I never want to go to an office ever again.