despite the fact that i am virtually unemployed and absolutely broke, i am currently, in my mind, planning my one-year anniversary getaway with joe at the end of july. i’ve been dying to go to vegas lately, and this summer we are most definitely going to make a trip to portland, but where i really want to go is somewhere i have never taken anyone i was dating before and that is to my childhood home away from home, pismo beach, ca.
when i was a kid my family went to pismo almost every summer. pismo beach is north of los angeles, on the central coast, so even in august, the weather is usually very mild. one of the funny memories i have of visiting there as a child is that the hotel we always stayed in had no A/C in the rooms, as it never really got that hot. i thought that was SO INTERESTING, which is hilarious to think of now. what a so. cal girl i am!
in the research i am doing to find us the perfect romantic hotel, many of the reviews i am reading are by parents and they always obviously comment on whether or not the hotels are “kid friendly.” as i’m reading this i’m thinking, “UGH. kid-friendly = no” which is kind of ironic as it is a place of childhood nostalgia for me. the things is, as i’m sure i have mentioned before, i was a weird kid. my memories of pismo are definitely pleasant, or i wouldn’t be dying to go back there, but they are a bit somber. each year we stayed at the sea crest resort motel, which is on a cliff overlooking the pacific ocean. to get down to the beach you have to walk down two long flights of rickety old stairs. at the top of the stairs there was on old bench where you could sit and watch the ocean. in the morning it is quite grey, and the sunset is beautiful. i would sit there for hours looking out at the sea, thinking that it would be nice if it came all the way up and swallowed me whole, and wondering how long it would take anyone to notice if i climbed the tiny fence and propelled my chubby kid body over the side of the cliff. yes, even then, i was a good time. in truth, i am exaggerating a bit. i mean, not about the early thought of suicide, that’s all true, but that’s not all i thought about. i would sit there and write little poems in my notebook, try to look for selkies, wonder if i would ever sit there with someone i loved, etc.
i guess in many ways pismo beach is where i nurtured my writer’s heart. my grandpa nurtured my mind as a writer, but the heart, it seems, is so often born in a specific place, and mine rose out of those murky green waves, strange, but strong enough to withstand being cast against the rocky coast, gnashed by broken shells, and poked by the irreverent sticks of beachcombers.
which leads us back to my vacation. i really hope this happens! i would love to go back there and take joe, especially if we can stay in a suite with a hot tub. i don’t care what kind of job i have to get to afford this, there are sand dollars that need collecting, clam chowder to be eaten, and conservative people to possibly irritate with our gay passions! i’m kind of in a state of confusion because supposedly the resort motel (LOL @ that name) we used to stay at has become a big time dive, and thinking back, i do remember there being a lot of other kids there, but that’s where all of my memories are. on the other hand, the last time my fam went, a few years ago, we stayed at this great place right on beach level (no stairs) that had private hot tubs on every balcony, which was not too thrilling staying in a room with my cousins, but i think it could be a little more interesting this time around. then there are a ton of other romantic-sounding hotels. hmm.
in case you can’t tell, i am obsessed with going on vacation. it’s a combo of a lot of factors that don’t really make a lot of sense and even seem a little weird/gross together, but if you can name a time when i have given in to not wanting to sound weird/gross you will win a prize, so here goes:
1) i’m tired. i sleep better on vacation because there is no real point in staying up all night unless i am out drinking in which case i pass out like a rock. also, usually i have to wake up at a semi-decent hour so as not to be wasting my whole vacation sleeping and/or because of others. this is good for me because otherwise i will sleep all day. that’s what happened to me last time we went to portland because i brought my computer, we were staying in a windowless basement room, and we really had nowhere to be for two weeks. that vacation was fun but it made me more tired than relaxed for that reason.
2) since joe is out of classes for a few weeks i feel like i myself am on vacation from school/work, when truly i am simply a loser with no life skills.
3) we seriously had some of the hottest sex i have ever had in my entire life on tuesday night. i am basically trying to think of all the places in the USA we could re-create/one-up that sex. it’s quite simple, really.
4) the beautiful weather in l.a., strangely, makes me want to go somewhere else with equally beautiful weather. not really to get out of l.a. (obvs.), but because i want to be somewhere i can smell suntan lotion all day and wear a robe that isn’t mine as opposed to being like “wow, what a great day! well, back to craigslist/traffic/my mom’s house.”
5) when i really think about it, i miss family vacations. the last one we took to pismo beach, about three years ago i think, was the last that the whole family will have ever taken together. since then, my aunt’s husband john died, my grandpa’s alzheimer’s is way too advanced to travel with him, and my grandma, while in good health, can’t walk around too much. i would still love to go away with my mom, aunts, uncles, and cousins, but it’s hard for everyone to leave at once because of my grandparents. a bunch of them went to oxnard last summer, but i couldn’t get off work. hopefully this year, maybe they will do something and i will be able to go.
in closing i would like to tell you all i’m not some crazy glutton for punishment when it comes to wanting to go to the site of my childhood gloom. as i mentioned, pismo beach also has some great memories for me, like eating fried clams at the splash cafe, waking up early to collect sand dollars and shells with miranda (if you don’t get them early, they get crushed by runners on the beach), the time my good friend (you know who you are) came on vacation with us and peed on a lounge chair by the pool, the little punk record shop where i bought my first 7 Year Bitch cd, and nini (my aunt) being so happy and radiant in those times.
of course, pismo is also where i lost my first true love… my stuffed animal pig wilbur, whom i insisted upon bringing then left there carelessly. i will never forget him, ever. just don’t tell joe.