Dear member of society at large, not living in San Luis Obispo County,
My favorite color is Pacific ocean blue. One of the benefits of this shade selection is its ever changing, mesmerizing beauty. And here’s where the apologies begin. I get to see this every day.
My heart won’t stop singing at each ocean encounter, especially not when my feet hit the sand. To make matters worse, the weather here has no equal. After enduring years of harsh winters in a place let’s call “Not Here,” our joy with mild, year-around, sunny days cannot be diminished. If you’re “not here,” you have my truest sympathies.
We - my husband, myself and our 3 kids - moved to Arroyo Grande, California on July 3rd, feeling, quite honestly, that the fuss of 4th of July celebrated our arrival. Even our block had a party! And there has not been a day since that we’ve stopped celebrating this extraordinary, unique area. Because I love photography and the outdoors, I’ve been expressing my joy via photographs to the world. It almost seems unfair to the photography culture that I live in such a photogenic place. I am very sorry.
Special apologies most certainly go out to hiking enthusiast. I think of you all when enjoying my favorite hike; the Ontario Ridge Trail. Close to home, I relish this escape. Its inclines bring an incredible workout with the constant encouragement of stunning ocean views, from Avila Beach to beyond the Oceano dunes. If a break is needed, there are perfectly placed tree swings at the top. See? It’s really not fair. I felt a confession was necessary.
This may help though. The side of this mountain closest to Avila is of the steepest grade. You really could end up on your tail! But then again, I’ve heard adults laughing together like they are kids on a new playground as they commiserate the descent. Ok, moving on.
Bishop Peak hike, Cerro San Luis trail, East Cuesta Ridge road, Montana de Oro’s Valencia Trail and bluff trails, other favorite, unique and stunning hikes, probably shouldn’t be mentioned either, least the apologies get lengthened. Moving on, again.
There are other things I’d like to get off my chest. Opportunities abound in ways that defy reasonableness. I’ll just hit some highlights, in one giant breath, quickly - like ripping off a bandaid - so we don’t prolong the pain. Here it goes (taking giant breath): White sand. Whales. Dolphins. Seals. Otters. Elephant seals. Surfing. Driving on the beach. Camp fires on the beach. Horseback riding on the beach. Rock climbing. Piers. Exquisite food. World-class clam chowder. Farmers markets. The dunes. Hidden caves. Cal Poly and all its events. Tide pools. Phosphorescent waves. Mountain biking. Wineries.
Inhale! Exhale. And breath.
Well, it all had to be said. Don’t feel like you need to revisit that paragraph. We’ll just leave it sitting right there.
Also hard to confess, the ideal temperatures of this area boost outdoor activities for our kids, a goal of every parent. My 12 and 14 year old are already enjoying surf clubs, outdoor practices and running. My 9 year old and I share an affinity for finding rare shells, rocks and even sea glass on the beach. My photography sometimes angels towards seeing things through their fresh eyes.
One of many things that excites us about putting down roots here is knowing we’ve only scratched the surface on what it means to life in SLO county. It’s a surface that couldn’t be more thrilling to scratch, hosting layers of adventures and overwhelming beauty.
Again, my most humble, heartfelt apologies to those who don’t have this cherished privilege. I send you love and I send you pictures that can hopefully help your heart sing as well.
Maybe you should just join us. I’d feel better.