Thursday, January 5, 2012

My (Mental) Vacation to Carmel-by-the-Sea

Yesterday we got some good news that also brought back some bad memories and old feelings. It was a relief, but nonetheless it was a reminder of old baggage previously dealt with. I ended up having a bad dream last night and was afraid I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep. So I used a technique of my own that I've been using to relax during the day: I took a mental vacation.

Now this is something that has only started working for me recently as I have only just started to believe that I will in reality one day visit the places I am visiting in my mind- one way or another. I've had a hard time with most meditation techniques. I find my mind tends to wander. But this has been working for me lately. I've read about some quantum theorists who talk about how other versions of reality may exist on the other side of a black hole or elsewhere on the space-time continuum, so I'd like to think that in some other reality we made different choices and that I'm actually vacationing in these places on the other side of a black hole or something.

Some of the happiest times in my life have been when Malamute and I have been visiting California. So last night I took a mental vacation to my favorite place in the world: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. So join me for a minutes if you would like and we'll all vacation together.

I'm in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California in the morning. In fact, Malamute, Duckling, myself, and the dogs are all on Carmel Beach, an off-leash dog beach which is like a hundred times better than going to a dog park. The dogs frolic and play and bark and wrestle. Duckling laughs at them; he has such a musical laugh. He is walking now and he is hand-in-hand with Malamute and me. I can hear the waves crashing on the sand and then retreating. I pick up Duckling and we chase the waves. I let the water rush over my shoes just because I love to feel the ocean. Then Malamute takes him and I climb a rock to feel the ocean spray in my face. We walk up and down along the beach. When we started, the sky was still gray because the sun hadn't been up long enough. But as we continue walk up and down the beach, it gets lighter and the sky becomes a lovely, sunny blue. If I look off into the ocean, I can even see the heads of the seals bobbing merrily in the surf.

After we're done with our walk on the beach, we take the dogs back to our trailer (because we have a trailer for traveling in my fantasy vacation) and then go back into town. We are going to walk through downtown Carmel and see some of the shops. Walking through downtown Carmel is like being transported to a cute little fairytale village. There are cottages with wood trim, thatched looking roofs, covered with ivy and with lush, dark green gardens. There are quaint shops and older buildings with woodworking on the outside. The pavement is often uneven in Carmel, and in fact it is technically illegal to wear high-heeled shoes there because it is a trip hazard. Malamute, Duckling and I meander in and out of the shops and galleries. We find one shop with toys and buy Duckling a big pinwheel and cute plate set just for him (because he is such a big boy and eats from his own plate now). But there's so much more we want to try out that we haven't done before.

So, the next day, we take Duckling for his very first horseback ride. (He loves horses!) The day after that, we take him to a pottery studio and where he makes his very own little clay pot. And then we go to the Carmel Children's library. And after all that, it's time to head to Monterey for a few days. We do the 17-mile scenic drive the evening we arrive. And the next day we go to the Monterey Aquarium to see the whales and seals. And the day after that, we head to the Monterey County Youth Museum so Determined Duckling (and Mommy and Daddy) can play with all the fun things there. And we get falafel at the Monterey Whole Foods before we leave. All in all, I'd say we've had a delightful trip, and I feel better even if I only went in my mind.


  1. No scaring the birds at the beach?? That is one of my main memories from when we went to Cali with choir that one year.. :P I will have to try this technique when I can't fall asleep at night...

  2. I just realized there weren't any birds at Carmel Beach! At least not many. There were always a lot of off-leash dogs, so I think they scared the birds away for the most part. Otherwise, I probably would have been chasing them...