The vacation was on the whole fabulous, other than the hours spent in Urgent Care for the massive inner ear infection (and the Whale Tour that I couldn't go on because of the same). But that is a quibble, really, because for the most part it was lovely.
We went to Monterey,
then to Morro Bay,
then San Simeon,
and then Santa Barbara - oh, yeah, that's totally me -
then back again to Monterey
I got a US Open At Pebble Beach shirt for Scott, so that he can watch the Open in style. I took about a billion photos, got run over by a horned lizard, and mom survived the Thunder Cloud Of Bees.
We communed with humpbacks
(too close to get into the screen)
and talked to seals
and ogled otters.
We got to experience a Stormy Sea,
but most of the weather was glorious...
and California smells *wonderful* (being carpeted with flowers at the moment).
But the two best things aren't things I could photograph.
One being the joy of spending a wonderful day of laughter and exploration with kindred spirits, Roberta and Richard. R & R are both fellow bloggers we've connected with in the past couple years; they share with Mom the experience of having lived in Scotland, and they share with Scott and I the experience of dealing with this ravening monster within, terminal cancer.
Once again, my experience of meeting online friends in person was everything I could have hoped for. They were sweet (Roberta) and funny (Rich) and incredibly kind, warm, and accommodating under rather trying conditions (having to work around my medical shenanigans). Mom and I knew they were interesting, likable folks from their blogs and correspondence - but now we know for a fact that they are also supremely lovable. It's nice to confirm one's own good taste in friends!
The other thing - the very best thing of all - was having the opportunity to spend ten whole days with my mom, just going where the wind blew us and doing as we pleased, gathering memories to tuck into our hearts and warm us in the hard times that will inevitably come. It's been a tough road we've walked together in the past sixteen months; being able to take this gentler, joyful journey was a tremendous gift. Mom's intention was to give me the opportunity to be near the ocean again, since it was the only item on my Bucket List. That, in itself, was a great kindness. But the real treasure was in being able to just be with her - to Just Be, together.
Thanks, Mom. I love you.