Have any of you even heard of Point Reyes before?
Up until a few months ago, I never had.
Admittedly, I am not outdoorsy at all (unless you count walking the gardens of Versailles or dying over the tulips at Keukenhof). Matthew loves hiking and I don’t really see the point. He loves camping too and I REALLY don’t see the point there. We were born in the time of central air, wifi, and Sleep Number beds– why look a gift horse in the mouth?
So I had my reservations about this trip to Point Reyes National Park. It’s a little remote (no wifi or cell service and thin, winding roads that’ll make you car sick), a little wild (deer? sure. elk? okay. coyotes? NO THANK YOU), and big on both hiking and camping.
But a lot of big concerns shrink when you haven’t seen your husband in five weeks. And I had never been to California before and my mom offered to watch my kids. So the deer and elk and coyotes won out.
I flew into the San Francisco airport and the hour and a half drive to Matthew’s apartment gave me a lot of different first impressions of good old CA. I guess from all the movies and Oscars red carpets I’ve watched over the years, I was expecting a glitzy and glamorous big city. But even from the car, I could tell that wasn’t exactly the San Francisco way. There were a lot of pastel colored homes (yes, please), scary overpasses (no, thank you), and then the truly impressive Golden Gate Bridge.
The views driving through the park were beautiful too (though those thin, winding roads terrified me), and I was excited to explore it more the next day.
The cool thing about Point Reyes is that it’s so diverse. First, there’s Point Reyes station, the cute little town on your way into the park. You have woods with osprey and owls and then you have open plains with elk and deer and ranches with meandering dairy cows and then you have cliffs and beaches with elephant seals and whales off the coast.
I’m not a hiker but I could appreciate the ethereal beauty of the park, with the deep blue water and rolling fog. At times, it was easy to imagine we were in a Bronte novel.
Exploring the city of San Francisco was a completely different experience. Very relaxed, sunshine perfectly offset by a constant breeze. We walked along the beach with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz and really, just walked around. That was the nice thing about not having the kids with us; there was no planning and no rush. Honestly, that should be the California slogan.
So I liked my first California experience. I’m still not a hiker and I’m definitely an East Coast girl but I liked the relaxed atmosphere and the perfect weather. And Point Reyes is inescapably beautiful. I like my wifi and all the comforts of being connected but the majesty of nature is truly a gift of its own. I get to cross off one of my never’s and add to my very special list of things that have taken my breath away.
p.s. Half of the pictures are of Matthew’s back because that’s what happens when there’s a one foot height difference.