Notes from Madison’s Journal
“We just left home and we are having a lot of fun in the RV. It is really hard to write in the RV. We are maybe, going to camp at the beach and we are listening to Eminem, Slim Shady.”
Setting off early in the morning with no particular destination in mind, we only know we want to drive this magic RV up Hwy 1. The excitement is brewing and we feel a sense of freedom surging through our veins. As we leave Santa Monica behind us and drive our shaky, rattling home, that we will be living in for the next week, we smile, talk, sing and listen to music. Suddenly, a feeling I have not felt in a long time, comes over me….happiness, mixed with a splash of calm. The stress of life is slowly releasing itself and I feel that this journey is going to be nothing but fun, fun, fun! As we drive, I am trying to soak in everything that I am feeling, thinking, seeing, tasting and smelling. Madison is in the back playing and enjoying this wonderful new experience of driving around in a house, of sorts.
Our first stop, Santa Margarita, where I wish they served cold Margarita’s..but no such luck. We arrive at the campground around 5:30pm and it is empty, only a few campers here and there. The place is not as pretty as it sounds. The campground guidebook I bought says it’s called, ‘Lake Santa Margarita’, but when we pull up, I ask where the lake is, the person says its miles from here and you cannot swim in it -- frankly, it does't sound appealing. The grounds are dusty and dirty, there is an old pool table at the main building with missing balls, the cue sticks have no felt left, the pool is old and a wee bit crude, nonetheless, it’s hot, so we jump in to cool off. We head back to the RV, make some dinner, light the candles and play cards. Madison has selected her bed, which is above the cab, slides her curtains shut and falls asleep.
The following morning, we pack up camp and head to Big Sur, which we have firmly decided, is actually Heaven on Earth. Along the way, we stop at Seal Beach, and watch these huge giants wade, waddle, sleep, play and chatter to each other. We briefly look at the Hearst Castle, which we decide we will tour on the way home and head off to the Big Sur Campground. The drive along Hwy 1 is absolutely breath taking, I have driven it twice now and it never ceases to astound me. Our magnificent planet is truly stunning.
We arrive early enough for a late lunch at the River Inn café, which is gorgeous. The description on the River Inn brochure is everything it says, “Nestled amid towering redwoods along the scenic Big Sur River, lies the historic Big Sur River Inn. Founded by one of the Big Sur’s most prominent pioneering families, it has been the site of fun family vacations and quite getaways for many generations. Relax from the press of civilization on the sun-dappled deck. Renew your spirits with great food and drink in the rustic dining room overlooking the lawn and river. Remember childhood dreams as you lie back in the soft, fragrant grass alongside the Big Sur River.”
Next door is our campground, we settle into our camp site, take a dip in the freezing cold river, which is incredibly refreshing, lazily float down the river in our inner tubes, watching the sun flicker through the trees with the most beautiful natural light on earth, whilst thousands of lady bugs fly overhead. Later we get in line for “happy hour” 50 cent ice-cream, eat hot dogs, build a fire, play cards and take in the beauty of the tall pine trees that surround us, the sound of the river moving, and families talking around their campfires. In this moment, we are content, happy and at peace.