Nov17

My PCH Seekender Adventure: The Final Destination

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We awoke the next morning, snug in the clean, white sheets of our Hampton by Hilton Arroyo Grande bed. Looming above us was the fact that today was our last day. Our final leg of the PCH. Our farewell to California. The end of our vacation. Rather than sulk, we adopted a carpe diem spirit. If this was the last, then we revel in it, live it to the fullest. After breakfast, though.

After stuffing ourselves with homemade waffles, hot cocoa and coffee at the hotel’s breakfast bar, we then stuffed our belongings into the saddlebags, making sure the renegade backpack was extra secure. After yesterday, I wasn’t taking any chances. A beautiful day lie ahead. Once the sun rose high in the sky, the warmth would return. He was adamant about showing me Santa Barbara. I was adamant about eating Mexican food. Real Mexican food. He climbed onto the Indian motorcycle, our third wheel in this journey. As he started it, I took in the sounds it made, the purrr of the engine. I took in the feel of the morning, the chill in the air, the scent of dew on the ground. I placed the senses, these newly made memories into an empty drawer in the far corner of my mind. I’d need them again when the time came to write the adventure. I’d want them again when I needed to feel alive. And then we were off. Headed straight toward Santa Barbara. As we rode, taking in those last views, the clouds seemed a little lower that day, as though we were cutting through them. It wasn’t fog, it was clouds, actual clouds. It was as though we were on top of the world. Just a few inches below the sky, floating there in this big, beautiful, open slice of earth.

Santa Barbara was everything he’d told me it would be. A beautiful city on the water. So quaint. So charming. We’d found Mexican food there that I gorged myself on. And then, as though it was in fast forward, the day started to get away from us.

He’d promised to take me to Venice Beach, where we watched skaters do tricks inside the famous bowls. We watched them catch air just as the sun started to dip below the horizon. And it was beautiful. The way the colors filled the sky, a backdrop to silhouetted palms. Surrounded by darkness, we watched the parade of bikes with lights and the people circus the beach is known for. Then we headed to Santa Monica Pier. We saw its lights long before we reached the actual pier. The festival ahead was the perfect ending to what was clearly the trip of a lifetime. As we stood at the edge of the pier, overlooking the waters, people playing in the waves, despite the dark and the cold, we held hands and I knew, I knew this, too, would go into its own drawer deep in the back of my mind. Memories like these weren’t easily forgotten, they held too much weight, too much joy, too much power.

And then it was time to return the bike. We’d reach the end of the road, our final destination. It was time to head back from whence we came. Only heavier, as we now carried this great adventure inside.

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{Wearing: Romper: Kore. Necklace: Kore. Photographed by Jorge Camaraza}

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{What does it mean to be a Seekender? As an ambassador for Hampton by Hilton, I have the amazing job of finding adventures in and around its hotels during the course of a weekend getaway. Find out more here.}