For an unemployed gal, I sure do get around.
I'm doing my best to enjoy this time. In the past when I've been without work or worried about the future, I've wasted so much energy worrying about what's coming next. This time I'm absorbing every bit of each day because soon I may be wishing I had more me time. Some days are so much harder than others. But this past weekend made appreciating the simple... simpler.
My first morning in Solvang, aka "Dutch Disneyland," started with a ridiculously yummy breakfast on a sun-filled and dog-friendly patio, complete with lemonade and mango/pineapple mimosas.
Yeah, it's like that.
Our first adventure was to visit the Ostrich and Emu farm near town.
Jersey Mike had a friggin' blast feeding those beasts. He kept murmuring something about Jurassic Park feet and mentioned he had become "one with the Ostrich," whatever that means.
I gave it a shot feeding the emus. They were hungry little suckers. The food looked like gerbil pellets and I immediately wondered if that's anything close to what these birds are supposed to be eating.
Sonic was mostly traumatized by the entire experience. He was barking and whining and clawing and scratching. I got so defensive when Jersey Mike told me to let him go because he was just curious. I was not in the mood to have some giant, evil, prehistoric looking bird peck my puppy to death. But perhaps I overreacted. Either way, he took Sonic closer to get a better look.
Then a pretty hilarious photo op:
As if that wasn't enough to wear the poor pup out, we continued toward a park for a quick game of frisbee golf. Can I tell you that I have become obsessed with frisbee golf?
It's easy. It's fun. Games take place in parks where Sonic can usually tag along. He gets tired. I get tired. We all get tired. Everyone gets fresh air. Then we drink. It's spectacular.
Sonic may have run through a little poison oak following Jersey Mike's "let him explore" experiment. Poor dog. Skunked on Easter, Poison Oaked in Solvang. He just can't win. (He's fine now, one trip to the groomer for a soothing bath and a haircut worked wonders).
Next, our adventure took us to the beach. Surf Beach to be exact. It was gorgeous and peaceful.
It remained peaceful and gorgeous even after some hippy dude walked up to us and asked JM if he'd found his Havaianas sandals there on the beach.
"No man, these are my shoes. That I brought."
Having soaked up about as much tourism as one could handle for a day, we went back to our
COTTAGE in Solvang.
And we immediately made a mess of things. So immediate, in fact, that I wasn't able to snap a picture before nap time. Though the urge was strong, I was able to avoid making the bed or doing anything close to actual chores all weekend. My will power amazes me.
Then we were at a complete loss for what to do. Oh wait, no we weren't. The brewery was located literally across the street from our COTTAGE. So, dinner happened. Then beer happened. Then more beer. Then dessert and then...
Pints. Pints happened.
Adventures are fun, but adventures with alcohol are more fun. So our plan for day two heavily revolved around drinking. Or revolved around heavy drinking. You decide.
After brunch we headed toward the Carivintâs Winery. It's a cute wine tasting room that welcomes pets indoors. We tasted all of their wines (they had 9) and then had a full glass each.
Meanwhile, Sonic mingled with other furry sommeliers.
Next we walked around some of the adorable shops and streets in town until we stumbled into a little bar called the Good Life specializing in California craft beer and wine. Bonus: Sonic was welcome there, too!
The good news is that the bad news isn't quite so bad. After getting my chillax on all weekend, I came back to a few extremely positive career advances. Nothing is set in stone, but I'm hoping to have some great news to share soon.
The super good news is that taking advantage of this time off is really opening my eyes to what makes me tick. It seems each time I have too much free time, I'm forced to dig deeper than I normally have energy to dig. During my last long bout of unemployment I discovered how much I truly wanted to be a writer, as well as my desire to teach yoga someday. This time I'm learning more about my thoughts, my emotions, my moods, and how I let the tiniest things blast me into utter hopelessness. Things are not hopeless. Far from! Life is amazing. Sure, this is a struggle. There are days when I wake up and have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do or how the next month is even going to work. I get down on myself because I'm supposed to "have it figured out."
But then I laugh because literally no one has it figured out. Perhaps for me figuring it out does not entail a senior level office job. Maybe it's coming to terms with the fact that a position like that won't make me happy unless I'm happy without it.
Today, right now, this week: I'm so happy.