For each New Year, instead of doing one resolution, I instead create a list of various items; things I want to accomplish, goals I want to achieve, and ways I want to improve my life. For 2017 three of my goals are 1. Spend more time outside, 2. Be in the moment, 3. Find the good in each day.
One New Years Day, Dave and I woke up early and headed on an adventure. The sun was shining and the temperatures had risen from the usual winter cold. There was a slight breeze tousling the trees and birds sang out – ringing in a brand new day. We were determined to make the most of this gorgeous day.
Heading north on the 101, we decided to check out Jalama Beach. Jalama Beach rests about an hour north of our cozy Santa Barbara home. Luckily, with the rolling hills and ocean as the backdrop to your travels, it’s hard to mind a drive. We packed a picnic lunch, grabbed my camera and set off for an afternoon of exploring.
I was engrossed with watching the scenery of our drive. Everywhere you looked, there were vibrant colors and another picturesque view that takes your breath away. Looking out on the area we call home, I felt a little guilty, as if I take for granted the beautiful central coast I’m fortunate enough to call my home. I vowed to take more advantage of where we live this year- and get lost in the beauty around us. This drive was allowing me to do just that.
The last twenty minutes of the drive consist of a left hand turn to a narrow road that winds around the hills and through a canopy of trees. Our phones immediately lost all service but it didn’t matter, sometimes I think it’s nice to disconnect and to be here now.
When we emerged on top of a hill we were overlooking the forceful ocean crashing her waves harshly into the beach. We cruised down the hill and found ourselves entering Jalama Beach County Beach. There were campers, RV’s and children running all around. We parked the car and immediately felt the sharp wind race through our bones. The temperatures had fallen a noticeably amount from the sunshine weather back in Santa Barbara. Dark clouds rumbled above and our picture perfect New Years Day was suddenly not looking so picture perfect but instead like rain.
The Central Coast of California has always reminded me a bit of New Zealand and a bit of Ireland. I loved on Jalama Beach provided open spaces for miles, with little man made structures around, instead showing off her rambling green hills and fields. To me, that was what Ireland was: green, open and gorgeous hills from every view. I love that the central coast has elements from my favorite foreign lands. It’s a reminder to me that there is so much beauty in our own backyards, as long as we open our eyes and our hearts to the positive things in front of us.
On our drive home, we pulled off on a lookout point and spent a few minutes just taking in the ocean views. Again, I felt so blessed to be there, doors flung over, feet on the dashboard, watching the sun make her way across the blue, sparkling ocean before us. There was a brand new year ahead of us – and I was determined to make it the best one yet. So far, we are off to a pretty decent start.