If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you I’m horrible at admitting when I’m wrong, so I figured I’d practice eating my words today with the hope that I may become better at acknowledging when I am incorrect.
Over and over again throughout my years, I have uttered this singular sentence: I am an East Coast girl.
It has been a conscious decision to say these words. And I said them with pride and an air of snobbery.
Now—here it comes, so get ready—because I have to eat my words. Every ounce of arrogance that is linked to that one sentence is false. It’s a lie, an error in judgment. It’s utterly ridiculous. Because they say that travel opens us up; every experience we have when we travel changes us.
So today, as I sit on my back porch right now, the humidity wreaking havoc on my hair, perspiration running down my back as I look at my burned out grass in the back yard from lack of rain in the Annapolis area, I am altered. In this setting, devoid of the crashing surf along the rocks in Carmel, the hills of San Francisco and the sounds of the trolley, the view of the 18th hole at Pebble Beach, long, welcoming piers in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, the breathtaking views from the Hollywood Hills, and the palm trees and seals in the La Jolla Cove, I have come home humbled by the beauty that left me awestruck in California.
I almost had to stop saying “the sentence” a couple of years ago when I spent time in Napa Valley, but it was only a small sampling of California, and not the spectrum of sightseeing and touring we did during this long vacation.
Therefore, this woman must take back those words she has said over and over again—I will forever be an East Coast girl, born and raised on this side of the country with much time spent from Maine to Florida, but from here forward, there will always be a spot for the landscape and sights of California wedged within my heart.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my thoughts about each place we visited, explored, and became acquainted with during our two-weeks away.
But for now, let me allow space for my misgivings. I have to leave behind the snobbery I claimed to have when pitting the East Coast vs. the West Coast.
Both coasts are beautiful and remarkable in their own ways, but a day after leaving the sunny, crisp air of California, I’m missing the sight of a lone palm tree blowing gently in the breeze against the backdrop of blue skies and the sound of the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean.