One Year Ago | A Journal Entry from Occidental, CA

I still keep a written journal that I write in fairly often, and sometimes I like to go back a year to the day and read where I was and what I was doing. I thought it would be fun to start sharing some of my past journal entries here, especially since a lot of what I don't blog about is usually recorded by hand in my journals.

Last year on June 7th, Brent and I took a quick overnight trip up the coast to the Bodega Bay area for one of his crazy-long bike races.  I of course did not participate in the race, but I did my part to explore the surroundings, supporting local businesses by shopping, eating, and wine tasting.  Not a bad gig.

There was a small breakfast spot in the little town of Occidental, just inland from Bodega Bay that I absolutely fell in love with, and recorded the experience in my journal...

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Brent is on his long bike ride until this afternoon. I have a few hours to myself to explore this little town. First stop - Howard's Cafe for a good, hot meal. We camped overnight in Bodega Bay and my skin is pungent with the scent of last night's campfire. Breakfast, home cooked, will be the ticket. An old Victorian style home sits cramped in this semi-modernized shopping center parking lot. It only makes its charm more evident - a perfect gem among the clutter of the buildings developed around it. Brent brings me my book and kisses me goodbye to leave for his adventure, and I am left with my own company. I only get 3 pages read in my book before a lonely accordion player takes a seat outside the cafe & starts to play show tunes on his miniaturized instrument. I sit on the porch outside, my reflection distorted and wavy in the old, original glass window next to me. Every detail of this place is thought through, but not overdone. Bright, floral-patterned table clothes line each table,  topped with glass water bottles that have been etched with little train illustrations.  I like a cafe with mis-matched dishes... the food is what matters, not fancy serving ware. I feel at home. I order corned beef hash, suspecting this won't be the type of place that serves it over-salted from a can, and I am right. Even the biscuit that comes with my meal is perfection. I imagine someone coming in every morning while darkness still envelopes the building, briskly cutting the dough into heart shapes with well-floured hands,  and makes sure to pull them out of the oven just as they are kissed with a golden crisp but still have a moist center. I slather it in the fresh strawberry jam and enjoy the music coming from the accordion player, whose friend the fiddler has joined him in his melodies. I can recognize every tune, although I cannot place where they come from. I love the feeling of being at home wherever I go - I can always find a little place to call my own, even just for an hour.