Sure, A Little Bit O'Heaven . . .  

Posted by Heidi in

There's a good reason so many choose to live in the San Francisco bay area: it's quite simply magic. From the Golden Gate it is a matter of hours (and often much less) to the mountains or the beach, the country or the city, the snow or the surf, the sophisticated to the primitive where buildings, so new and modern they glisten in their patch of light, stand just down the street from structures hundreds of years old.

What's more, the bay area and its surrounding satellites offer up a whole world of, well, a whole world. From San Francisco's China Town with its narrow streets and open air markets filled with jewel-toned fabrics and various fowl hanging from string wrapped round their necks, to the rolling hills of Napa/Sonoma lined with grapevines that would look perfectly at home in France or Italy, to the green-hilled valley near Santa Cruz that Scottish settlers found so like home they named the local lake Loch Ness, there is such a variety of treasure to see and enjoy.

Over the weekend, we had the soul-deep pleasure of visiting a little bit of heaven, otherwise known as Ireland-in-California, after hearing about its ambrosial delights from friends. Since I have sworn on a stack of holy bibles I would not reveal the location of this particular piece of California Gold (not really) (but only because a stack of holy bibles wasn't available) (though I'm pretty sure a curse is hanging over my head as we so-to-speak should I divulge the location) I can't tell you the name of the beach or the town. What I can tell you is that it is in the heart of earthquake country which is one reason we didn't pack up our bags and move there forthwith. Having said that, Ireland, or anything resembling it (such as England, Scotland or Wales) is the home of my soul and this little No Name beach/town/area looks like a piece of Ireland broke off and rode the ocean tides to our shores where it weighed anchor and waited, glowing in the sun, until I could learn of it and find it. (Now that I have, I hope it doesn't disappear into the mist, Brigadoon-style.)

The first half of our drive was weighed down with the rain that has been plaguing our area this spring (rain is winter-only weather around here yet we are expecting aNOther big storm complete with thunder and lightning later this week) but by the time we got to the green rolling hills and finally the beach, the sun had come out and blued the sky.

I was seduced by the way the rugged cliffs ran right into the water, the bank of clouds hovering above, mimicking the shape of its earthbound neighbor.

The Middle Child and the Little Guy lost no time in heading out into the water, leaving their parents to hike all the food, sand chairs, blankets, towels and other paraphanalia on their own. Um, wait . . . make that, leaving their father to do all of the above whilst I took pictures.

We've been to many beaches all over California and loved them all but this one is different somehow. (Because it's magic and came from Ireland, that's why!)

Once we got all settled and the kids had a chance to play tag with a few waves, the storm clouds started brewing again. "Tell it to the hand," said the Middle Child when I explained that we had to pack up and go, (except, not really--she just didn't want to have her picture taken--clearly I did it anyway).

Evidence of the storm clouds brewing. However, we did have enough time before the deluge to visit with the gentleman below.

Wanting to know who he is, we kicked the Middle Child out of the car to read the plaque--but there wasn't one. Not wanting to make a waste of a trip, she struck the following pose.

I love the way the statue seems to fade a bit into the mist, creating the almost-illusion of the Middle Child's shadow (minus one sword).

We stopped in town for a bit before heading home and the kids thought it would be fun to imitate another work of art. (They're nothing if not consistent.) The Middle Child does a good job but the Little Guy can't quite manage a genuine grimace--he's just too darn sweet, and genuinely so. (If you are young(ish) and your eyesight still good, you might be able to read the plaque. It's worth the trouble.)

The Middle Child snapped this photo through the car window whilst we were in motion (actually, it was the car that was in motion--we were fairly motionless as I recall). I defy anyone to say that this does not look exactly as if a little bit of heaven (code for Ireland) didn't drop down on the California coast.

I have been greatly smitten with photographing clouds lately, probably because we have had so darn many of them this spring. I call this one "the twins". Those with poor eyesight are probably wondering why so I give you what I call "the close up".

See that second cone shaped cloud behind that there weed? As alike as two buttons, they are! Meanwhile, the amount of green for the end of May was truly mesmerizing (and to be expected considering the buckets of rain we've had). At one point, driving through a little country town, the green suddenly parted to reveal something white and dreamy. The Spouse heard me gasp and immediately began to look for a place to turn around (he knows me well).

There, in the clearing, was a dear darling house swimming in green. Again, I would have packed my bags and moved in a trice if it weren't for that earthquake thing (and that pesky lack of funds thing and that current occupant roadblock, etc. etc.).

Still, we managed to get a few more shots before the gardeners appeared out of the surrounding jungle, chain saws in hand, causing us to scamper off in a hurry.

Still, I think I could be really happy here, just camped out on the front lawn.

Other than where you currently live with people you love, where is the home of your heart?

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at Thursday, June 02, 2011 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

11 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Beautiful Heidi! I've missed reading your posts :)
I love your cloud pictures, and though I've never been, I think it does look like Ireland - or how I imagine it to look!

June 2, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Very lovely! What an awesome day trip! I'm not sure where this is, though it's been so many years since I've lived in the bay area that nearly everything is foreign to me now.

P.S. If you want to visit a place that resembles the British Isles - come to New England! It reminds me all the time of my time of living in England.

June 2, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Wow. It's gorgeous. How would it be to live there? *ah...sigh*

You're daughter is beautiful btw. =)

June 3, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Well, Heidi, I see now how hopeless you are until you stand on real British/Irish soil. I'm concocting a girl's trip in the future????? or are you determined that husband, middle child, and little guy come along? I suppose you are. Well then, I'll send all my hard-won pearls of wisdom with you...the most important being: DREAMS COME TRUE. (But surely California's taught you that already.)

June 3, 2011 at 1:16 PM

It does look magical. I guess my heart place might be Italy. Something rang true with me when I was there.

June 3, 2011 at 5:00 PM

the home of my heart.........sheeesh what a loaded question. Because you said we had to leave out our children and loved ones (who really make our "place" our home)
I have fantasies of many places as the world is FULL of beauty and mystery and magical places.
Greece perhaps...Santorini.
Ireland would be enchanting.
New Zealand breath taking.
I have NO Answer for that question.
I just hope my eternal home affords me all the things , smells, sights, and joy of the places I dream about.

June 3, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Heidi, I admit that it's late in Poland and I'm tired so I was about to mark your post as "unread" and come back to it tomorrow, but I'm so glad I read it tonight. How delightful. The post, the photos and YOU. You are so cute. And funny. And I just really liked this. And "home is where the heart is" so, for me, I feel best wherever my loved ones are. Currently I am in love with Poland.

June 5, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Those pictures are beautiful and it does look just like I would imagine Ireland looking. Someday I'll visit both places in quick succession and tell you my thoughts then.

Home? No idea. I haven't been to enough places to really know that. There are things that draw me no matter what country I'm looking at.

Hope things are well for you.

June 5, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Beautiful place. The home of my heart... it is a very close tussle between New England and Wyoming. May be, even Tuscany. :)

June 6, 2011 at 7:51 AM

I think you ooze charm, Heids. The words, the pictures, the memories. It's like you took me from San Fran to Ireland, to moorish England. And I'd steal that house if there weren't chainsawing gardeners! ;)

June 6, 2011 at 3:10 PM

The home of my heart is Hawaii. We've been trying for years to find a way to make it our actual, physical home, but that darn money thing just gets in the way! So we visit as often as we can and keep the dream alive in our hearts.

June 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

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