As referenced in my Insight page, a past trip to the California coast was meaningful for me in so many different ways.
First, it was the first time away with my wife after the passing of my mother. We previously scheduled the trip and it coincided with the rapid decline in her health. That time period was particularly tough on both of us and, consequently, the time we got to spend in California after everything settled down meant the world to both of us.
Second, my wife and I talked about this trip for quite some time. She recalled a trip to the same region as a child and passed on her fondness for the space where the land met the water. From her descriptions and the advance planning photo and video browsing, I couldn't wait to absorb the scenery with my own eyes. It certainly did not disappoint!
Finally, it allowed us to fully enjoy pure exploration. We had a certain agenda based on where we slept, but the events that occupied that time away were largely unplanned. Without any discount to wine country, the city of San Francisco, standing at the Pebble Beach clubhouse, and the redwood forest, I found the most impressionable part of our trip on Montara Beach.
In search of a idealistic west coast sunset, we headed south out of the urban landscape and wound up at a secluded section of beach near Half Moon Bay. In our haste, we did not eat dinner but found our reward to be the image we both yearned for. The painting that now hangs in our breakfast nook is my memory of the setting sun against the west coast topography. I think my wife feels the same.
I'm glad I see that painting every day and look forward to reliving that experience all over again.