So, uh, yeah. Turns out I am not resort people.

I was invited by my best and oldest friend to be her plus one at a destination wedding. I wasn’t her first choice, but boyfriend and Spanish speaking friend could’t go. I’ve never been to Mexico before. I don’t love spicy food, or tequila, but I do love travel. For a week long immersive trip, I could learn to.

The wedding party chose a resort, one of those all inclusive joints with unlimited food and poolside drinks, to stay at. Turns out they book out way ahead of time and the first agent the happy couple worked with jerked them around. By the time they freed themselves from contracts and loopholes and started working on their own, many places were booked. They chose a quaint little town some hour or so south of Cancun itself and the wedding party piled on. There weren’t many of us, but we made a cute group, and we all wanted to stay together. For some of us, this was the first and last chance at tropical luxury.

What a fucking joke.

There are some things I hate to cheap out on. I LOVE food. I won’t hesitate to drop two hundred bucks on a really good dinner for me and my favorite book. Glittering wine, rich flavors, a tight menu, all can send me into ecstatic revelries. I try to stick to fairly and ethically made clothing (or second hand) and if I can’t get that, then high quality is non negotiable. I have a soft spot for antique jewelry. And when it comes to experiences: I’m an independent soul. I don’t like huge crowds or noisy places (unless that’s the point like in Times Square or a fireworks show.)

But finishes can go straight into the bowels of hell for all I care. Veneers, false enthusiasm, pretenses, fancy counter tops , overlarge shower stalls, and marketing misrepresentation are among the banes of my existence.

To save money, we spent our first three nights at a condo around the corner from the resort. We arrived a day early, walked around town, found the gelato shop, took a small group tour, sat by our private pool, nestled into our cozy little studio and overall enjoyed our privacy. We got acclimated, we did yoga, we had fresh caught local dishes directly from an open grill, and we made our own sack lunches.

Then we checked out and moved to the all-inclusive resort.

Our nightly rate went from 180 to 600.

We lasted six hours.

Hour one: we checked our bags, upgraded to VIP, and got ourselves a drink by the pool. We were accosted by no fewer than five attendants asking us to sign up for this extra or that before we could just relax.

Hour two: After a Pina colada, aware that our sunscreen got checked with the bags and increasingly disenchanted with our fellow tourists, we explored deserted corridors inside. We found the theater and, music nerds that we are, we made friends with the manager. That was the peak of our experience.

Hour three: our room was ready and we went upstairs. The bottle of tequila and our friendly bellhop were rays of sunshine in an otherwise increasingly unsettling atmosphere.

Hour four: we found some other members of the wedding party on the non-VIP side. The beach was white and sandy, but the gravel they used to build the beach wasn’t soft and silky as I had expected. It required shoes. Several party members indicated they’d be swimming with dolphins soon, an unsavory activity to anyone sympathetic to large mammals trapped in captivity. The tiny cages were visible from our hotel room.

Hour five: noise from construction was far less disturbing than periodic concerted shrieking from the pool area. I hate unidentified noises and from my balcony, it felt like some obscene sunburned water-based ritual kept happening just outside my sight line. The resort’s app said “weird game” was happening in the pool. My general unease moved into the realms of intolerable.

Hour six: I video chatted with sympathetic friends. After expressing my rising unease, discomfort, and dissatisfaction, one friend asked what I stood to lose by leaving. The answer: only money. Inspired to reach out to our host from the previous nights, I felt an immense weight lifted from my chest when he replied “the place is already clean, you can come back whenever you want and have it until Monday.”

I struggled not to wake my friend from her nap to share the news. “We can go back. We get to back to our air bnb.” “What? Are you sure” “Absolutely. I’ve already made the arrangements and we can go back whenever we want.” “Amie, that is amazing news! I thought you liked it here and I’m so glad you don’t! I wasn’t going to tell you, but I cried myself to sleep just now and I’m so glad we’re leaving.”

Hours seven to eleven or so we stayed in the resort, but only because just then, the rest of the wedding party messaged us to come have dinner and drinks. Knowing we could leave at the end of the night and sleep somewhere cozy and familiar made staying a million times easier. When we parted ways that evening, we collected our most immediately necessary items (and the laundry our host agreed to wash for us) and walked our happy little asses back to the condo down the street.

The next three days we came and went at the resort (I barely even tried to get my money back. After some other staff interactions, I had low hopes, and didn’t want to explain to the bride that we had left while the rest of them were stuck.) but we slept and cooked and ate at our private little studio with our private little kitchen and our private little pool. It felt like a personal villa. It was us sized, not some mega hotel built for hundreds of people. We made friends with the neighbor and his dog. The pool was quiet and calm. No one brought me my drinks, but the ones I made for myself were perfectly balanced, not too sweet. The air conditioning cooled us off without feeling like an icebox.

While the quality of the food I think was specifically bad at this resort, the sweetness of the drinks, the crowds, and the overall sense of a lack of control I think are inherent to those all inclusive resorts. I found joy in learning about and shopping at the farmers market. I had a half dozen fresh, juicy mangos all to myself, and my friend (who has a lot of allergies and finds restaurant food hard to navigate) ate at least as many fresh, ripe, creamy avocados. I much preferred my tiny backyard pool with its six or seven guests at it’s busiest to the expanse of fake beach and screeching crowded pool activities. The quirky layout of our studio condo was far more charming than the commercial, standard hotel room, despite it’s third floor balcony. Free tequila is great, but priced out, I’d rather buy my own from the shopping center downtown. And if we’d stayed at the resort the whole time, we would never have found Martin’s gelato shop. It became a nightly tradition to stop by and get sorbet and affogato, chat with the owner, and pet the cats.

Dan Pashman’s podcast The Sporkful isn’t for foodies, it’s for eaters. I feel this motto in every aspect of my life. I don’t give a flying fuck what I’m supposed to like. I am well aware of the ironies and contradictions in my preferences: my favorite clothes are as likely to come from goodwill as American Giant, but never from Gucci*. My favorite jewelry includes diamond studs and rocks I picked up on a hike. My favorite foods include Tillamook cheddar and wheat thins, champagne, Dick’s deluxe burgers, and pate. I’d rather go back to the Herb Farm than the French Laundry. And I’d rather linger by myself on the edge of a mayan ruin, where human interference fades into the jungle, than spend any time lounging in that resort.

I think, like Vegas, I will only ever try again when it’s someone else’s treat. Maybe I chose badly and a different resort would have given me the exclusive, tropical luxury I was promised. Maybe there is a buffet line somewhere on that peninsula that offers fresh locally made tamales and succulent, juicy carnitas. Maybe there is a resort that actually delivers gobs of fresh avocado when asked. I am as open to being wrong as I always was. But maybe I’m just not freaking resort people.


I travel! Sometimes.

I tend to mosey around a bit, especially when invited by earnest and generous gents. I realized, however, that it’s not always clear to everyone just exactly how much, or how little, I travel. I thought it might be nice to kind of collect it all in one place where I can update things as I go, partly to enjoy the reverie, partly to let anyone reading know what’s usual and what’s extraordinary.


I travel to the Spokane area often, about once a month through the summer. In 2018 I went at least five times during the summer, probably more that I didn’t write down. That said, I rarely ever see anyone professionally when I’m in or near Spokane, party because it’s primarily a personal trip, partly because I don’t have a location to host from, but mostly because Spokane residents are resistant to Seattle prices and, more importantly, screening. I’m open to finding a few good men to visit regularly throughout the summer, but my time of actively seeking them out is over.

—2019 Travels to Spokane area:



I went to Portland at least five times in 2018 and I’ll be returning about every six weeks in the coming year. I now have friends and family both in the area and on the way to and from. Seeing a lovely client or three while in town is a great way to make the trip easier to do more often. It makes me feel like I’m not necessarily missing out so I don’t feel like I have to stress out.

—2019 Travels to Portland:



I went to Chicago once in 2018 and it went incredibly smoothly. My gentleman was exactly that, transit was a breeze, and I just found out an old college friend lives there, so I have even more incentive to return.


San Francisco

I went to San Fran once in 2018 and immediately fell in love with the city. I have a different old college friend living there who gave me a small downtown tour and I had one of the more intense and mind opening experiences in my career.

Walla Walla

I travel back once or twice a year to reconnect with old friends and enjoy the pleasure of wine country. I spent a great deal of time there in my late teens and early twenties and I though many of my friends from that time have scattered to the four winds, we reconvene to refresh our friendship.

—2019 Travels to Walla Walla


New Orleans

I have not yet been to NOLA but I am making plans to visit mid May. I’m looking forward to writing about it upon my return.

Las Vegas

Vegas is an enigma, a strange, alluring, yet repulsive place. I’ll make my virginal pilgrimage on a personal trip 3/24-3/26 and plan a return in mid June.

I will update this list as I go from place to place. When I decide to take a trip, the first thing I do is send out a newsletter blast to subscribers who have chosen a location near my travel plan. In order to make sure you’re on the list, check the relevant city when signing up for the newsletter and make sure you’ve opted in to marketing. My email service automatically filters out subscribers who have opted out. If you’re not getting location specific emails, you can scroll to the bottom of the most recent newsletter and click “Update Your Preferences” to make changes.

To Receive

I recently completed my first successful fly-me-to-you get together. We shared a full day and everything went off without a hitch. But more on that later. Now I want to share an experience I had while waiting for my date.

I came in the night before to meet someone new, had a nice dinner, and met with an old college friend for breakfast. But of course breakfast doesn’t last all day so I found myself with several hours to kill. When planning my stay, I kept these empty hours in mind but didn’t schedule much outside of a little sight seeing. Until, of course, I saw something interesting on my twitter feed. There a gentleman who offers erotic bodywork, much like mine, that piqued my interest so I reached out to see if we could make something work.

Scheduling was easy; we spoke on the phone a bit and I heard all the industry buzzwords I was looking for. Holding space, performative sexuality, receiving versus giving, experiential… though the work I do is often far more play oriented than healing oriented, the crossover is strong and we spoke the same language regarding a sensual touch experience. With some trepidation, I opted to schedule a two hour bondassage session, balancing my nervousness at a new experience with my trust in his professionalism.

I knew going in that there would be a blindfold, headphones, ankle and wrist bonds, some light impact play (nothing too hard, of course) but I didn’t know much else. I knew that the philosophy of bondassage is one of experience and sensation, not of pain or extremes, so I wasn’t *afraid* per se, just a little shy.

Upon arriving at his studio collective, he ushered me in, offered me water and a short conversation, and showed me to the shower where I had a robe waiting for me. During our chat, we recovered some old ground and added a bit about just how sexual I wanted to get (not very), a notification that there would be some anal play (oh. uh. right! ok!), and a reassurance that if anything emotional came up, I was free to feel it in the moment and stop all sensations.

Now you know what I knew going in and I can set the scene: It’s a small room, fairly standard massage room size, it’s warm, it smells neutral, clean, I’m naked under a white Terry cloth robe, nervous as hell, and he gently but firmly tells me to take it off. I don’t take commands very well, as anyone who has met me knows, but I chose to set aside my natural resistance and trust in the experience. I did, after all, choose this, and it would be silly of me to pretend I know better what’s needed than he does. He commanded me to put my hands behind my head and to step wide so my feet were far apart. I am NOT accustomed to assuming such an open and vulnerable pose in front of someone I’ve just met so I already began to feel foolish, scared, and defensive on top of the nerves. But again, I’ve chosen this, I have every reason to believe I am dealing with a professional, so I comply. In addition to the expected wrist and ankle cuffs, he puts on a collar which I also don’t particularly like but, again, this is an experiment, an experience, I chose this, and I can stop anything, any time.

By the time he’s ready to start, I have the most comfortable blackout blindfold I’ve ever felt over my eyes, a bolster under my hips, noise cancelling head phones over my ears, I’m lying spread eagle face down on the table and my hands and feet are tied down. Now begins a game of ‘what is that?’ as I feel a silk scarf, dry brushes, furry mitts, a flogger, leather paddles, massaging hands, electric toothbrushes, and probably some things I’m forgetting roam all over me. Shoulders and back, ok, standard. Butt and thighs, yeah, those are normal places to get touched in a massage. A toothbrush to the underarm! That tickles!! I squirm and laugh. Now just at the very top of my pussy lips, from underneath. That is WEIRD! I’m not a big user of vibrating toys so I don’t associate it with pleasure but it’s intriguing, the prickly sensation and the vibrating ones both together. The flogger is slow, almost more like drumming than a punishment. I kept expecting it to get harder but he keeps it light.

Now the butt stuff. Butt stuff is not foreplay for me. Butt stuff is great when I’m already revved up and just need an extra bump to get over the edge. Butt stuff can be distracting when I’m not already in that headspace. So it was with this. A little warm up, a stainless steel (I’m guessing) hook tied to the collar (so that’s what that was for), and several minutes of distracting, somewhat comical, not great but not uncomfortable stimulation. At one point he rested one of the vibrating toothbrushes on the steel and on several occasions he twanged the string between the hook and the collar. I did find it interesting that with each deep inhale, I could feel the slightest movement, a tightening and release. If you’re into butt stuff, I’ll bet this would be AWESOME. If you’re like me, it’s something I could happily have skipped.

But I’m here to experience and so I did, sometimes gasping, sometimes laughing to myself, sometimes forgetting to breath (before the headphones went on, he set up a nonverbal signal to encourage deep breathing), and the whole time learning.

Once he reached the end of his routine on my back, he untied everything and had me turn over.

I’ll take this moment to mention that at all times, he made small gestures to reassure me that I was in control. He put the cords tying my cuffs to the table in my hands as a way to remind me that I am only tied up because I choose to be. He would occasionally lift the headphones to verbalize a check in. It was clear that he was paying extremely, unwavering, close attention to my nonverbal signals. However I felt about the sensations themselves, his touch was always absolutely perfectly appropriate to it.

Once on my back, I was rebound, this time with my hands above my head, and the sensory play started again. Silk, fur, leather, vibrations and slow massage. And nipple clamps. Fuck the fucking nipple clamps. Fucking fuck.

Up until then, the sensations had been interesting, new, not too intense, sometimes funny, sometimes pretty fucking hot, but nothing like this. Many of my readers know first hand how sensitive my nipples are and how much I guard them, warn against overuse. I am so averse to extreme nipple play that it didn’t even occur to me that I would encounter them. derp. My thoughts went something like this:

What!?! Fuck. No. Nipple clamps? I wasn’t expecting nipple clamps! Why wasn’t I expecting nipple clamps, haha! There was a fucking anal hook but the *nipple clamps* I didn’t expect? lol. Dummy. Those have to go. I should say something. Hang on, let me check in. Send your attention to your nipples…. Does it *hurt*? I mean, it’s fucking intense but does it *hurt*? …..nnnnooooooo? Not yet. Fucking asshole, these gotta go. Do they? I’m here to experience and as long as it doesn’t *hurt*. Does it hurt? Check back in…. The right one is pretty bad. Why am I angry? They aren’t that bad. Why am I so angry? Am I crying!?! Why am I sad! They’re nipple clamps, not sad kittens, why am I sad and crying? Why doesn’t he notice!?! Dummy, he’s a professional, he can see your chin quivering, he knows, he’s just letting me decide. Fuck him. No, he’s doing exactly what he should be which is giving me control. There’s no reason to be angry or sad but you are. Why? Fuck these, they gotta go. WHY AM I SO SAD!?! HOLY MOTHER SHITTING OF GOD HE RIPPED THEM OFF THAT FUCKING HURTS WHAT KIND OF ASSHOLE WHY AM I SAD WHY AM I SO FUCKING ANGRY!!!!!!!!!

I didn’t say anything while they were on for many reasons. I was confused, curious, embarrassed, angry, confused about the other feelings, determined to stay present with this experiment, and my nipples were sending me a shit ton of signals, none of them *pain* but all of them pissed off. I could feel tears soaking into the blindfold and my chin quivering as I tried my damndest to stifle this welter of sudden feelings. All this time he had been ministering pleasant Swedish massage to my lower legs and, if my instincts are correct, watching me for my breaking point, reading me to make sure I got to an edge but didn’t go over.

It was probably only a minute or so between the application of what I would later learn were actually little suction cups and the moment he lifted the headphones but an hour’s worth of feelings ran through me. He asked what I would like us to do in the last fifteen minutes of our session, a gesture I recognized as a professional signal that time was nearly up while simultaneously appreciating how it feels as the client to hear that. I wanted to cry. I wasn’t in pain and he had done nothing traumatic, but some dam had been broken by a pair of stupid little rubber cups. We had started the session talking specifically about feeling free to let out whatever emotions may come. I thought of how I would feel were the roles reversed; how do I feel when a client needs to cry over a lost love, an old memory, the beauty of touch not felt in years? I would want them to feel free and unashamed to cry. So that’s what I said. I said “I think I would like to cry” and his response in that moment was the ultimate sign of a sacred intimate. He said ‘OK’ and simply sat with me. He didn’t make my crying his problem, his solution, or his pride, nor did he run from it. The only other person I know who can do this is Betty Martin. She doesn’t use nipple clamps, she just looks at me and listens.

So I lay on this table, with a stranger touching my forehead and my chest, there with head and heart, hysterically laugh-crying. I always feel silly when I cry for no reason. I am generally a practical person; tears with no sorrow or grief feel foolish, useless, inconvenient, an imposition to whomever happens to be near. Hell, an imposition on myself! When I really cry, I laugh-cry. I once got hit on the head with a basketball in high school gym class and sat on the floor laughing hysterically with tears streaming down for nearly a half hour. It’s always been part of me and a part that I I rarely feel truly free to feel.

It was probably five minutes before the sobbing laughter subsided and I was able to take a few deep, shaky breaths. I felt fucking stoned. Hot and relaxed and stoned off my gourd. Like some kind of huge wave had broken and in it’s wake I lay, shuddering. I wonder if some of my clients feel that way after they orgasm. Like your brain simply doesn’t care for a while.

I wish I had had more time after but SF traffic was crummy and it took me long enough to stumble across the hall and back into the shower. I had enough time to come back to reality and get my breathing back to normal, to thank him for his time and experience, and to catch a taxi to go meet my client. I was so blissed out the evening went by like a breeze, both of us carefree and reveling in each other’s pleasure. The next morning we took a long walk, had a delightful breakfast, and ended our time together with a delicious dish: a little threesome with miss Devorah Reine. But you already knew about that.

I had no expectations of intense emotional release when going in for a kinky massage. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into at all but it opened up an interesting box and raised a few real questions. Why on earth would intense sensation on my nipples bring me immediately and fiercely to an emotional climax like that? What is it about that experience that made me more vulnerable than the spread-eagle bondage position? And why can I cry in front of some people but not others?

A bondassage isn’t something I’d do often, but it is something I’d do again. Even now, six weeks later, the memory of how I felt is strong, though the details fade into the mists of memory. If I were able to go back to the same practitioner, I would show them this, talk about what I found awesome and intense, perhaps even push the envelope of *some* things and maybe back off of others. I am so incredibly delicate before arousal that I’m constantly guiding people to slow down and back off but once the moment arrives, once my entire being is consumed… Well, I suppose I’ll find out eventually what else I like.

June updates

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of a month and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down much. I’ve been in and out of town, hiking, working out, writing, planning, and trying to shoehorn in more reading time than usual.

I had my first useful trip to Portland. I planned better (not perfectly) and actually got some good time with friends and family.

I did get a hotel too far out of town. It made sense in regards to visiting a friend of mine who lives out past Beaverton but as for everything else… let’s just say that next time I’ll plan ahead better. I also stayed up too late and felt the effects of that plus driving as my whole body health got knocked around a bit.

The good news here is that I’m confident in my Portland trips. I have a strong anchor client which makes me feel more secure and makes the trips more pleasant.

What is an anchor client, you ask? An anchor client is the one who first brings me to a new city. Often we’ve met on a trip that brought them to Seattle (which I prefer whenever possible) and most importantly they have handled all my mistakes with grace. Running late, not knowing neighborhoods, asking them to accommodate my schedule, making them drive an hour out of their way because I’m bad with distances and maps and things… basically they’ve been the testing ground as I figure out a new place and so, now that I’m a bit more comfortable, they get special treatment.

Now that I have a trustworthy anchor in Portland, I get to go whenever I want, which may be about every 6-8 weeks, depending. So keep an eye out, make sure your newsletter profile includes ‘portland’ so you get travel notices directly to your inbox.

What else have I been up to? Well, doing some home repairs, as always, and there’s a naughty party going down this evening that I’m using to introduce my voluptuous friend Jules to the Seattle crowd. She’s so nervous for her very first orgy so I’m looking forward to walking her through it. Newsletter subscribers will be happy to know that, because of the volume of summer travel, my four handed special will be extended through July so there’s a bit of wiggle room.

There’s so much to do, so much to think about but I can’t write it all out here. I have to go on a wine purchasing errand, ha!

Oh, before I go: I’ve been working out and sunbathing so if you were terribly attached to my creamy skin and slight pudge you may want to brace yourself. Conversely: if I was a bit too pale or a smidge too round for your tastes the last time we met, you may be curious to come see the subtle changes.


Fly me to you!

For a minimum financial commitment plus travel expenses I will fly to your city within the continental US. Minimum commitment depends on travel time; starting at 1000.

To send a deposit covering travel expenses and half my fee, I can take a credit card over the phone, Bitcoin, or squarecash. Please put “Couples Massage Class” in the memo line when applicable.

There are benefits to being the first. If your city entices me to return of my own volition, my first caller may enjoy a great deal more flexibility than those who wait.

The Roaming Ho

I made it!


I’m sitting at home at my desk surrounded for the first time in eleven days by familiar sights and smells. I had a pile of packages awaiting my return, new pants and a new watch that I wish I had had for the trip. Also bills but such is life.

I’m so pleased by the sunshine here! I spent much more time than expected in the one pair of jeans I took with me. Considering the bulk of the trip was in Southern California, I spent very little time feeling warm. The cool weather followed me down and back up again until finally, on the night before heading home, I got pounded by an icy deluge on the way to dinner. Sigh.

Highlights! Florence, OR is beautiful and I could have spent several days there. I will put it on my list for the next, shorter, road trip as a destination and I will absolutely venture a few miles south to revisit only the best deli I’ve ever been to! In Reedsport, just on the other side of the Dunes coastal park, is a place called Back to the Best and they smoke their own everything. I had a half a Reuben with home cured pastrami and fennel seeds in the soft, squishy rye and ran off with a half pound of chewy, sweet and salty jerky. Meat candy at its best.

After Florence was Redding, boring and blah, but during the hop from Redding to Sacramento, a tourist attraction sign reading “Olive City! Olive Oil Tastings” caught my eye and subsequently my wallet. I don’t usually get distracted by silly street signs but when you’re on a road trip through central California and you can’t do wine and drive, oil is the thing to try. Lucero Tasting room in Corning, CA has a huge selection of oils they harvest and press on site within hours of picking. They let you taste and assess different types and my olive oil education more than doubled. It has subtle and delicious flavors just like chocolate or wine. I walked away with a vinegar, three oils, a jar of olives, and some fantastic mustard. If only I had the pastrami from two days before!

After a quick turnaround in Sacramento and a medium drive to Pasadena, I registered for classes and had a fairly relaxed visit. I learned about pediatric massage and sat through an… interesting ethics class. Sex work always comes up in massage ethics classes because it’s often done under the guise of massage and so some clients expect licensed practitioners to provide sexual services. You get some truly odd interactions sometimes and I had to bite my tongue often during the four hour conversation. I learned a few new self care techniques and met a few lovely local therapist, and some from as far as the East Coast. Very cool.

The best two locations in Pasadena are Union, a tiny hole-in-the-wall that serves excellent food and personable conversation. The wait staff was not only beautiful but highly competent. Comparable to a few of my favorite places around here and by far the best high-end food I had the whole trip. The best bar to my taste is Der Wolfskop. The downstairs was dim, quiet, cheap (for California), and played old movies with the captions so I could watch while I sipped my brown liquor. Oh, and for lunch one day I decided on a ramen joint with a long line out front. I figured the line was a good sign and oh my god it was. Rich, salty broth, fatty pork, and a soft boiled egg with some hot green tea hit the spot perfectly after sitting in a chilly classroom all morning. I can’t wait for Seattle to catch up with the ramen craze. The last time I tried ramen in Seattle it had fermented bamboo shoots in it. No good.

The plan was to stay an extra night after my classes were over but I got done at noon and had had just about all I cared of Pasadena. I called my AirBnB hosts at the next place and asked them if they had room for us a day early. She made some adjustments and slid us in two nights instead of one. Morro Bay is an adorable little seaside town ten minutes north of San Luis Obispo with happy people and a tiki bar that serves 32 ounce cocktails for 12 bucks. It also has easy access to walking trails, beaches, and more. Even more fun, however, is just up the road at the Libertine Pub. 72 beers on tap and incredibly chill waitstaff made for a pleasant evening, capped with barbecue from a little joint around the corner.

Wandering around in tide pools that I’m pretty sure we weren’t supposed to be in, I noticed a wet shiny blob that looked suspiciously like a stranded sea creature. Sure enough, a closer look revealed a fly-covered octopus about the size of my hand. My heart moved at the poor creature’s plight so I nudged it onto a seaweed sling and moved it to a little pool close by where I watched. At first, there wasn’t much movement. I figured I was probably too late, the exposure had done him in and all I did was delay the inevitable. After a few minutes, though, I saw some movement. His color changed and his siphons started fluttering. Then he inked at me!! I figured that was a good sign and sure enough, a few minutes later, he struggled to push himself deeper into the collected seaweed and away from my line of sight. It felt a bit odd to celebrate a cephalopod’s survival like that but I felt it was good preparation for my future wildlife rescue efforts.

Later that day we toured Hearst Castle, the magnificent and unfinished home of media magnate William Randolph Hearst. I would have been happy with one of his four bedroom, two bathroom guest cottages or one half of one wing but when you have that kind of well funded imagination I suppose theres nothing to stop you from creating a magnificent castle in the California desert. Some people simply don’t know when to stop but then again, if he had, it wouldn’t be there for us to ogle some half a century later.

The next day ended at Monterey, standing a few miles north of the bridge made famous in Big Little Lies, watching a pod of whales and a flock of seabirds demolish a shoal while seals and sea otters frolicked in the foreground and the bright orange sun sank slowly behind. There are some moments that are simply magical and that was one. Cold, windy, scrubby cliffside gave way to a glittering marine tableau… Its exactly the kind of drama I like in my life, haha.

After Monterey I only had a couple more days, one in Arcata, tucked in among the Redwoods, and another halfway back, in Springfield, OR where I had the third best food on the entire trip. I may have been biased because it was my first salad in a while but it was at this little joint called Plank Town Brewing Co. Good beer, good food, and really good cocktails.

I could have planned better, but I really enjoyed the more relaxing pace of a flexible schedule. I’m definitely going to have to revisit the Redwoods. By the eighth hour of the longest driving day, I was not sorely tempted to get out and hike for another few hours so I feel as though I didn’t give that leg the time it deserved. Ah well. There’s always next year.

This is just a summary. It’s difficult to convey in text the exhaustion, boredom, awe, curiosity, and pleasure I felt by turns along the 3000 miles getting to know my Prius better. Once I get settled in and start reconnecting with my beloved clients and my darling colleagues, once I sit back and work on some tasks, and once I get back to normal eating habit again, I’ll have more time to reflect.

Thank you. One of the greatest things about doing what I do is the ability to take off for a couple of weeks, knowing that when I get back, my beloved clients will be eager to get together, my bills will be paid, and having the freedom to change my plans at the last minute and afford it without stress. I love that I wasn’t trapped in my schedule by a tight budget and I want to thank you for making that possible. I live a magical, beautiful life.


Now for a salad and a long walk.