Sunny, warm, and by the beach. These were my conditions when looking for a new spot to land in California after leaving Kentucky 7 months ago. The plan was set into action in May of 2011 after Andy and I eloped on the shores of Garrapata Beach in Big Sur. With just our magical officiate, and the ocean underworld to witness, we made a commitment to one another. I also made a silent commitment that I would move to California - if I can have the person of my dreams...I can live in the place of my dreams. I knew I needed to wake up to this environment every day.
It took some time but we wrapped up some loose ends in our hometown, completed our music and art projects, bought a 95 Chevy Van (Horus) and sold everything we had except our music equipment and what we could fit inside of Horus. For a month we traveled like vagabonds visiting wherever we wanted, looking for our “destination unknown”. We knew we wanted to live on the southern coast of California but we weren’t really sure where.
With a bottle of bourbon, some good music, and nothing but time, we began our westward trek with Horus, our 18 year old van/son. We took the scenic route, camping on the tops of canyons in New Mexico, visiting as many strange state parks as possible, and just enjoying the ride.
Our first stop in California was near the bottom of San Diego– more specifically Encinitas. We chose that spot because we had never heard of it before and there was a good deal in the AAA travel book for a nice hotel. We were pleasantly surprised. We didn’t know it then, but every other place along the coast would be compared to northern San Diego. But this was only our first stop to look for “destination unknown”. We had the rest of the coast to go!
We hit many places, San Francisco, LA, San Luis Obispo, San Cruz, Monterey Bay. We got lost walking around in the desert at night in Joshua Tree (the rocks kept us company…another story), and traveled up as far north as Ukiah CA because we wanted to visit some friends. Plus, tree fairies live in the Redwoods. But Northern California, as absolutely cool, hippy, and beautiful as it is, just wasn’t warm enough for the lizard in me.
Long story short, (I’ll spare you the minor inconveniences of living in one’s van, mostly consisting of trying to find a place to pee and to “park n’ sleep”. Oh yeah, and then there was trying to find a landlord who would rent to tenants who had “Explorers of God’s Country” under the employment section of the application and “Living in our Van” under the residence section. Low and behold, after a month of van life) we finally found our C spot in Oceanside CA. I compare Oside to Encinitas’ wild cousin, or the smoking section of SoCal. Our C spot is steps away from the beach, surrounded by new friends and palm trees, and the journey to get here has been just as fun as the time we are having now. My only question is…where do California residents go outside of California on vacation? I hear Greece is nice.
Art collective located in Southern California