about Pebble Beach, a bit late
We spent Labor Day weekend at Pebble Beach in a McMansion, or maybe it is just a plain old mansion, I don’t know, not having that much experience with mansions of any sort. I’d like to say it was a bit of a test of my ability to relax and enjoy myself and try to keep my Compact (environmental and frugal) ideals intact. I wonder if any of y’all have had this experience — where you’re so busy looking at the waste/energy usage/and whatever is the opposite of green and frugal that you can’t enjoy whatever it is? It feels very Puritanical in spirit to me…trying to “judge not” and instead, judging madly. I won’t say it’s a good thing, or a bad thing. It just is.
We were invited as guests to a friend’s guest house in Pebble Beach, which is a pretty fabu place to go no matter who you are. The 3-story house was SO fabulous that, as our friend Steve said, “I couldn’t afford the batteries for that house” — just the batteries alone, for all the TVs, full sound system, gas fireplaces in every room, etc. It was luxe to the max. To quote Jimmy Buffett, we were like “gypsies in the palace.”
I had to SHUT OFF the Compacty voice in my head or it would have made it impossible to have a weekend at all and made all of us miserable (Mr Husband asked me to let it go for the weekend). I have to struggle with the evangelical side of this passion here. BUT — the good thing is, this house was pretty energy efficient, encouraged recycling, etc. We didn’t use heat or AC, brought our own snacks for the ride there and back, didn’t go shopping, walked on the beach at Asilomar and collected beach glass, which I love, and admired the natural environment (we found a live starfish and saw a huge dead sea lion — yikes!). There wasn’t much else we could do except sleep, look at the ocean and knit. We did all of the above (but Mr H does not knit.).
Mr Husband was in heaven because of the TWO giant screen HDTVs (back to back on adjoining walls) plus TVs in every room. I thoroughly enjoyed the deep tub in our rose marble bathroom (each bedroom has its own private bath – x6) and took a couple of baths where I soaked and read — that is luxury to me, since we don’t have a tub here (the kids do but it’s full of kid-stuff and kid-juju, not very relaxing to soak in it).
The house was well supplied with a full bar, wine cellar, full refrigerator and pantry — fresh fruits and milk, etc for us — and a Viking 6-burner stove for cooking if we felt like it. They gave us robes and slippers and all the necessities like toothbrushes, etc. I didn’t quite feel up to playing the grand piano — it was all a bit intimidating. The view from our bedroom (as big as our living room at home) was of the Pacific Ocean, through a window as large as a 2-car garage door. We were just speechless. This house has its own elevator, sauna, hot tub, exercise room, library — un-freaking-believable that people actually live that way all the time!
We had such a good time, and were able to relax with our friends, had a good seafood dinner on the wharf in Monterey with our dear friends Steve and Stella. Thank you, Steve and Stella!
Now we will return to our normally scheduled programming.
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of "Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop" and "Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News" (rep'd by Booktrope). She is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. Her articles have appeared in Thrillist, Quill, Paste, San Francisco Chronicle, and in many magazines; her latest poetry appears in The East Bay Literary review.