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 six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.