Don’t call us, we’ll call you

July 15, 2012

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.”

Filed under: Family, History, Lindsay loves Neal, Personal — Tags: , , , , , , — llcall @ 8:19 pm

I’m about three months late finishing this post on our 5th anniversary getaway, but better late than never.

I needed some kind of cure after a brutal few months of bad health and in April, the sea was it. More specifically, the Sanctuary Beach Resort just north of Monterey.

But first the back-story. Neal and I only sort of took a honeymoon when we got married. Neal was in the middle of a school semester in Utah, but we got married in D. C., which meant he flew there on a Thursday night, we got married on Saturday, hit some Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Pennsylvania on Sunday, drove back to the D. C. area on Monday and saw his former boss, and then flew back to Utah on Tuesday. It was a whirlwind, but surprisingly, one of the most laid-back whirlwinds I’ve ever been on. Our time in the Salt Lake airport was the real low-point (albeit hilarious low-point) of the whole affair, but that is the story for another day.

The point is that when our first anniversary rolled around I knew I wanted to do something really special. And there’s nothing more special to Neal than sand dunes. I love the beach; he loves sand dunes and solitude, so the Sanctuary Beach Resort seemed like the perfect fit. I planned the whole thing on the down-low,  even resolving to spend the most money I had ever spent on a hotel room ($150 a night . . . eek!) without consulting Neal. I wasn’t sure how long I could keep the secret (especially because practically everyone BUT Neal found out at some point during the trip planning process), but here was the plan I explained to Neal: drive from Utah to Bakersfield to meet our adorable new niece. After a couple of days, drive to the coast for a day at the beach before heading to my parents’ house in Orange County.

Since there were moments when I thought he heard some clue to the real plans around the house, and he questioned me on why I had brought no beach towels for a beach day, I assumed that he was on to my trickery. And I thought for sure when we got on the road, it would be obvious. After all,  destination A-my parents’ house is in the OPPOSITE direction from destination C-our resort.

But lo and behold when we got on the highway, Neal didn’t notice that we went north instead of south; in fact with his limited California experience, he didn’t even know which way was north and which was south. Shortly into our four-hour drive, he fell asleep, only to awaken when we were nearly to the central coast. The moment he first saw a sign that said “Los Angeles, 360 miles” was just priceless. He blurted out, Wow! I had no idea we were that far from L. A. Did you realize it would take this long? I played it off amazingly. No biggie. We’re almost to the beach, we’ll just hang out for a little while and then head south. He said, Okay.

But a few minutes later, he was worried again — finally putting together the fact that there was no way to get to my parents’ house by bedtime. Must not compromise the bedtime schedule! He suggested we find a Motel 6 on the route. I said, No, we’ll be fine. Don’t worry.

It’s hard to communicate the full extent of Neal’s cluelessness. Around this time, we literally drove through the gates that said Sanctuary Beach Resort in gold letters and he still thought I was just pulling in to turn around. When I parked and turned off the engine, he was just looking around completely perplexed. No doubt it looked like a too-fancy place for a couple of Motel 6 dwellers like us. But over the next two days we fell utterly in love with the place. The golf-cart driving, the fancy soaps, the plush white robes, the mini-fridge, the almost complete solitude (truly, we only saw about eight people during that whole first stay).

Although we debated other novel locations for our 5th anniversary getaway, we ultimately wanted to go back and thought the idea of having our own special place was appealing.

I know I should build up to my favorite part of the trip, the pièce de résistance, but I just can’t contain myself:

In case you can’t tell, that’s us. Reading. In fancy robes.

Neal loved feeling like a millionaire so he decided to wear the robe everywhere, throughout our stay.

But he’s an eccentric millionaire to be sure, considering that he brings his own bed to hotels:

And uses plastic bags for luggage:

(I do too, but I’m more of a peasant, so it works. Which reminds me, I would give at least 10 bucks to know what the bellhop who brought us to our little bungalow really thought of our strange luggage combination.)

Our other activities besides beach strolling consisted of admiring the view from our windows:

Fancy meals of french bread, four strawberries (it seemed like more at the time), and leftover sushi:

And an EPIC 8-hour game of Risk:

Neal won this time, but since I handily won the 1st anniversary game, we’ll have to wait for our 10th anniversary to determine the true victor.

Can’t wait for another trip to our little stretch of sea!



  1. Hahaha that is really priceless. Also I love reading vacations 🙂

    Comment by kei02003 — July 15, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

  2. The soap that first time was worth the $150 dollars. If I could spend the rest of my life with $150 soap and little debbies, I could die happy. And I’d probably be dying soon, so it might not even be spending all that much money.

    Also, funny how our romantic dinner seems to include a bottle of prescription ibuprofen.

    Comment by neal — July 15, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    • Actually, I think that is your Nutella. Though most romantic dinners probably should include ibuprofen.

      Comment by llcall — July 16, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

  3. I thought that looked like a bottle of meds . . . Glad you two had such a great getaway!

    Comment by v. blanchard — July 15, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

  4. This just looks lovely! What a wonderful trip. Happy Anniversary!!

    Comment by Kristin — July 19, 2012 @ 3:28 am

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