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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cambria -Getaway by the Sea

 Sea Otter Inn
Excitement replaced the sadness of leaving Morrow Bay as we drove north on highway 1 toward the small seaside town of Cambria. I knew the Cambria Pines Lodge was headquarters for the Sandstone Properties. The Village Green Gardens in northern Oregon is one of their resorts. I featured it in my first Getaways booklet. I knew nothing about Cambria, a little town somewhat hidden on both sides of the highway along the coast.
 Cambria Pines Lodge

One of many scarecrows
We took the first exit and found ourselves winding around mountain curves with no town in sight. After some stops to ask for directions and u-turns to get back on track we arrived at Cambria Pines Lodge. To our surprise the lodge was surrounded by wonderful gardens much like the Village Green Gardens in Oregon. We met a delightful couple while exploring the gardens.

Scarecrows of all kinds guarded streets, houses, and businesses in the annual Cambria Scarecrow Festival. Obviously many creative people live in this interesting little town. Cambria also hosts two Sandstone Properties resorts. The lodge is nestled among pine trees on the east side of the highway. The other property, the Sea Otter Inn is north and west of the highway on the ocean. It is one of many interesting looking inns along Moonstone Beach Drive.

Across the street a wooden plank walking path attracts the guests and provides steps to the beaches, look-out points, and benches. I met interesting friendly people on the path. I watched an over-sized seal slowly climb a slippery wet rock and almost get washed off by big breaking waves.

The sun turned the sky blue and the ocean reflected the color of the sky. I wished I could take one of Cindy Sample's fun books and sit on a bench by the sea listening to the waves and inhaling the clean ocean air, but we could only spend one night at the Sea Otter Inn. I hoped we would return to Cambria some day when we could stay a week.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Masterpiece Hotel -- Morrow Bay Getaway

A Hotel with "IN-Room" Art

We needed an ocean "fix". We decided to go south this time. Ten years ago we participated in a city sponsored book sale in San Luis Obispo. We decided to return to Morrow Bay, a beautiful coastal town near San Luis Obispo where we stayed at a unique hotel called Masterpiece Hotel. Every room has at least five beautifully framed prints by famous artists. Our room displayed "Roseate Spoonbill" by John James Audubon; "Colors" by Kyosi; "Pinkie" by Sir Thomas Lawrence; "Poplars on a Hill" by Vincent Van Gogh and "Trees" painter unknown.

The first couple we met when checking in told us they were from Colorado. They said they come to the Masterpiece Hotel over and over because they like it so much. If we lived closer, we would probably do the same. Breakfast was served from 7:30 to 10:30 every morning. Wine, cheese and crackers from 5:00 to 7:00 in the evening. Guests can also use a spa and fitness center. Our room cost a reasonable $201.40 (including tax) for two nights.

Best of all, a short walk took us to the wharf where we ate a delicious lunch of sole piccata and of course, clam chowder at the Dockside restaurant. A road goes out to the town's famous Morrow Rock, home to peregrine falcons. We watched them near their nests on the side of the huge rock. A volunteer from a nearby college invited us to view them through his telescope. A couple of fishing boats struggled to get into the Bay through the wind blown waves of the ocean. A surfer used a kite to guide himself back and forth through big waves. Dogs and children played on the beach.

I highly recommend a Morrow Bay getaway. It helps to order sunshine so you can walk along the beach. Other choices include boat tours, wine tasting, quilting stores, art galleries, bird watching, missions, golf, hiking, bicycling, fishing or simply sitting on a bench watching the waves crash against the shore. Something for everybody!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Secrets of Long Term Love

Keith and Shirley Abbey-married 61 years
                                  by guest blogger Todd Creager

Long term love and I mean deep love, the kind of love where you feel that you would marry your spouse all over again after 10, 20, 30, 40 years of marriage does happen. There are couples that DO experience that kind of relationship. What are their secrets? I have learned from these couples, some people are clients, people I know in my personal life and even people I have read about in articles or seen on TV.

Look for the best in your partner. I have heard many of these couples talk about the necessity to overlook each other's flaws; not to ignore them but at the same time not to focus on them. Definitely each partner kept in mind the good stuff, the positive attributes, and the things they enjoyed about their partner.

Let them know how good they are. Not only did they look for and think about the best in their partner, they expressed it. They complimented their partners far more than they criticized them. It was easier to hear the negative feedback because they got plenty of positive feedback as well.

Be affectionate. They touched a lot and were affectionate with each other. As they got older, even if their sexual relationship changed somewhat, they never stopped touching. They adjusted to the aging process but kept the physical connection any way they could. They were not rigid when it came to approaches to touch and sexuality. They were able to talk openly about sex.

Place a high value on the importance of the intimate relationship. They made relationship a high priority. They made time to be alone and intimate and enjoyed each other's company. They planned trips together and went on frequent dates. They often were different (as most couples are) but they found enough similarities of activities to do these things together.

Tune in and be attentive and let your partner know you are there for him or her when needed. They were strong emotional supports in trying times. They would take turns being strong for each other during the occasional life tragedies and losses. They each felt a sense of deep caring for each other and trusted each other. Some of these couples had earlier times when the trust was disrupted but they learned how to heal and create trusting relationships. There was a sense that, "You are there for me."

These wise couples have reaped the benefits of these secrets to long term love. Now it is your turn.

Todd Creager at "Making the World Safe for Love"