Why written words will never go away……

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I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.”

I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.”

Say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.”

Over and over again, Paul especially, stresses the importance of writing this “with his own hand.” At times others would take down the message, but when Paul wanted to emphasize something he said this. It was his way of saying, “Pay attention, I want to you to see how important this is to me.”

When we get something handwritten it’s almost like we get a piece of that person, almost as if they leave a bit of themselves behind with the ink on the page. When I want to keep someone close, I tuck something they’ve written in my wallet. Even now I have some folded notes and little drawings I have held onto for years. My wallet is fat, but not with folded money, with other kinds of treasures.

And today I was given a special journal, an unexpected gift to go along with us on our journey. Elaine said, “This had your name on it.” as she held it out, smiling. I will keep it and scribble notes in it and maybe someday years from now someone will find it and wonder whose it was.

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Tomorrow, we will go on a long-expected road trip. We will drive for miles and miles. We will sing out loud with the radio across several states and we’ll stop where we want. It will be a grand adventure and I thank God for the opportunity. And in my purse, there are four people I hold dear who will come with me because right now I am holding them all close in prayer. I need part of them near me, with me on this journey.

Because what’s written on those pages I carry is part of them, and part of me too.

That’s why what’s written will never go away.

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Another slice please……..don’t mind if I do.

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Trip continued from yesterday……..

The next morning I was like a little kid, hyper and chomping at the bit to get down to the ocean because, well….the water was so close! I have never lost my excitement at getting that first glimpse of the water, it’s tied to so many good memories I have as a kid, and each time is magic, but breakfast was included in our stay and more importantly, I was in dire need of coffee.

As you can see, I fell in love with how the light was streaming in the morning windows…….and the coffee was much to my satisfaction. I had a feeling, since the night before, Nashua had shared with us that she enjoys a good cup of Turkish coffee. Somehow I knew it would be strong enough to stand up to my specifications and I was not disappointed.

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We were ushered to a table and given fresh orange juice, and a wonderful frittata filled with cheese and potatoes with a side of sausage and fresh fruit. It was all excellent and it tempered my anxiety about getting on the beach enough that I could sit and enjoy it, as well as take a couple of pictures.

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After that, a long walk on the beach was in order. We watched dogs play and collected some interesting rocks along the shore. The weather couldn’t have been better and that added to the almost surreal atmosphere. It was like God’s stamp of approval on the day. Having spent many cold and foggy days at the shore, I was ready for anything.

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When we came back we headed up to the rooftop again, since we had only seen it at night before. The view from the rooftop was stunning……….It is definitely yet another selling point to this Hotel. Unfortunately, the only photo I got was with my iPhone and it wasn’t very good, however you can check out the Hotel website, where you may be able to see it.

Another benefit of staying in the smaller Hotels is the people you meet. I have already told you about Nashua, but we also met a very charming young gentleman named Lance who also is employed by the Hotel. He was very well spoken, with an unbridled enthusiasm for life that was catching. He poured us each a glass of wine and the four of us talked together in the lobby for a very enjoyable hour or so and I never got the feeling they were merely being polite, they were really interested.

We also met a couple from Brisbane, Australia, both very friendly, celebrating their anniversary. They asked for a recommendation for dinner and we gave them the name of the place we were going to right down the Pier, the Sandbar Grill, a local hangout which was excellent. We ended up seeing them come in as we were finishing up. As we left they were getting on very well with the couple beside them.

Unfortunately I never knew quite what he said because his accent was so thick and he talked so fast, we never understood a thing he said. He sounded a lot like “Gimli” from Lord of the Rings. We nodded back and forth a lot. Fortunately, we understood his wife quite well so that helped.

We also met a very interesting lady named Rika, who is a film set designer in LA. She talked to Elaine quite a bit, being interested in just about everything. She wanted to know how long she had been driving her motor home.

She had an elegant, yet understated and humble way about her. Graceful in the way that always makes me feel somehow lumberous and awkward, while not meaning to. She is also part owner of two restaurants and I love the name they chose: Can’t Fail Cafe.

We were thinking of heading out after only one night but we were so captivated by Hotel 1110 that we had to stay another night and I am so glad we did. It was a great send-off to the rest of our trip along the coast. We ended up meeting up with Rika again at Phil’s for lunch before we all went our separate ways. Phil is famous for winning a throw-down against Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay for his Cioppino.

Hotel 1110 was a delightful surprise and I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we will be back this way again someday. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

A Perfect Slice of Time

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E. drove furiously into the night as we mapped our way to the exact address of Hotel 1110 on the Pacific coast. We were under the gun. The ad on the internet said the Hotel doors would be locked at 10 and it was fast approaching 9:15 when we finally called to make sure someone would be there to let us in by 9:30. The accented voice on the other line assured us she would be.

I made a couple of mistakes navigating, which made for a few stressful moments, and the first time we drove right past it. We had to drive up quite a few blocks before we were presented with an opportunity for a U turn.

“Is that it?” I said.

“I’m not sure, do you see a place to park?” She asked.

We drove back into a narrow little alley that opened into a few spaces, but we weren’t sure it was the right place so we went back out and found a place on the street. We were beyond ready to settle for the night. Past ready to start a much-needed overdue vacation. Ready to feel once again the healing properties of the ocean.

Despite our initial trepidation at the parking situation, once we entered the foyer of this captivating place, any misgivings we might have had were laid to rest. And when we met the charming innkeeper, who made us feel at home and instantly welcomed we both breathed an inward sigh of relief.

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She checked us in and with a charming Lebanese accent introduced herself as Nashua. Gazing around, already eager to run upstairs and let my camera out of its case, I felt like I had stepped into another era. It was part Victorian, part Bohemian with a splash of old west Bordello thrown in, but very tastefully so. We gratefully accepted our keys and stepped up wonderfully creaky stairs to a hallway that I imagined held hidden passageways and doors that led to secret rooms.

We abandoned the elevator after the first time because it was so slow, but to me that only added to the charm. Our room opened with a real key and once inside, we were greeted by Audrey Hepburn who seemed to approve and who could ever argue with her?

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“This is awesome,” I said, “Just like one of the places in my dreams!” I often dream of old buildings and long passageways and doors that lead to stairs and narrow alleyways. I instantly yielded to the adventure this was turning into.

The windows cranked out revealing a neighboring view you might see in an old Alfred Hitchcock movie. Amidst the late night traffic noise, we heard the unmistakable sigh of the sea and the barking of seals.

Vacation had truly begun.

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Join me tomorrow as I continue our adventure, won’t you?