The wind was blowing heavy, hopefully blowin’ some change our way-but it mainly seemed to be blowing trash around. Near San Leandro, my directions blew away. The route was so detailed that I actually stopped to look for them-but soon submitted to the fierce wind. It was a fun ride, through parts of California that I had never seen before. On this Peace ride, I try really hard to avoid highways, even 101 since it has mostly been 2-3 lane past Willits. The culture in each town is worth experiencing. Before I started the trip, a scooterist wrote me to say, “If you can’t wave to anyone on their front porch, you might have found yourself on a highway.” This is the rule I try to stick to, and some days I wrestle with the frustration of knowing my route is taking me 3 hours out of the way. But, I recognize that this is the way to reach the most people.
Traffic here in California is ridiculous, not just the sheer volume, but also people drive horribly. They are very squirrely-unpredictable. The plan had been to take the San Mateo bridge, as I felt empowered from my bridge crossings in the Bay Area. Bad news though, with the wind gusts, so I circumvented the Bay-eventually winding up in Menlo Park.
So, here’s where I tell you about the Fabulous Funki B&B in Menlo Park. I had a room booked there, through the owners, Dawn and Amanda.
When you pull up, your hostesses Dawn and Amanda will greet you. Their cat Pete will even come outside to say “Hi.” This will be the initial second when you, the weary traveler, realize you’re in heaven. And the thing about heaven is that all the details are perfect and yummy.
It’s best to visit their B&B if you like to be pampered and have no problem receiving. See, one thing I am working on is receiving, I have no problem giving. So, a visit at this B&B might even provide you with a personal transformation. Mine was learning to say thank you. I said it so many times that it also became my personal mantra!
Audre was unsaddled and the bags were carried up. Every need I had was somehow predicted and accommodated before I opened my big mouth. Psychic hostesses? A scrumptious dinner of mung beans and quinoa was ready. Jared, a neighbor in their lovely community, popped his head in-because it was game time. Forget the cable channels that most hotels offer. Bah! These ladies will take you out on the town for some real action! Amanda is captain of the ITP softball team. ITP=Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Dawn introduced me to many people and we grabbed seats on the bleachers. Quite a few people said, “Hey-ya-you’re the Peace Pilgrim.” Which, was a twist on the ol’ standy “Scootergirl,” but there is already a grandma Peace Pilgrim-a personal heroine. Dawn has done a notable job sending out links to the website! (hint, hint people!)
Most team members have names from the Psych Canon on their jerseys. Truly a humorous bunch, but it definitley ups the ante on name recollection-always a challenge for me! The game was an hour, which flew by. I am quite confident they are all better at their Psych practice than they are at softball. But, it was clear that everyone was having a good time-even the ump-and so was I.
Me and Dawn spent time in the bleachers talking about community. Before running a B&B, Dawn and Amanda worked at Omega. Omega is where I first experienced community-even with its annoyingly invasive hippie moments-there was good community there. Dawn was excited to have put down roots on the West Coast and emphasized the importance of creating community for happiness. That’s what was happening at the ball game-playing and community. Funny enough, I’ve had a couple of personal Peace definitions that center around “watching my kids play ball.” My mom has community through church whereas I create extended community around personal interests-yoga, gardening, cooking, spirituality, politics. Our talk gave me a tinge of excitement-looking forward to returning home to Charlottesville after 3 months on the road. Community events are the threads that keeps us cohesive and allow us to co-create better personal and social environments. I might even get a softball team going if there isn’t any already! Amanda has a lot of finesse on organizing sponsors, so that info was helpful.
The action was far from over. The team was heading over to Dan Browns, a sponsor and the local watering hole. Chris, aka C. Jung, has a lot of toys-an Apple phone and a Mini Cooper. Now, you know how I feel about “cages,” but this one is worthy! It was a nice ride over and we just chit chatted about toys and driving. At the bar though, Chris brought up his dissertation topic, which is about Peace and uses memes for perspective. I love memes-the Don Beck and Claire Graves models for upward human development. I learned about this model through Ken Wilber, a philosopher who teaches the Integral Model, a model that I want to get my Master’s in.
In fact, a lot of the personal writing/research for this trip utilizes the Spiral Dynamics model. So I was totally excited to have this chat with him and hope we stay in touch. It was also cool that the Peace ride was so well understood and received. A few of us were sitting around talking when Aneel suggested I get off my but and play pool with them. Forget ESPN, it was time to play!
It was one of those nights were my game was on-but that’s something I celebrate more than anticipate. Mainly it helped that my partner Jared was Paul Newman’s stunt double in the Color of Money. It was great to meet everyone-I had a nice night out! We headed back to the B&B and I got to explore my accommodations.
All of my gear was placed in my room and towels laid out. The bed was absolutely delicious, I slumbered deeply. The B&B feels fantastic, a lot of love and thought has gone into this Sanctuary. There are two kitties for petting, even though I’m allergic, I do like cool cats.
We sat up that night, in front of the beautiful shrine Dawn created, drinking tea and talking. It was so comforting to be in their company. They sensed my need for nurturing. I had some ginger tea mixed with throat comfort tea, because my voice has been off lately. Below is the tea station where visitors can rifle through the varieteas and dress up their cup with goodies.
The living room, adjacent to the tea room,doubles as a yoga studio. Dawn leads Kundalini Yoga classes three times a week. She is also pursuing her Master’s at ITP and will graduate in June. Unfortunately, I didn’t time my visit well enough to take a Kundalini class. Dawn was a huge influence in my life three years ago when I started my practice.
I love the light that fills the space. The next morning, now September 20, provided better riding weather. My morning started off nicely with coffee on the balcony, amidst the pretty plants and even a lime tree. Then, when I wouldn’t expect things to get any better- Amanda served us breakfast. I was able to take care of some errands- like my camera issue, thankfully! I had been bummed that I bought local, in accordance with my buy local policy, but Crutchfield is coming through for me! Yay!
Dawn pulled her Jersey mom on me when I protested all the goodness they were offering me. There was a wee little squabble about accepting the money she raised for me. I lost. Thank you D&A.
Somewhere in the day, they made me watch the stand up comedy about Hot Pockets. I recommend this funny gem for a good chuckle. Amanda set out shining up her already shiny bike and installing saddlebags. I also gave Audre some shining-which looked amazing! There was a group ride planned, with Jared, Natalia, and the three of us. The plan was to escort me out to the Coast, and then I would ride alone down to Santa Cruz. April from Scoot magazine wasn’t interviewing me in Santa Cruz at 7pm, so we had a nice leisurely ride lined up.
I was more than impressed to see Natalia, 6 months pregnant, show up for the ride. That means that Jerry had three people on his motorcycle! I was the only scooterist, but had no problem keeping up with the pace. There was only 5 minutes of town traffic and then we headed for the hills. The road wound through redwood forests, where the temperature dropped some, and then ran smack into the Pacific Coast-the end of America! Along the way, before passing through La Honda, we stopped for coffee and pie at the infamous Alice’s Restaurant!
Jared and Natalia turned back home after coffee. Dawn and Amanda led me to the Coast, where we said our goodbyes. That was full service B&B treatment. Let’s review: dinner, softball game, pool and drinks, women’s circle tea time, heavenly bed/shower, fundraising, breakfast, organic coffee, two sweet cats, scoot detailing, laughs, community, and an escort out to the Coast. DELICIOUS!
This is were I break it ya. It’s an oasis-a Hidden Garden. A night at their casbah requires personal invite. The B&B is not open to the general public! 😉
I am some how blessed enough to have made it in!
Daphne asked, “Let me get this straight…you only stayed one night at the place where people pamper you -and the longer at the others?”
Yes, but it was just right. It was good just the way it happened. Right now, I am now earnestly keeping to the time table that I came up with in Berkeley.
Thank you D&A for opening the B&B to a Peace Pilgrim-Scootergirl and thanks to the ITP crew!
The evening ride along the Coast meant the wind was picking up, but it didn’t really phase me. I zoomed into town with 15 min. to spare. Along the route I snapped some photos and reminisced. I used to spend a lot of time in Santa Cruz, and had not been there in 10 years, so there were lots of good memories in my head!
Later that night I met April at the Saturn Cafe and we spent a few hours together. She was really fun company-easy to talk to and very wise! I am probably a rambling nightmare to interview, but look for it in the November issue of Scoot Magazine. We were wrapping up our conversation when Le Tigre’s song “Peace Now!” came on! Rock on!
One Reply to “Hidden Garden”
The Ugly Mug is half a block from the best mexican restaurant in the world names tortilla flats. My dad has an “Ugly Mug” mug. Yay CA! Miss you!