Due to facebook and plaxo, a lot of people seemed to know it was my birthday yesterday and sent their good wishes. Thanks!
I had a truly incredible day. Krista and I spent a couple days in Big Sur at the Ventana Inn. It was so peaceful, and relaxing. It's not "posh" or ostentatious, but also not too rustic or primitive. It was just the right balance, subtle.
The weather was ideal. What seems to have been a heat spell for the Bay Area made it just perfect on the coast.
On the morning of my birthday, Krista had arranged for massages at the Esalen Institute. I'd heard of Esalen for 25 years, since reading about it in the Whole Earth Catalog in my midwestern suburb's public library. (BTW, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to whatever freak kept that library stocked with counter-culture handbooks during my teenage years...) I didn't know Esalen was quasi-accessible to the public (with advance reservations.)
The setting was sublime. The bath house there is set up on a cliff... The massages take place in an open air setting overlooking the stunning coastline. A gentle breeze blows through and the sound of the waves lulls you into a sublime state. Finally when you are done, you soak in the sulphur baths... that flow from a natural hot spring. While there, we watched three whales frolic up the coastline. It was absolutely stunning.
As we were pulling away, Krista summed it up - "It's actually hard to believe that such a place exists."
It was a very happy birthday!