Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day One: Happy Town, U.S.A.

Kee Kee and Yoda's home for the next 77 days
I did it.  I really did it.  I left the keys with my house sitter at 11am and promised him exclusive use of my apartment through the end of December.  I then spent the first 2 hours of my drive with a fistful of tissues during my obligatory cry as I headed up the coast in the rain.  Christine Buckley doesn't do things like this.  Christine Buckley is responsible.  Christine Buckley always has a plan.  Who exactly is Christine Buckley?  I don't know. But what I do know is that I haven't been happy and I need change. 

My 2001 Post-it note
In my first post I mentioned a Post-it note I taped to my dashboard in 2001 that stated "I Welcome Change."  I blasted that wish out to the Universe and change eventually came.  It was good.  It was powerful.  It was life-altering.  Yet almost a decade later, here I am again needing an even bigger change.  Imagine my surprise last night, the eve of my road trip, when digging through a drawer I actually unearthed that same Post-it note!  I was shocked that I had saved it.  It is weathered and torn, but its message still rings true.  I immediately performed a make-shift laminating job and duck taped it to my's now taking center stage on this road trip.

Given the recent state of my emotional health, I decided the first overnight stop should be Happy Town, U.S.A.  Parade Magazine just reported that San Luis Obispo, on California's central coast, is the happiest place in the States.  I'd like a shot of that Kool-Aid please.   It's crazy, but as God is my witness, the rain stopped and the sky cleared just as we entered San Luis Obispo county. 

Pismo Beach Monarch Grove

After parking Princess at the Pismo Beach Motel 6 (they welcome dogs!), I realized we were a mere 1/2 mile from the Pismo Beach Monarch Grove.  Pismo has the nation's largest gathering of Monarch butterflies.  Perfect - I had to go see the Monarchs! Butterflies symbolize rebirth into a new life.  That's me - I'm transforming myself, seeking change and rebirth, so what more perfect way to kick off a self-discovery road trip than by being surrounded by thousands of butterflies?!! Well, the made-for-TV moment ended there. Harrumph. Yoda and I walked for a solid hour through that grove of Eucalyptus trees futilely searching for any sign of a single butterfly.  It seemed we arrived too early in the season.  Crestfallen, we turned to leave, when there, on a branch high above us, was a small cluster of Monarchs.  It seems the Monarchs have only just begun their journey to Pismo Beach, just as I am just beginning my journey.  Perhaps the symbolism is perfect after all.

Pismo Beach surf

Pismo Beach rock formations

Cave on the beach


  1. Hi Christine:

    It was great to see you before you left, and I hope you and Yoda have a great time. I like the idea of shaking things up with this trip, while at the same time I think the shama you seek is already with you. Maybe it will be easier to see against a different background. In any case, you're following your gut, and I respect that.

    Be safe, be well, and have fun.


  2. My dear sweet Christine, I am so excited for you! I have lived out of my car a couple of times before on my moves to LA. The quiet time on the road alone can be meditative and healing.

    I'm in the process of selling all my possessions except for a few books and my Buddha. I will be moving to Phoenix with only what fits in my Mazda 3. It can be a liberating experience to be free of possessions and attachments.

    I agree that peace and happiness is already within you -- you just need to dig down deep and find it amongst the debris.

    I am once again on the same journey. I wish you peace, love, joy and contentment.
    Savor every moment of this awe inspiring journey.


  3. Christine, you are on an amazing journey, and I am honored that you are sharing it with me. Always here. Always with you.


  4. Thank you all for your support. I can't believe I am almost 3 full weeks into the journey. My eyes are already opening wider. Trina, I just may make it to Phoenix, and Yvonne, I just may make it to Houston!