Way back last fall, SVV told me he wanted to take me to some bad ass natural hot springs way up in the Sierra Nevadas for my birthday. There would be camping involved. I’m kind of a snob with my hotels these days—go figure—but I said sure nonetheless. February rolled around. There was never another mention of the getaway. So I planned my own soiree. On my birthday day, SVV admitted, “I don’t have you a present. I had this whole weekend at the springs I was banking on, but then you had to go and make other plans.” Oops. But in all fairness, he hadn’t mentioned it in, like, four months. By that time I figured it must have been an afterthought.
“That’s fine, though,” he said, “we’ll just go another time. How’s March for you?” I responded in bemusement, “surely, you must know me better than that. My schedule’s booked solid through May!” Not only was it true, but I think part of my allure is that air of mystique—I’m sometimes hard to pin down, even if you are my boyfriend, and you often never quite know where I’ll pop up next. Admit it, that’s why you like me, no?
When I got back from Florida, it was another couple days of guidebook smackdown, but SVV is out of work through mid-summer thanks to the motorcycle incident, so once I logged a couple more 20-hour work days and surrendered my Mac to the Genius doctors for a couple days of check-ups—meaning, I really had nothing else left to do—we decided to take the long-awaited jaunt to the Sierras midweek. We drove and drove and then drove some more. It was about a four-hour drive, with seventy bazillion stops, that totaled seven hours trip time. But in the end, we wound up in the barren stretch of land that is Sierraville.
I most surely thought SVV was taking me here to kill me. Other than some asinine cows for company, and the lone general store and Mexican joint, there was nothing—or no one—for miles.
In our two days at the springs, we also spotted some other friendly creatures, like the sunbathing, blue-bellied lizards.
And some more menacing foes, like this snake. Funny enough, after I spotted her, another snake slithered out from behind the rock, and they started making snake whoopie. I swear it. It was one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever witnessed, comparable to electrifying a cat: They jumped and violently twirled in the air, at times nearly standing on the tips of their tails, intertwined like a pair of vines. We tried to get them on film, but they quickly dispersed as we approached. After my experience with the belugas at the Georgia Aquarium, I should probably just stop at that. Ever since that occurence last Christmas, “animal porn” has been the number one search term that brings people to this site.
I guess I should mention that the springs…were clothing optional. And Californians, well, they take that offer seriously (hi, Mom!). Not a soul was wearing garments (in the baths, that is), and being the Southern belle that I am, I blushed more than once when an old man would strike up a friendly conversation in the pools, as his twig and berries shamelessly floated about like a couple of oversized Skittles on the International Space Station.
SVV had been to these springs before, many moons ago. They were very hippy-dippy-trippy, but in a good sort of way. And how cool to be surrounded by such barren wildlife as the sulrur penetrates your bones. I haven’t felt or heard that much quiet in such a long time ever. And the weather couldn’t have been more perfect; given my track record, that’s a miracle in itself.
The camping part of the experience wasn’t so bad either, as SVV is a fella who camps in style. Not only did we haul all the bedding from our home to the mountains, we also loaded up my car with every single blanket in the linen closet. In the end, I’d dare say it was nearly as comfortable as our brand new Vera Wang mattress.
It was a very relaxing time—heck, I was even inspired to turn off my BlackBerry for 24 hours, and I’m addicted to that thing. On the way back home Wednesday, we scenically veered around Lake Tahoe, had subpar bagels in Truckee, stopped over by Auburn to beat the 90-degree heat by taking a dip in a heart-stoppingly chilly reservoir, and got engaged. Kind of the recipe for a perfect day, wouldn’t you say?
*All photos taken by my FIANCE, SVV. He hates that word—though admits it’s better than “beau,” which I’ve used on more than one occasion, much to his dismay—but I’ll use it to my little heart’s content. FIANCE, FIANCE, FIANCE.
Story to come, kids. Hang on to your horses.
Cameras: Canon XTi, 17-85mm lens, Canon SD870 point-and-shoot.