My surprise weekend in Idyllwild was a welcome respite from the heat of the Valley and recent stressful events. I’d just finished my first-ever experience with jury duty (more on that in another post), and I’d just turned 40. So getting away from it all was just what the doctor ordered–figuratively AND literally, since Dr. Mike made all the plans.
We toured the small village of shops and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. I came to believe that Idyllwild is the perfect getaway for the Baby Boomer generation. I loved the quiet mountain village atmosphere–the town of 3,000 is isolated because it is surrounded by state and national park land, and there is a city rule that chains are not allowed (except for Chevron and Shell gas). Restaurants and groceries are all independently owned. But the focus seems to be a perfect fit for my mom’s generation. The restaurants are fine, but they feature dishes that were all the rage in the 80s when the generation before mine started making money. Groups of sixtysomethings rode their Harleys into town and ate barbecue while bands covered Van Morrison, the Beatles, and the Doors. There was 60s karaoke. Gift shops sold nostalgia candy, fancy soaps, and other things that seem popular with my parents’ peers. Clothing for sale would appeal to women who shop at Chico’s back home. Not bad, just not my demographic. Nevertheless, I had a great time.
Since I’m used to waking up at dawn during the week, I let the sick man sleep in and walked to the nearby coffee shop in the morning. It was beautiful to walk among the tall pines and watch the sun come over the mountain. I brought along my other fabulous birthday gift–my new iPad! I sipped coffee, browsed the web, and downloaded all the necessary apps. I also sipped far too much coffee, leading to the caffeine hiatus mentioned in a previous post.
In addition to eating and shop browsing, I visited the local historical society and the nature center. There was also an ‘earth fest’ at the town hall, which was right next to our lodge. It was a fun event, with local groups sharing information about state parks, local fauna, native plants, and more. We met a woman who LOVES bat and shared bat trivia with us. We saw kids holding slices of watermelon in the butterfly tent, delighted at watching the pretty insects land on and enjoy the fruit. And most importantly, we met a ranger who was there to educate people about invasive and dangerous insects. He had a deck of playing cards that feature California pests and was generous enough to give them to us. You cannot imagine how much the bf loves that deck of cards!
I look forward to returning to Idyllwild over the summer to enjoy the cool air. I’ll probably camp, bring along the pup, and explore the trails next time.