Just as I did when I moved to Seattle from the East Coast, I assumed that it would be easy to breeze into Santa Cruz, throw up some craigslist ads, hang some flyers and voila! find a place to live, generate some income and run some groups.
Not so fast!
Again, I’m learning that even if the people in a community would truly benefit from my services, my approach, my experience and my viewpoint, I need to take time to build relationships and establish trust before that opening can happen. But happen it can, if I find ways to meet people and establish myself fairly quickly.
After a few days of hotel hopping, we saw a really good weekly rate being offered on craigslist at a sweet historical bed and breakfast called The Bay View Hotel. It was built in 1878 by Joseph Arano. Currently it is run by a couple Christina Locke and Giovanni Guerisoli, with seven kids and lots o health and personnel issues who are trying to hold onto the place. The hotel restaurant Borolo was featured last spring on Restaurant Impossible in the hopes that it might turn the place around. It helped for a few months, but their problems were bigger than a 48-hour, $10,000 fix could repair. Who knows what their future holds?
Our room was small and cozy and very pink.. The prints on the walls—mostly old-fashioned prints of kids that looked like miniature adults—were dusty and a bit creepy. People spoke about the ghosts running around the place. I never heard any. The restaurant was busy and loud on Friday and Saturday nights with live music and lots of drinking.
We stayed a full week and were grateful to have a place to land but knew we needed something more long-term.
One afternoon while having tea, we met an open-hearted man at a natural foods store and cafe who invited us to attend his Kundalini Yoga class held each Wednesday in Monterey. It is held in a beautiful video recording studio and broadcast live on the internet. Since I love yoga, I was eager to attend. it was a well attended and energizing class. After class, he introduced us to his wife who having heard about our travels asked us if we would we like to rent one of the rooms in their house. We went home with them that night to check it out. Both Sikhs, they own a beautiful house (white adobe walls, Saltillo tile floors, skylights and lots of wood) they built themselves on five sprawling acres near Castroville (the artichoke capital of the world). They live their with their adult son and his girlfriend, another Sikh couple and various overnight guests who stay in their spare rooms advertised on Air BnB.
We enjoyed the first night but hesitated because we thought it was too far out in the country. After another several days of looking in Santa Cruz and finding nothing, we decided to work with the distance and we moved in. The sound of the birds every morning and frogs croaking every night and tea and yoga on the sun drenched deck every day put to rest any considerations about being away from the activities of Santa Cruz. Photos will be posted in an upcoming post...stay tuned!