What attracted you to Monterey
I'd been going to different hot springs all over California. I'm
from Ottawa, Canada, originally, so anything that's Pacific
Ocean-oriented was amazing to me. California as a state is just my
fantasy state. It's warm and it's dry and it's on the ocean. I
really love it. And I love that what California is made fun of for
is also one of its greatest charms, which is an openness to the
esoteric and an openness to metaphysical understandings. Northern
California, in particular. I just consider that part of the state -
if I'm to generalize - really open-minded. And that's a really
great quality, in my opinion.
What was your first visit to the Monterey Bay area
The first visit was a trip with some friends to Esalen, in Big Sur.
It's a very famous kind of communal place with natural hot springs.
They're world-famous for the Esalen massage - it's really intense.
The hot springs area is clothing-optional, kind of old-school. They
are open to having people come in just for room and board, but
typically people go there to do workshops, for everything from
health to eating disorders. It's very wellness-based. It's
incredible to see the locale itself - the land is all right on the
cliffs. It's gorgeous. Esalen has a meditation room. You can take
hikes. Huxley is the main big room; I did a Five Rhythms Dance
Workshop there. There are different yurts - you know, tents - where
they do yoga, and there's an art barn where they have paint and
stuff you can make. They have gardens everywhere and grow much of
the food that they cook. You walk down this hill and all of the
baths are literally right on the cliffs. There's a big house where
you can rent rooms if you want to bring a whole gang of people.
It's about a 60-minute drive from Monterey, and it's where I go
when I need to get away from the height of intensity of the
pop-culture world that I'm in, that I love - but sometimes I need
to get away.