Our journey to the California Tantra Festival was quite the blast! We always enjoy a good road trip when we can afford the time. This road trip was a round trip of 4,000 miles over 10 days.
It was the first trip in our new little the car the Ninja we hit 10,000 miles in it and we have only had her for 5 months. It was also our first trip with our lovely assistant Rainbow Melanie. She was fun to have around and she had never been on a road trip, to a National Park, to the west coast or to a Tantra Festival. So we had lots of fun giving her many firsts.
We believe in enjoying the journey along the way and being present in the moment. Most of our time in the car is spent in good conversation, singing and some meditating as we gaze at the beauty of the big skies and beautiful countryside.
The first day we left in the evening and drove all night across Texas and made our first real stop in Arizona at the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks. We spent a few hours there stopping to admire the beauty and walk among the petrified forest.
Then we carried on to the Grand Canyon. On our way we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona to have dinner with one of Rainbow’s friends. We enjoy connecting with friends whenever possible.
We arrived at the Grand Canyon late in the evening and got to bed so that we may enjoy the sunrise the next day.
We actually woke early and made it to the best sunrise spot in the Grand Canyon to fully enjoy the magic of the dawning of the new day. It was pretty magical watching the sun crest the horizon then spread her rays across the canyon. It was like a surprise party to see how the canyon would look as the sun shifted through it.
We took advantage of the magical feel to the place and did a full tantric practice at the edge of the world. I really like doing GAIASETS in beautiful natural areas. I always tap into feeling the magical love of the place. I feel really connected with the earth, grounded, present and all my senses feel heightened and awakened. I feel the love pouring in from all around and I feel especially connected with my honey when we get to do it together.
After breakfast we decided to hike down into the Canyon a bit along the Angel Trail, the most popular trail into the canyon. We hiked a mile down to the lower tunnel and then hiked back up. Hiking down was easy. I was super glad a mile was as far as we went on the hike back up. I led the group, but I’m like an uphill sprinter. I go fast for a while, then I need to rest. I was surely missing having big dogs to help pull me up. Maybe one day we will go back and actually get to ride the mules down and back up.
We thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the day and made it to the opposite end of the park for sunset. Sunset was just as touching as sunrise. Rainbow cried from the beauty and I almost cried. So much magic in the air at those times of changing light.
The stars were absolutely magnificent as well. We could see the milky way and shooting stars. Plus it was a new moon and clear skies. If only we could see such lovely night skies all the time. It was another first for Rainbow. She has never seen the milky way before.
The next day we drove to Vegas. I love stopping by Vegas after visiting the Grand Canyon. It’s such a contrast. Scott spent hours in the car researching the best buffet to go to. We are a fan of buffets. The buffet at the Wynn Hotel won. We had never eaten at that buffet before. We got there right at the interchange between brunch and dinner so we got to sample a selection from both menus. My favorite food on the whole buffett was a delicious tapioca chia seed pudding with fruit. It was quite unique and so good I wanted nothing else.
The Wynn Casino Hotel had a carousel made of flowers, a giant rainbow bear and we saw a big heart along the way.
When in doubt, choose love. - tantric proverb
We drove late into the night to the small town near Sequoia National Park. We decided to enter Sequoia early in the morning and enjoy a few hikes among the massive trees. It was a first time visit for both Leyla and Rainbow. It was only my second visit and I absolutely love that park. It felt so good to be among the giant trees breathing in the super oxygenated fresh air. I decided Sequoias must be exceptionally divine as they have tree yonis. Every one of them has a giant womb that fits at least one or more person. And all of us together can’t even begin to encircle these tree giants. We really had an ecstatic time playing and exploring among the giant groves.
We continued driving that day to Saratoga Springs in Upper Lake, CA. We got there around midnight. Our room which was originally going to have beds for 3 had 2 queen beds in it. So it was fate we should arrive as a party of 4. The girls thought they would camp there, but it was so chilly at night they asked if they could just stay in the cabin with us. Both Rainbow and Leyla ended up volunteering in the kitchens for breakfast duty each day. They learned all about sending love into the food as they prepared it.
I absolutely loved the California Tantra Festival. It was like a family reunion of sorts as many of the people we spent a month in Bali with at the Tribal Tantra facilitator training we went to last year were there and comprised of much of the healing, volunteer and facilitator team. Eugene Hedlund who ran the training and ran the festival did a good job creating a sense of tribe. He decided to run the festival in the surrender of flow. Every morning the facilitators got together for a morning meeting and we discussed what we felt in the group field of the festival and what we felt was needed. Then we proposed our ideas for the day and figured out who would teach what. It made us a little nervous, felt exciting and felt surrendering to divine plan and flow. I loved how we felt like a family sharing our gifts with the world.
I really enjoyed the classes we taught. We led the opening evening workshop where we set the container and discussed boundaries, consent and negotiating your desires. I felt honored to get to lead that ceremony. We also taught a class on What is Tantra and How to Bring it Into Your Life and Sexual Empowerment.
We made many a great new friends over the course of the festival and bonded deeper with Leyla and Rainbow. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the other facilitators better. The property at Saratoga Springs was nearly burned to the ground in the fires that happened less than a month before hand. Miraculously it was a property the firefighters deemed worth saving and they fought the fire to the very edge of the property and managed to save it. Wildlife was in abundance and filled the grounds.
After the festival we caravaned south another car full of people to Berkley, CA. We had a lovely dinner together then had brunch together the next morning and got to see the lovely town of Berkley.
San Diego was our next destination and quite the drive south from us still. On our way we managed to make it to the beach for dinner at Pismo Beach. We took some time to frolic together along the beach and on the swings as we enjoyed the beautiful sunset. Dinner was great and we had the best waiter ever! We celebrated our anniversary of one week of all being together on our journey. We were even gifted free creme brulee my favorite dessert!
We made it all the way to San Diego that evening. The next couple days we enjoyed spending some time with our San Diego friends and enjoyed seeing the beach from a few different views. We enjoyed some sacred shopping. And we saw many of our friends at a mellow party thrown in our honor. I love having friends in the city we are visiting. Seeing friends is our favorite part of traveling.
On our last day in San Diego we spent some time meditating in some lovely meditation gardens soaking up the beauty of the gardens and the ocean and enjoying each others company.
Leyla loved San Diego as well and the people she met there and decided to stay there for a bit. We felt like we were leaving a family member behind. I knew though that we would see her again soon.
So off we went just the three of us back home to Texas driving straight through. Scott is a great long distance driver. I think he drove a solid 19 hours all himself straight through the night and into the morning. It took 23 hours for us to return home.
As much fun as it is to be gone, it’s also fun to return home. My dogs were so happy to see us.