Stacie McChesney


adventure + travel // El Capitan Canyon, California

This year for my birthday I wanted to get out of the city to a place where I could hit the reset button. A place that was quiet and close to nature without the distractions of work, computers, and all the other electronics that now cloud our lives. It's been a year since I quit my 9-5 job and though I absolutely have no regrets, I am having difficulties finding a work-life balance. Owning your own business is incredibly rewarding but equally as challenging because it seems as though the work never stops. Therefore, to truly experience this birthday I knew I needed to get away from my home office to a place just far enough away to almost be unreachable.

It was a quick getaway - just three days and two nights - but it was exactly what I needed. Being off season and mid-week, we almost had the place to ourselves - it was truly peaceful. Each morning, just before the sun came up, the birds would start to sing. By the time the first of the sun's rays hit the canyon it seemed like every bird imaginable was chirping. It was the most incredible sound. We did so much in such a short time - we hiked, biked, went to the beach, spotted a gray whale with her calf just off the coast, we ate delicious food at the cafe, Bret expertly cooked our dinners over campfire, I had a wonderful massage followed by an amazing outdoor shower under sycamore trees, Bret gave me the best inspirational gift - an Ellen von Unwerth photo book, and he sang happy birthday to me as I giggled at the sparkler candle stuck in a cookie. We completely enjoyed ourselves and our time together with out any work distractions. It was better than I could have imagined and one of my best birthdays yet.