Upon You I’ve Stumbled

 
Dear Verana,

In the past two months I’ve stumbled twice and both times it has been upon love. One of those particular times has you at the very center. Two months ago my best friend and I sat in her living room and described to each other our perfect plan for  our Summer Vacation. We described a place remote that is tropical but not overpopulated. Someplace where we can just as easily go to the beach or take a hike through the mountains. Oh, and wouldn’t it be lovely if we could also do yoga as the sun was rising and eat lots of good authentic food?  We wanted to escape, we wanted to relax. We didn’t know yet that it was you we wanted. 

I began researching and like magic you fell into my lap. At first glance I was a little skeptical. A plane, a taxi, a boat, a mule and a hike just to get to paradise. That doesn’t exactly sound like the relaxing moment we’d been hoping for. Until… I kept researching the heart of who you are and the more I got to know you the more I realized love is so many things and we can spend our whole life creating lists of the perfect descriptors to describe the perfect moment of happiness but when have you ever heard of a list that described the journey to get there? How often have you heard a young woman dreaming of her Prince Charming say: 

– I want him to be dating several woman, none of them the right one, and even after he meets me I want him to take his time realizing I’m the only one he’s ever wanted and slowly untangle himself from all the other women he’s involved with.

– I hope he has a child by some other woman and I really hope that woman prohibits me from spending any time getting to know her child and at times even using their child to manipulate him into spending less time with me. Gosh, I hope he has this whole other part of his life that I struggle to be part of even though the very thing I want is to continually grow closer to him.

– I hope I fall in love with him before he’s even sure whether or not he likes me. 

– It would be amazing if one of my friends has a friend who has previously dated him and I spend the first three months of our dating life hearing every little bit about him from my friend who hears it from her friend. 

– Maybe his mom will hate me at first and it will take every ounce of love, patience and commitment to her son for me to change her mind but in the meantime, I’ll have to bear her scorn every time we go to visit. 

Never. Never do we make the list of the journey towards love. Always we just want the love. Verana, in this season of love you have taught me it is just as much about the journey as it is about the moment when we arrive.

This is the journey of love, the things we never dream of but that are always so true as we hike toward our final destination. We know paradise is around the corner and we know the destination will be worth the journey but that journey is so daunting we risk never getting there for fear of the plane, the taxi, the boat, the mule and the hike. 

We booked and we began the journey and on Wednesday evening as the journey ended and we crested the top of Valle del Sierra Madre Occidental we knew that even though the journey had been arduous at times and even though we had doubted it in moments it was well worth every moment for we had arrived in paradise and once there we hoped to never leave. 

Love is like this as well. Remember, I started by saying twice this year I’ve stumbled and twice it has been upon love. This story, the moment we fell in love with what will likely be our last vacation destination spot (now that we’ve found paradise we no longer need to do research, we’ll just keep coming back) runs parallel to the moment two months ago when I fell in love for the last time. I stumbled, literally. 

Who leaves a water bottle in the middle of an event where all women are wearing 4 inch heels or higher!?!?

The journey was uphill. There were times I wanted to change course, give up, begged for something easier and then I crested the mountain into paradise and I know for sure I will never leave, never love another as much and never want for anything different again. 

A moment before the top of Sierra Madre Occidental our guide stopped to show us a Koi Pond full of Lilypads and I wanted to scream “just leave me here, roll the cot down, this is perfect. I can’t go any further!” but I bit my lip and turned foward and when our moment of rest was over and ten paces later we stepped foot onto the base of Verana, standing in wait were two glasses of lemonade, a hostess and Welcome Massages! 

Paradise.

Once our body temperature had settled down and we were sufficiently taking full breaths of air once again we were shown to our room. Every bit of research I’d done, every travel blog, the article in Sunset magazine, all the reviews couldn’t speak for the moment we saw Casa Piedra, one of the 10 Boutique Homes that make up Vernana, a resort created by couple Heinz Legler and Veronique Lievre of Topanga Canyon. Our breath was literally taken away and every amenity was thought of before we could even ask.  

 We had not one but two sets of private steps to and from the pool and the main dining area. There was a birdcage where every morning coffee and tea and sugar and handmade pastries would be placed and present upon our waking. The pool was literally cut from the mountains and spilled over into the jungle. Once dusk hit our lights would be turned on, every candle lit and our mosquito netting properly tucked into our bed to await our arrival once we were ready to close our eyes for the evening. Something we couldn’t imagine doing. We took it all in and we exhaled and exhaled and exhaled again. We had found paradise and fallen in love. 

 
Despite never wanting to leave we knew we couldn’t bask in the arms of our newly found love forever and as we prepared to say good-bye on our fourth day to our chef who knew our every meal preference without having even asking, our bartender who continued to anticipate every need and make the perfect margarita, our yoga instructor who led us through sunrise yoga and our hostess who had become family we knew the journey would never again keep us from the destination for once you’ve fallen in love, you’ll do whatever it takes to return again and again. 

Verana, we thank you for the most amazing experience one could have asked for but even more we thank you for at the center of all your greatness you reminded us of the most amazing thing. It is not just about finding love, falling in love, it is about knowing that at the center of it all it is exactly what you deserve. 

Love Always, 

Sunny  

  

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