Submitted: February 3, 2013
Stayed: March 2012
I'm writing this review because I just finalized dates to go back to this cabin for the second time, and Vida deserves the good press.
I'm a writer, and I live in Orange County, which is great and all but I get sick of its prefabricated feel. Not always inspiring. I also teach college, which means that I'm always working -- not that I work a million hours a week, but that I'm never really 'off' -- weekends, nights, anytime...I could theoretically be working. And I'm always working at *home*. So last year, I decided to take off to the desert for my spring break so I could 1) get away from the school-aura that hangs around my apartment at all times and 2) do some writing in a new natural environment. I'd never been to the desert so I was kind of scared -- I'm very much a coastal person. But I got a good feeling about the place from the pictures, reviews, and from my communications with Vida. Plus the U2 album I listened to in middle school.
Anyway, with that groundwork laid: the place is great! I had a phenomenally relaxing and productive week. Finished a manuscript, did a lot of journal writing, couldn't wait to get out of bed in the morning, stopped watching Netflix and checking email compulsively, and breathed deeply of solitude. I had a small smile on my face the entire time, I'm pretty sure (though only the jackrabbit in the yard would really know). I used absolutely every amenity in the place -- hammock, firepit, fireplace, tv, wifi, jacuzzi, desk, cd player, kitchen, airconditioner....and everything worked just fine. It took me a while to figure out the flue, honestly, had to google it, but I pretty much figured it out. And it's isolated enough I slept with the curtains open so I could wake up to morning sun (also an impossibility in my first-floor Irvine Company apartment). I was so far away from what my day-to-day is, but it didn't feel uncomfortable, either. The property is a bit windblown around the edges but it's the desert, so duh. I like that about it anyway; it's down-to-earth, approachable, solid. Inside, the decor and layout are clean, usable, and just arty enough that it's easy on the eyes but not so much you're distracted by it.
I can't say enough about that week. And come January this year, I started, out of nowhere, smelling heat that rises from desert dust in a quick storm, and dry clean air, and woodsmoke. I didn't even mean to go back, but it just came over me. And I can't wait.
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