My sister-in-law lives in an almost excruciatingly pretty place.
(So does my other SIL, but one at a time.)
After you walk up the gentle hill from my house, past the just-starting-to-turn-golden apple tree and the funny giant rock that marks the head of the wild strawberry patch, after you pass the white-painted fire hall and go over the bailey bridge,
(The retaining mesh shakes on the bridge. It can make a small girl uneasy enough to walk her bike instead of pedaling like the wind.)
her driveway sweeps down through trees that hold their branches across the way to create an airy tunnel, the leaves rippling in the breeze overhead, sighing at your approach. Underfoot are smooth pebbles and the odd pine cone and the curling remnants of last season's fallen leaves, but mainly smooth hard-packed soil and meekly low-growing vegetation, careful not to sprout above the level where mufflers will scorch the leaves. There are nooks you can stop in - a small outcropping of rock overlooking the chuckling water, a larger grassy space where the August heat blends the scents of fallen pine cones and sun-bleached wood into a wall of scent that yanks you back into summers past and makes you both wistful and pensive, remembering other roads, other freedoms, other wind-in-your-hair moments when you were just yourself, not anyone's daughter or friend, only yourself, careening down a country road, shouting into the wind.
It's a long smooth stretch, perfect to take bikes down, good for giant swoops and loops and curves and the all-over-the-road acrobatics that come from just starting out with five gears instead of one and being insanely interested in the processes going on in the gear lifter behind you. It's long enough so that a boy on a new bike can outpace his furiously pedaling shorter-legged sibling and get some road
And the river mirrors the insanely blue sky and the last of the beach roses send notes of their high sweetness into the air and the world is perfect.