Sunday, January 20, 2008


In the Land of As-Good-As-It-Gets

It's been nearly 18 years since I forsook the sweet life of the Monterey Bay to seek my life's partner in the Green Mountain State. Mine were the crossroads at the time, so I made the move.

I've never stopped loving the Monterey Bay, however. We've had indecently splendid weather these past few days, and everywhere I have gone I have been surrounded by reminders of why I dubbed the place The Land of As Good As It Gets.

We've walked down fisherman's wharves and
found harbor seals loafing in the water, their dear little flippers raised like so many solar collectors. Ahhhh! This is livin'!

As numerous as groovin' seals are thrashin' surfers. I have a special place in my heart for these folks, since surfing was my sport of choice in my youth. Now with arthritic knees that make getting up on land a chore, never mind the water on a fast-moving board, I still find myself watching these water-based acrobats and
thinking, go to it. You have the right idea.This is what life should be! I'd be with them if I could. There's nothing like the wonderful drop in your stomach as you catch the wave and realize that you are still standing. Nothing!

Of the pleasures left, long walks are a staple. In these temps, what's not to like? As I write this it's all of 14 degrees at home. We've walked beaches and redwoods here, down to tee shirts because we've gotten so warm. One of the treats of New Brighton Beach is a collection of
rock sculptures, balancing acts by one or more of the locals making use of raw materials and burnished imagination.

I found myself thinking of the day after the Loma Prieta earthquake. Everyone was on bicycles because the quake had knocked out the power--no gas
available-- and I pedaled downtown to see what was left of it. (Brick buildings that have been built on a flood plain don't do too well in an earthquake). There, amid the rubble on Front Street stood a little bubble machine, powered by its own small generator. In Santa Cruz, beauty and whimsy will always trump destruction and depression.

When we headed for Natural Bridges State Beach, I realized that in January the monarch butterflies should still be in the trees. Long chains of millions of them usually hang from the eucalyptus groves, their members lazily drifting in the sun when temperatures rise above 60 degrees. We should have had perfect weather; however a huge storm two weeks ago sent trees crashing and monarchs fleeing, exiled to God know where. So no butterflies this visit.

I cap off this post with an enduring image of Santa Cruz: a
sand artist, aflame with the mix of sun, sand, and salt water, still reminding us that in 2008 we must work for peace.

I will always miss the Monterey Bay, the real estate boom here having dashed any hopes I might ever hold for a return to the area. All it lacked was the love of my life. But that was enough to turn me eastward. She has been worth the trip, and someday we will migrate together to the property I bought on the more affordable Oregon coast, just up from here.

Tomorrow: I interview my bro' on life under the Guvernator!

As a fellow Californian in exile in Texas, I loved this entry. The pic of the sand artist was nothing short of fantastic!
Have a great time, sweetie.
I love Monterey. Jesus & I keep talking about driving up the coast to protest the aquarium. Enjoy your trip.
Wonderful pics and post dear Lulu.

I live in Cali and you made me very homesick for the coast. God, I hate being in the San Joaquin valley!

Housing prices keep me here too damn it.
Oh thank you, for sharing made my whole weekend...I used to live near Monterrey for a little while ( almost 2 years)we lived in Pacific Grove and we used to be able to walk down to the Aquarium on the trail by the Beach....

( used to live 2 blocks from the Beach- Lovers Point- can't believe they call it that...such a wonderful place...if I ever ever hit Lotto I am going back....)
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