Posts Tagged ‘Carmel’

PART 8 – DAVID AND SANDY ON THE ROAD – SAN FRANCISCO AND BEYOND

(To recap:  my dear friend David had been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and wanted to travel the United States, seeing places he hadn’t seen, returning to places he loved, and visiting friends and relatives along the way.  He invited me along, and since neither of us was flush with money, we drove in his tiny car,  stayed in inexpensive or free places, and he gifted me with memories to last a life time.  Nothing special, just good times and a new perspective on life.)

To continue –

We finally found David’s grandmother’s San Francisco townhouse through the fog and even though it was fairly late,  she was up and waiting for us to arrive.  Her home was very comfy,  in a row of similar places, garage underneath and two levels of living space above.  She was telling me how David always referred to her as his feisty grandma and she had looked the word up in the dictionary and found out that it meant “full of feist”  – feist meant gassy, so she chastised him for calling her an old gas bag!  (Actually, I looked it up and it more or less refers to “breaking wind”, so guess she was kind of right!) How cute.  Eight-eight years old this week and “full of feist”!

She had made up the guest room for us and David told her he would be fine on his sleeping bag in the den.  She said she understood that young people today shared rooms without benefit of marriage and that she wouldn’t be offended if we slept together.  We told her that we appreciated that, but that we were old fashioned and wouldn’t dream of being disrespectful.  Guess she didn’t know David was gay and of course knew nothing of his illness.  Thank goodness.

The next morning, David was up bright and early and ready to hit the road again.  Determined to see what we had missed yesterday because of the fog and impending darkness, we hopped in “Tracy” and headed south via the interstate highway and within a few hours we were back near Carmel and Monterrey.

Back on the Pacific Coast highway and once again encountering breath-taking views of the coast.  Today was sunny and bright and we were back on our adventure!  Found the Carmel Mission in the little town and toured the beautiful gardens, went in to the chapel where Father Junipero Serra had established another of his string of missions up and down the California coast.  Beautiful and inspiring.

Mission Carmel

Mission Carmel - Oil

Drove around the town and out to “7-mile drive” where we saw Pebble Beach, sea lions barking from the rock formations on the coast, purportedly Clint Eastwood’s house (one-time mayor of Carmel) and the famous Lone Cypress tree growing out of one of the rocks jutting out of the coast line.

In front of the famous "lone cypress tree" near Carmel

Watched a little sea otter floating on his back and performing for onlookers.  Had someone take our picture and we were on our way back up the coast, through beautiful farm country, past lighthouses, canneries and more.

Back to Grandma Green’s house in time for a lovely dinner which she had prepared for us and lots of fun conversation about the most recent earthquake (eeks) and how her furniture had fallen over and broken a lot of her china and crystal.  She didn’t seem perturbed at all, just happy and “feisty”.

To be continued…

PART SEVEN – DAVID AND SANDY ON THE ROAD – LEAVING LA AND THE PCH

The next morning, David drove me over Mulholland Drive to the Pacific Coast Highway.  Saw huge houses and more of Beverly Hills – a bit sad to be leaving LA and Hollywood.  Didn’t really have enough time here to see everything but I’ll be back.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is David’s trip and we are pretty much going where he wants to go.  Actually he has been wonderful about taking me to places I want to see, so I can’t complain at all.

Got out at the Santa Monica Pier and walked along the beach.  Saw rollerbladers, bikers, body builders, etc.  Everything I have seen out here makes me feel I’ve been here before – it is so familiar because of all the films and TV shows they film out here.

Too bad it was kind of foggy misty, but interesting anyway.  Breeze off the Pacific Ocean kind of nippy.  Had a burger, took some pictures and bought some cards.

Drove up the coast through more familiar-looking areas along Malibu, etc.  Still very hazy and hard to take pictures.  Over Malibu Canyon road back to the freeway towards Bakersfield.  Gorgeous mountains between LA and the desert, past Magic Mountain amusement park.

Since David had lived in Bakersfield at one time, he had some good friends that he called and they asked us to come stay with them.  (Another notch in the old “mooching belt”)  They were so thrilled to see him and took us out to dinner, around town, to a car wash to get some of the grime off our little car, and back to their house to catch  up on old times.  David has not told many of his friends his health issues because he wanted to be treated without any sympathy, etc.

Then it was back to the California coast line at San Luis Obispo and the awesome scenery began.  We must have stopped at every rest area along the Pacific Coast Highway to take pictures and just gaze at the craggy shorelines and the beautiful ocean.  I have so many photos that will make gorgeous oil paintings and I will be remembering this for a life time.

When we came to the area where Hearst Castle loomed over the hills, we stopped into the gift shop to see just how much a tour of the castle at San Simeon would cost.  WAY over our budgets, so we took lots of pictures and bought some books!  We were later to learn that David’s grandmother grew up in one of the mini-mansions which surround the castle as her father was a teacher to the Hearst children.  Interesting.

California Coast Painting - 36"x24" - Oil - $900

Passed the Big Sur area – GORGEOUS – and had wanted to stop in the Monterey/Carmel area, but the fog was rolling in and we decided to head straight to San Francisco before it got too dark and hard to see to drive.

By the time we got there, the fog was so thick that David had a difficult time finding the street where his grand mother lived.  As we crept up to each intersection in the little car, we felt as if we were the only ones on the road.  David would carefully drive while I called out the street names.

I finally said,  “David, do you see anything you recognize?”  and he responded,

“Well, YOU look kind of familiar…”

And then we found Grandma’s house!

To Be Continued

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