I’m loving California! (Don’t worry, folks back home, so far I’m still going back east eventually.) The day started with a great breakfast and conversation with Todd, followed by a brief walk among the Redwoods, since he knows how much I love trees. They were incredible, gentle giants – and Todd explained that these – some of which are a few hundred years old – are the babies. I can’t wait to see the parents!
I was sad to bid him farewell, but glad to know that some friendships are forever enduring, it doesn’t matter how much time or distance there is. I feel like I gain new insights with everyone I visit, and take a piece of them with me along my journey. So I guess I am really never alone…
It wasn’t long before I arrived in Los Gatos to visit my uncle Luke and aunt Laura. (Yes, General Hospital fans, I am staying with Luke and Laura!) Despite the weather, they gave me a whirlwind tour of the area. It reminded me so much of being with my Dad and Maggie – very warm, welcoming and comforting, and including a chauffeured tour around town, learning all sorts of interesting tidbits about the area and people, just like my time with my parents. We went for a rollercoaster ride through the Santa Cruz mountains, complete with peaks and dips and hairpin turns – and fabulous views, although there weren’t really safe places to stop for pictures.
The San Gregorio General Store was our first stop. It is the neatest place, everything rolled into one: a live band, bar, restaurant, book store, post cards, gifts, clothes – you name it, they have it. A true old-fashioned general store. We sipped our hot beverages, soaked in the atmosphere and browsed the goodies. (Luke said I fit right in with my cowboy boots.) I was tempted, but continue to hold strong, resisting major purchases – hope you’re proud of me! Pescadero Beach was next, with crashing waves and crazy surfers. It was a first for me – wearing cowboy boots on the beach. I let Luke do the wading and he found a big starfish, which he saved by throwing back in the water.
It would be hard to say what the best part of the day was, but Pigeon Point Lighthouse might be it. Seeing the lighthouse up close was great, but I especially loved the seals basking in, well, not exactly sun, but in the light, rain and wind. No, the weather didn’t seem to bother them a bit. We even witnessed a baby trying his hardest to join the others on the rock. Eventually he succeeded, but it took him awhile. And I can’t forget Luke’s favorite part: the old whale bones by the lighthouse. Final sight-seeing stop: Greyhound Rock in Davenport, a monster sitting in the ocean by a small beach, complete with caves to explore.
The evening was a culinary delight – at least in my eyes! Melt-in-your-mouth clam chowder and calamari at Zelda’s on the water in Santa Cruz, followed by ice cream at Powell’s Sweet Shop in Los Gatos (raspberry white chocolate for Laura, banana chocolate chip for Luke and strawberry cheesecake for me), and finally concluded with espressos, lattes and caramel hot apple cider at Starbucks. Yes, we rolled home, admiring the Halloween decorations on the way…