Monday, August 18, 2008

Mark's Favorite Out-West Memories II

Hi! Mark again. Here are some of the shots of happy, frozen children frolicking in the ocean at Carmel by the Sea.

Constructing the sand pit... Twenty feet away, another family built a sand-hill perfectly symmetrical to the one our kids dug.

The Spanish Mission at Carmel. Lovely inside and out, with beautiful gardens.

In the Napa Valley, we had to stop in on the old Christian Brothers winery. It's been turned into the Cooking Institute of America. But it has a museum of winery-related objects, such as rows and rows of formidable casks. Here, we make merry, without even having sampled the product.

My favorite natural beauty of the trip was here. The Russian River runs into the Pacific Ocean just west of the Napa Valley. It is a lovely blue river, winding between green mountains, widening as it goes. And the ocean itself is wild, untamed, rocky, not like sandy, gentle Eastern oceans.

Here, we descend to Goat's Point (or something like that). We re-named it Schultz Cove. Hey, its in the time-honored spirit of exploration to ignore whatever the indigenous population calls something, right? This was the hairy part. Just past us the path turns right and for about twenty yards, there is a sheer drop to rocks. We held onto the kids and kept our eyes on the path. As long as nobody actually fell, it's not child abuse, yes?

And then, expansive joy at the bottom. (And more tempting freezing water beckons, though we mostly kept them out for lack of a change of clothes.)

Who'd a thunk American oceans can look like this?

One of the many uses of driftwood...


Lorrie and Fred said...

Just beautiful- the name Carmel by the Sea has a lovely lilting sound to it! Thanks for sharing your memories-the next best thing to being there for us!.Hope we can visit these lovely spots someday!

teresa anthony said...

There is a beautiful picture book called "The Song of the Swallows", that we've signed out from the library several times over the years. It tells of the legend of the swallows returning to the mission in San Juan Capistrano, California, on the feast of St. Joseph (your wedding anniversary) every year. We love that book, and your pictures of the Spanish Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea capture all of the loveliness that has been in my imagination of the California missions.

Just beautiful. And Cathy - you never answered me as to whether the coastline of California reminded you of Japan's Pacific coastline?

I agree with you, Mark. It has a rugged beauty that is very different from the serenity that the east coast offers in many places.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like both Brennan and the security officer had a good laugh about the Light Saber! Speaking of airport security, did you hear on Monday that the Kennedy Airport was shut down several hours when a security officer thought he scanned 2 grenades in a fellow's suitcase? Turns out, they were paper weights in the shape of a grenade. Not a smart thing to bring on an airplane, but couldn't the x-ray/scanner tell the difference? Crazy.
How's Lucky and Pippin getting along?
Love ya'll!