... not a bad word between us.
All photos taken by Tom Marchi
I want to tell about our journey together, Catherine and I, my wife of fifty-four years. We decided on a trip to Carlsbad, California to visit with John and Athena Harrington, Catherine’s nephew. We stayed with the Harrington’s for a few days and were met there with our friends, Jane and Tom Marchi. Jane and Tom were married just one week before us in 1953. Tom has a relative living in San Diego who they wanted to visit. The plan was for us to meet Tom and Jane at the Harrington’s and make our way up the coast to their home in Brentwood, California.
Our trip up the coast took us to San Luis Obispo, San Simeon (The Hearst Castle), and the long road to Brentwood. Once at Brentwood, we rested on Sunday. On Tuesday, we went to Salinas, California to visit the Steinbeck Museum. We stopped at Carmel, California overnight and went to Pebble Beach and Cannery Row the following day.
We were in California for ten days. Not everyday will be told. What follows is a glimpse; a blink of what that experience was for us.
April 16, 2007, Monday
Rain! Rain! Rain!
Through the window, water was bubbling out of the drain as I looked out, making its way to our steps.
Tom, Jane, Ed & Catherine.For the moment, this looked like the May drenching we got almost a year ago.
The cab was a little late but we got away in time, headed for San Diego.
The flight was smooth but long.
John Harrington, our nephew, picked us up at the airport after about six hours.
Forty-five minutes to Carlsbad and we were greeted with a hug and kiss from Athena Harrington, welcoming us.
April 18, 2007, Wednesday
John had said the night before that he was going to take the day off and show us the sights.
The first stop was Sea Port Village. Many shops to poke around in. We bought a disposable Kodak camera as I had forgotten our camera.
You could see in the distance the 41 on the stack of the Midway, the ship that was now a museum. It kind of brought a lump to my throat as I spent four years on the sister ship, CVB 42, the FDR, fifty-five years ago.
We headed over the large bridge to Coronado looking for lunch.
The Del Coronado Hotel is a very imposing old hotel made of clapboard. Its central tower has little windows running up the sides to where it peaks at the top.
I was the lunch guy. We went to a stand on the walkway near the hotel. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, drinks at $40 seems a little high.
John, being very tall, was able to reach above the fence and get a picture of the north 18th hole at Torrey Pines. I hope the pictures comes out.
April 20, 2007, Friday
As usual, I got up early and got the coffee pot going. This was our last day at Carlsbad. Athena and John thanked us for coming and wished us luck for the rest of our trip. Both were off to work early and we understood that “work comes first.”
Tom and Jane arrived on time at 9AM. Good to see them both with hugs and kisses. We headed for San Lois Obispo, about three hours away.
San Luis Obispo
Shelter Cove Lodge was where Tom had arranged for us to stay. It was overlooking the harbor, rolling surf bouncing off the rocks that looks like foamy vanilla ice cream.
Great dinner at the Pelican Point Restaurant just down the street. The steak was a little chewy, but passable. I wilt down fast and was in bed by 8PM.
April 21, 2007, Saturday
Continental breakfast, sugar flakes, Danish, juice and coffee served us both pretty well. Great Seattle coffee!
Off to the Hearst Castle by 10AM.
An hour to San Simeon. The Hearst Castle tour was in two phases. First, we entered a movie theatre and watched a film about the castle, how it was made, who played there then, etc. This gave us a mind set for touring the castle itself.
Then, about fifty people piled into a bus and ground its way up a hill for five miles. We were met by a tour guide who showed and told us about the castle. We were struck by the elegance of everything. The guesthouse alone, with several rooms complete with shower stalls for each about says it all. The sizes of both the outdoor and indoor pools are beyond description.
The Hearst Castle, and at right, the indoor swimming pool. I could imagine Clark Gable splashing around in this.
After about one and one-half hours of talk and looking, we were loaded back into the bus that brought us to the bottom of the hill.
A long, long, long ride with lots of romantic names of places along the way —Cambria, Del Mar, Ragged Point, Los Padres, Vista Point, Gilroy, Los Banos, San Miguel, Point Lobos, Big Sur, Monterrey.
It was nice for about fifty miles, twisting our way along on the shore road. After a while, this is boring and tough on the driver.
We stopped in Livermore, California for a bite to eat and finally made our way to Brentwood.
Tom and Jane have a very beautiful, spacious house complete with two-car garage. Everything you could ask for!
April 23, 2007, Monday
Up at 5AM and started the coffee going.
Everybody, me, Tom, Jane and Catherine, at 9AM, headed for Salinas.
I filled the tank with gas in Tom’s car as $3.55 a gallon was the least I could do.
Like the Hearst Castle, the Steinbeck Museum was in two parts. The first was a ten-minute film on Steinbeck. Then, we went over to a walk-in exhibit of all of Steinbeck’s writings. The bed Steinbeck slept in as a child and his child’s rocking chair was one of the first.
So it went, graphically showing Steinbeck’s writings. There was the model of the Western Flyer the boat that Steinbeck and Ed Rickettes used for “The Sea of Cortez”.
The last exhibit is the actual camper/truck Steinbeck named Rosinante after Don Quixote’s horse.
A great treat but the day was not over.
Tom drove us to Carmel and made his way along the narrow street that gave us a breathless view of Carmel Bay.
We checked into the Lobos Lodge and, a little later, went to dinner at Il Fornaio Cunina, a lovely Italian restaurant. I insisted in paying for the dinner as a gesture to our marvelous hosts. They didn’t have any dessert to keep my expense down.
Pebble Beach Golf Shop. At the right, a former golfer looks fondly at the Pebble Beach 18th hole.
April 24, 2007, Tuesday
About 9AM, Tom suggested that we begin at the “fourteen-mile drive.” He drove on the side that would take us to the “Lodge” at Pebble Beach.
We walked around Pebble Beach for an hour or so looking into various shops. From the “Lodge” you could view the famous 18th hole as seen on TV. You could see the big tree in the middle of the fairway that serves as the landing area for good golfers. A real treat for a former golfer.
Our last visit was Cannery Row. This turned out to be very disappointing as they had most of Cannery Row blocked off with renovations. You could still see some of the foundations from days gone by. There were a couple of flags on posts with Ed Rickets imprint on them. Still, you could get a feeling of what Cannery Row was like in Steinbeck’s day.
April 25, 2007, Wednesday
Much to my disappointment, I became dizzy and depleted. I didn’t know what was wrong and thought I should consult a doctor. Feeling a little better the next day, I decide I would wait to see my doctor when I got home on Thursday, next.
I did see my doctor and he said I just did a little too much. I guess when you have only one carotid, that’s what you can expect.
In all this was one of the greatest adventures for us. Not a bad word between us in the ten days.
June 1, 2007