Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Southern California, Here we are!

This is the California I dreamed about when I was a teenager. Until I lived in San Francisco as a 20 year old I really didn't understand that endless sun and surf were the domain of Southern California. Truthfully, as I was rather disappointed when I learned how cold San Francisco Bay was and how far one had to go to find sunshine and orange and avacado orchards. But today we arrived to the beaches that make you think of Beach Boys' lyrics. These pictures were taken along Hwy. 1 where we found picnic tables  to eat our lunch along with a view of  surfers in Half Moon Bay. Why is it that most surfers I see are men? It was the same way in the '70s. Are they all slacking or is the term 'beach bum' an unfair assessment?

While the day was blue skies and sunshine there was always a haze over the water and a saltwater film on the car's windows. We passed oil wells, mostly still,  and this one lonely lighthouse. At Castroville we cut inland to 101 and saw mile after mile of vineyards in the Salinas valley.

Along the highway ever so often you will see a shepherd's crook with a bell at the top. These are markers indicating where Franciscan monks began missions in the years 1769 -1833. The statue in the picture is of Father Junipero Sera who accompaied the first explorations in 1769.
 I was delighted when Chris consented to stop at San Miguel Mission Church . The wall frescos are original (1797) to the church and have never been repainted.

When we weren't looking at vineyards and ocean waves we saw beautiful hills like this one, covered in velvety green grass.

Tonight (after 6 hours on the road) we are staying in Cambria and tomorrow's plans are open and that is good. 

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