Carmel Pine Cones and other Surprises


I’m very pleased to have already had a number of pleasant surprises on this trip, and I’m particularly delighted to be able to report the following back to my friend Rowena (but I’m not assuming it will last…)

In no particular order:

-The hotel room coffee-making facilities have been the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere. Great machines, great tasting coffee.

-the tap water in San Francisco was similarly delightful. No trace of chlorine.

-serving staff in cafes check if we mean hot tea or cold tea when we place an order for tea.

And not least, air-conditioning is a pleasant experience. I had expected Tesco-like summery refrigerated blasts. But no: I realise it is proper climate control here, and I’m very thankful.

Anyhow, we have moved on from San Francisco for the time being, and I was sorry to leave. After only three days, I had built up some bracing and positive holiday routines, and I will miss my morning ramble-run along the Bay, the Golden Gate beckoning on the horizon, and spontaneous diversions up enticing side streets to nose at the local architecture.

Look hard, and you will see the Golden Gate in the background

And now a peaceful couple of days in the middle of nowhere up the Carmel Valley.

Glad to have got here, really. Leaving our SF hotel, R assured the hotel valet he knew where he was going, and waved confidently at the satnav. I assumed there was only one way south (via the scenic Pacific coast) and settled back to enjoy the car ride without the need to grapple a large road atlas. But the profoundly irritating satnav had other ideas. We missed the Official Scenery, but the industrial bits of Highway 101 provided some edgy aesthetics not to be discounted. Alternative Tourism at its best.

It’s a thrill to have no outside distraction: I thought our new-found isolation might provide the long-awaited opportunity to dive into my holiday books, but maybe not. There is an enticing and plentiful array of reading material available in the hotel room. Who with any determination to celebrate the ordinary could resist the local rag, The Carmel Pine Cone, or a book of camp reminiscences from thirty odd years ago? There is a website for anyone wanting to contribute to this fount of nostalgia and if you can’t access the book, have a look online.

So we’re all set to relax, regain equilibrium, find contentment.

I’ll just end by saying a warm welcome and thanks to all our new subscribers/followers. We appreciate your support and encouragement in this joint ‘literary’ endeavour to record our trip. The rules remain in place: no edits or deletions other than by the author concerned. Eeeek.

And I hope those of you new to WordPress have discovered how to manage notifications to avoid too much pinging throughout the day.

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