I live near one of the most beautiful places in California. Hey, I believe it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world!
The story of me and Monterey Bay is interesting. I was born in San Luis Obispo, a smallish college town about two hours south of Monterey, tucked into an impressive coastal valley through which run a string of extinct volcano called The Seven Sisters. I was born there. But in the middle of my third grade, we moved to Monterey for my Dad’s job.
I feel in love with Monterey. With the sea, the cypress, the quiet of ocean fog, the whole package. I found friends like I’d never had in San Luis and blossomed. And then, at the end of eighth grade, we returned to San Luis. (An older sister had managed to embrace every opportunity to get into trouble the five years we were there and my folks were worried I’d fall under the same sphere of influence.) So we moved back. And I hated it for a lot of years.
But San Luis has its charm. I did well in high school and in my senior year, I met the man I later married. Within two years, we left San Luis…it had no room for growth.
For over twenty years, we bopped about all over California. Sacramento, Anaheim, Riverside, back to Sacramento and then…out of the blue…a chance to return to Monterey Bay.
I never thought I’d be coming home. Sure, I’m on the opposite side of the bay, Santa Cruz being on the north coast…sorta.( Monterey Bay has an odd tilt, not truly oriented north/south.) I remember our first Christmas back, driving over to Monterey and sitting on one of the perfect benches at the very tip of the bay, where the waves have swept the unwary away too often. And I saw whales spout out in the bay. And I knew I was home.
Now, I walk my dog down to the bluff ½ a mile from my home and we spy on people walking their dogs down below, on the sand. We watch surfers and boogie boarders. We listen to hummingbirds chatter in the eucalyptus and Bonnie scouts for gophers and ground squirrels. And I take pictures of the sunsets or the afternoons that make my heart stand still when I look out over that water.
Do I get inspiration from my bay? I don’t know. Most of my PiratePunk is set in the Caribbean. I’d like to think that all oceans are truly one ocean. We give them different names, but really…they know no borders! I renew myself at the water’s edge. I breathe deeper and my eyes delight in the flash of sun on the waters. I see dolphin racing the waves sometimes. And once, a group of locals stood around for nearly an hour, watching a migrating whale very close to shore. Most days we have otters, seals, hundreds of birds and boils of sardines to watch.
Monterey is a marine sanctuary and I am blessed by the Goddess to find myself back here. If you’re ever in the area, give me a call! I know the best places to watch the sunset, several good restaurants and a few good roller coasters over at the Beach and Boardwalk!
And funnel cake!