21 July 2012

Coast to Coast ~ Summertime by the Sea, Part I

I've been travelling a bit this summer and although I've been away from this computer, my camera has been a constant companion.  This is part one of a short series of my summertime travels that I will share with you.  Enjoy. 

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When someone asks you where you are from, how do you answer? Do you reply with the city or town in which you were born? Or is it where you grew up? Or perhaps where your home is right this very moment?

When I am asked, I usually answer San Francisco, because that is where I was born and since my college days at UC Berkeley I have lived most of my adult life either in The City or in a town on The Bay overlooking The City. I mention San Francisco as my home town also because most people in my current neck of the woods {here in the Deep South} would have no idea where I grew up…

{This is the spot I used to ride my bike to, park it, and then walk down 100+ steps with my best friend to the soft sand in my hot pink and orange bikini.  She always told me that when we turned thirteen our tummies would be flat.  Unfortunately, that never really happened to me.  'Still working on it though.}

in a small beach town about 80 miles south of San Francisco and about 40 miles north of Carmel…in Rio del Mar, California.


Last month my husband, son, and I spent a week in the Bay Area along the Pacific Coast. It’s been several years since I have been back “home,” as my immediate family does not live there anymore {they moved from California a few years before I moved to Georgia}. We had fun visiting my Italian cousins and beach bum cousins and our close extended family, and I reminisced with several of my long time girlfriends.

This was the first time I was able to show my little boy where I grew up and show him some of my favorite spots along the coast and in and out of San Francisco.


Capitola~by~the~Sea was the first beach I remember playing on as a little girl.  My Mother would gather my two little brothers and me in her red Ford Mustang convertible and tote us to the beach every chance she got during the summer.  My brothers and I were the Coppertone mascots.  My baby brother was still an infant, but my other brother and I would run from the beach to the corner store and buy Popsicles when we got hot ~ root beer for my Mom always, and the coldest, juiciest ones for us.



I would collect the river rocks from the creek that fed into the ocean, and then paint them with whimsical designs when I got home.  On our next beach day I would walk door to door at the Venetian Court beach houses {the first condominium California sea side resort} trying to sell them as paper weights.  {I think this was about the time when my career in the arts began.}



This visit brought back all those memories and the beach was as charming as ever.  It still has the small town, old world innocence that I will forever remember as a part of my childhood.




The stucco walls of the Venetian Court have been painted brighter colours than their original pastel Mediterranean pink and it’s crowded with summer tourists now, rather than the year long residents that used to live there, but it still remains one of my favorite places and it will always continue to be an important part of my life.






When we headed north on Highway 1 to return to our "home" for the week, we stopped to watch this group of kite surfers dance on the ocean.



It was a gorgeous day and tugged at my heartstrings.  It's nice to remember my childhood town this way. 

I do not think that I took it for granted as a child.  I wonder if now as an adult and being away from it for ten years makes it seem better than it was...


No, I don't think so.  It was a fabulous place to grow up!

Thank you for your visit.  I hope you will come back for more summertime stories soon.

Ciao amici,
Suzanne

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PS
I am thinking of listing some of these photos in my Etsy shop...what do you think?

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Joining some of these friends for more summertime stories.


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