For our Christmas present, the husband and I decided that we would take at least one day off each month in 2010. That is, go on an adventure! Because we are so good at letting things slide, we designated the 23rd of every month to be The Day.
As January 23 approached, I did wonder if the husband would remember. And when he did, I wondered if we would actually do it. It's not that we don't like adventures. It's just all that pre-planning stuff: What shall we do? Where shall we go? If it rains, what then? and so forth and so on. Neither of us felt like doing the research, and neither did. The night before, we thought about the last place we wanted to check out and that's where we chose to go—Marina State Beach on the Monterey peninsula.
We woke up to a bright sunny morning. Couldn't ask for anything more after a week of rain. Well, OK. Doughnuts and coffee for breakfast and lunch at a Korean restaurant. Yum.
No straight routes for us that day. If we had, we would've been at the beach in 30 minutes. Instead, we kept to the back roads. Some we knew. Some we didn't. We took no-through roads to see where they ended. We drove by our instincts, my vague memories of the area, and an old AAA map. A few times, I turned right when the husband said left, and vice-versa. No problem.
The highlights of our adventure?
- We could see the ocean many miles away from the top of San Juan Grade Road, which is the back way between San Juan Bautista and Salinas.
- On Old Stagecoach Road we imagined Charley Parkhurst driving the Wells Fargo stagecoach in the mid-19th century. Charley was a well-known and well-liked stagecoach driver. Nobody knew she was a woman until she died.
- We wondered if the old guys with the buckets at the head of the Juan Bautista deAnza National Historic trail were going mushroom hunting.
- On the way down a dead-end road, we saw a brownish-white bull laying contently in its pasture. It was HUGE. On the way back, the bull looked less than 1/2 its size. He must've eaten one of those Alice-in-Wonderland mushrooms.
- From out of nowhere a sheriff's cruiser pulled up behind us when we stopped on a nowhere road trying to figure out which way we should go. Some people moan, "Oh, crap!" when they see a law enforcement officer in their back mirror. Not us. At least not that day. We happily greeted the young deputies with big smiles. They ran our licenses through their system anyway just to make sure we weren't bad guys. I really wanted to ask what she found out about us.
- We walked along the beach and listened to the surf, sometimes holding hands.
P.S. Here's a little something we saw at the beach.