Friday, July 01, 2005

Up The Canyons 

California Road Trip with Dad: Day 5

Hearst Castle this morning, the biggest darn house in the most inaccessible place ever. If you haven't been, you should, if only to come to the startling nobrow realization that Hearst's collecting of ancient artifacts and famous visitors is fundamentally no different from the autograph-seeking tendencies of the screeming adolescents seen days ago along the BET red carpet barriers. Through this marble threshold passed Michelangelo and Popes, Gable and Flynn, indeed. Class is so arbitrary.

Followed our tour with a long gorgeous drive up the precarious and switchback-laden Pacific coastline. Stopped a couple of times to take pictures, most notably at a beautiful state park walkway overlooking a 28-foot waterfall onto a pristine beach somewhere before Carmel, but the whole thing started seeming dreamy and undescribable after a while. Mostly we just gawked and drove and listened to some old NPR interviews (Terri Gross vs. a host of comedians) on CD. Man, this Cali coast is something else. Can't figure out why it's so sparsely populated.

Great late lunch at Nepenthe, a hilltop spot miles from anything else famous for the hippie lifestyle and an unfortunately clouded view; forgot to get gas again and had to pay over three bucks a gallon in the middle of Big Sur nowhere, but serendipity granted us a decent funky gift shop alongside, so all was worth it after all.

Checked in by six at another one-night-stand in Monterey, a small shopspot full of marinas and bars. Passed high waves on great beaches, which I hope to actually set foot on tomorrow before we head back up the coast, on our way to a decent gourmet supper; discovered heaven in Key Lime Mojitos with fresh mint and lime juice. Cheesy pop-blues and drinks at a decent bar in honor of the recent passage of Luther Vandross; off to blog and bed in the raw wood four-posters of the Hotel Pacific.

Early morning phone call back home today, but Darcie wasn't home, and talk with almost-three Willow, while satisfying in its own right, only led her to an increasingly distressing realization that Daddy was far away and not coming home for a while. It's nice to be missed, I suppose, but hard to have to cut things short to make things easier for her. Miss you too, kid. I'll try again tomorrow before we hit the infamous Monterey Aquarium down along the tourist traps of Cannery Row.

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