Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July is getting away from me!

Wow, it is the middle of July already and I haven't gotten my Part II of "Our Obsession with Mexican Food" going yet. It isn't like I haven't started, I have pictures, recipes, notes from my trip to Diana Kennedy's Casa in Zitucuaro but can't get it organized the way I want it, so, I will digress to what is current here at the beach.
The July 4th weekend which started on Thursday for us, was non stop between working and visiting friends. Everyone comes into town for that holiday. It is Cayucos' biggest holiday with about 30,000 cramming the streets and beaches. There is a wonderfully quaint parade that starts at 10 am.
When Steve and I decided to move here we rented a house while waiting for ours to be sold ( I don't recommend that). We came down whenever we could on three day weekends, taking vacation days as well. It was wonderful to start getting to know people who lived here. As the months passed and we were "reducing, reducing" the asking price in Mill
Valley and nothing was happening, I thought I would have to give the rental company a 30 day notice on the beach house and give it up. I was heartbroken that we would miss July 4th. I woke up one night and realized that 30 days didn't necessarily mean June 1. I could hold out until June 15 and still get to use it for the July 4th celebration. We came down over the Father's Day weekend expecting it to be one of the last trips before moving our stuff back up north. Our realtor called and said they had an offer on Carolyn Lane. We got mildly excited as an offer didn't mean it was sold. I tore up the 30 day notice, however, just knowing it was meant to be that we would soon be residents of Cayucos, California- population 1800 full timers and another 1800 part timers.
Things were progressing pretty well with the sale, the people loved our house. They had two small children and already had the bedrooms picked out for everyone. As any of you know when selling a house these days, the " Home Inspectors" can be the deal breakers. We had a doozy. He made up flaws, like for instance, there wasn't any flashing between the deck and the house. Duh! I got up on a milk crate and showed the broker that there was indeed flashing all the way around. He said we didn't have a working sump pump when he never even turned it on! The killer was that he said the entire "random brick" wall that was the charm of our house had to be replaced. The buyers were devastated. Fortunately the Nuns from St. Joseph's in Rochester, NY were praying for us courtesy of my brother Bobby's generosity and requests. Both Real Estate agents worked for the same firm and called for a second inspection. The buyers brought in their own inspector. The brick wall stayed as it was THE supporting wall of the house.They determined it only had to have the wooden beams which had been nibbled upon by beatles,treated, again (we already had them treated). We updated the outlet to GSF for the sump pump, flashing was there and we negotiated for monies to fix the old retaining wall. Meanwhile my garden was in full bloom with veges and flowers. The buyers loved that.
While this was all unfolding the 4th of July was upon us. Kitties went to the "Cat's Cradle" for the weekend and we were up and out at 5:30 am. Smooth sailing down 101...almost. Steve and another car were clipping right along when a CHP car on the other side made a U-turn and got us. The other car got away. We handed him all of the documents you need to have in the glove compartment and he asked us where we were headed etc. He goes back to his car and within 2 minutes is back. HE GAVE STEVE A WARNING!!!
WELCOME TO THE CENTRAL COAST. We were ecstatic to say the least, so much so that Steve almost turned right on red when the sign clearly stated not to do so. Finally Old Creek Rd was upon us...only 11 miles to our sweet house. Steve was so proud of making it in 3 1/2 hours when it usually takes 4. The house was up from the ocean with spectacular views of the Morro Rock and the Cayucos Pier. When we opened the doors to the deck there was a huge party going on below us. It was 9 AM and people had beers in their hands plus as I soon found out, Bloody Marys. We didn't know when the parade started or where it started so we just bounced out the door and headed in the party direction with our beers so we would blend in.
As we found out the floats line up on Pacific Ave and the parade starts at 6th 10 am. Everyone was walking in the direction of the Pier. Our destination was Schooner's Wharf, a restaurant/bar that we had been going to since we found this town. As we turned the corner onto Ocean Ave. we gasped at the sight. They string red,white and blue balloons in arches over the street all the way down to the pier. In years to come we got recruited to help string these balloons. This meant getting up at 5am and walking into town with our friends. We then took the huge strings of balloons out of the Vets hall and walked down Ocean where a local guy had a lift to carry the string up to the phone pole or tree or windowsill and attach it to each side of the street. We gave that up after a few years!

Everyone decorates the heck out of their businesses and houses. There were chairs lined up on both sides of the street. It was so beauty! When we got to Schooner's the new owners, Troy and Donovan, who bought it from Troy's father, are cousins and were tending bar. They cleared out all of the tables and chairs to get ready for the crowds. We told Troy about the warning given us by the kind CHP officer and he couldn't believe it, so much so that he bought us our Bloody Marys. What fun. We stood outside and watched the parade, laughing at the different groups strolling down Ocean Ave. One of the huge floats, an American Eagle decked out in the American Flag happen to be two doors down from our house. They were members of a car club from Bakersfield. Most of the people with second homes here are from the Bakersfield or Fresno areas. This town was built up by the local Community Church that encouraged people to escape the heat in the Central Valley and build beach homes and support the church. It is still in existence and has wonderful presence here.
After the parade we decided to grab a hotdog to go and walk back home on the beach. Very smart idea! We stopped to view the many sand sculptures. These are built very early in the morning according to the tide and are very elaborate. They get judged and "ribboned". One of the many quaint traditions. As we looked up Ocean Ave there were throngs of people heading our way so we boogied down the beach towards home.
It is the same every year whether it is cloudy or sunny.
This year started out cloudy and became sunny by noon. What a difference 9 years makes. We now know quite a few people and always meet them at Schooner's for Bloody Mary's and Beers. The cousins have since sold the restaurant but the new owners are really nice and carrying on the tradition of a fun time on the 4th.
We moved into our own home in a 55+ park 7 years ago. We still have ocean views, a bigger and better deck and are still within walking distance of town.
Our neighbors in the park have BBQ's or some other sort of foodie party throughout the summer. This is just fine with me. I used to cook every single 4th. Since we had parking, which is at a premium this holiday, people loved to come over to our place. Pretty soon everyone, locally was too wasted to appreciate the well planned affair I invited them to, so I quit. Now we just drift around with the rest of them bringing a dish if asked or else wine and beer.
If we are lucky it is clear when they shoot off the fireworks as it was this year. It is quite a show with a few renegade firecrackers and fireworks to boot. If it is not clear you can hear them and not see one spark. You take your chances with the Cayucos 4th of July fireworks but I wouldn't miss it for anything.