Remember Summer? In Pacific Grove we used to have one every year. The fog hung around until late morning, and then it burned away and we had sunshine! We managed to get our work done before noon, if we were lucky, then down to the beach. After splashing in the warmed salt water pool, down to the sand or over to the lawn, meet our pals, both old and new, and we knew that life was good. Sometimes a brief bounce into that cold water, running down the sand, running in with a shout, then back out to laugh and dry off. We knew that for some reason the water at Santa Cruz beach was a littler warmer, but made of tougher stuff, we could handle frigid PG. The coldest water in the world, as far we knew, just short of turning to ice, was China Beach at Point Lobos. But it sure was pretty! Still is.
Of course, it was always summer in Carmel Valley, and to this very day, a drive up to The Village requires sun screen and a hat. That climate made Schulte's Carmel Valley corn the world's best. We could get it at their stand or the County Fair, dripping with butter. (That's when butter was good for us.) Schulte also had a swimming hole on the river, just right for splashing, and around the edges, craw fish by the thousands, no license necessary.
We grew up with Big Sur summers, always fun, never crowded. Remember hippies? They discovered Big Sur in the sixties and seventies and they lined Hwy One from The Crossroads to Point Lobos, looking for rides down the coast. Once upon a time I decided to show my teenaged son the back country. We day tripped up the Pine Ridge trail, past Terrace Creek, then down to Ventana Creek and camp. There as a Boy Scout thirty years earlier, it was empty, clean and beautiful. Scott and I stumbled into a hippie village, with maybe a hundred guys and gals -- you could tell them apart -- with teepees and tarps, smoldering fires, and a general mess. They had even started a garden or two! They did not look happy. All gone now, I guess!
Well, summer in PG. The population expanded, starting in late May, with families and kids from the Valley. A great bunch, usually, and they spiced up our lives, especially in our teenage years. I have mentioned before, that memory is a flawed reference, but it seems to me that gals from Sacramento developed summer tans more easily than our locals. Maybe a genetic thing. In fairness, must point out that our home town sweeties, loyal from September on, claimed the Fresno guys were very handsome! Well!
Santa Cruz was a different world, and a summer trip to the Boardwalk, with chills, thrills, corn dogs and cotton candy was just about right, once a season.
You can tell the locals this time of year. We're bundled up with sweaters and coats. Our visitors, guests, actually, march around in shorts and tank tops, goose bumps galore. "When there are gray skies, I don't mind the gray skies..." as long as I have Carmel Valley! Or something like that. And then, or course, there's Fall, just around the corner!