29 March 2009

Our First Visitor | Chris iii.c

Saturday, 21 March

Pebble Beach
Our road trip was guided solely by a road atlas. I left my phone (and all of its mapping capabilities) at home. There are insets for certain cities, including Monterey. So we were able to see how close we were to Pebble Beach. I'm not a golfer, and neither is Jesse. But we both know Pebble Beach is a big deal, and Chris was really excited to see it. So we went. We drove further along the coast and saw some beautiful houses. Then we came to a guard.

He told us we were in fact on the way to the Pebble Beach Golf Course, and that it was $9.25 to drive by it. We turned around, thinking we had to be going the wrong way. But we weren't. It costs money to drive along the coast there, and we quickly saw why. The houses there are actually estates. And to call them ostentatious would be an understatement. Jesse & Chris fantasized about living there, having access to giant homes in an elite community, and minions to do things like get groceries and clean. I couldn't get into it though. That's not a lifestyle I want. If I can't clean my own house, then I have too much house. If I need someone to keep track of my stuff, I have too much stuff. Why would I pay someone to clean my mess? It's mine, and that's demeaning. I don't want to live behind a gate, even if it is along the coast. Thanks Pebble Beach, but no thanks.

Otherwise, the drive was beautiful. We were given a map showing a few points of interest along the way to the course. By then though, we were running out of daylight, and determined to get pictures of the course before it got dark. So we picked our scenic stops carefully. This is a picture from The Fanshell Overlook, which closes April 1 to June 1 while seals return tot have babies.

Cypress Lookout is also closed April 1 - June 1. I presume it's because you can probably see from seal births there. No one wants to disturb that.

The drive (and the highlighted stops along it) are all open to the public. There are places for picnics and other stops. There are restaurants, gift shops, and other golf courses. There is also the Pebble Beach Lodge. It's open, and is part of the guided tour. But I noticed none of the other people who had been with us on the road stopped inside. We did. We saw no reason not to, even though I'm sure we were only allowed inside by law. We did not "belong," and it was blatant.

We had to walk through the lodge to take pictures of the 18th hole. The view was lovely and we took our time taking pictures. Jesse became uncomfortable and went to wait outside. He said he didn't want to be around those people and I agreed. And then I asked why - if he didn't want to be in the same building - did he want to be their neighbor? No answer. I saw a black guy walking in as I was leaving. His double take was right out of a movie. And I did laugh.

We exhausted our daylight at Pebble Beach and drove home through Salinas. I have a friend from there and it fit with our Steinbeck theme. We didn't do anything cultural, or see anything interesting. But downtown looked fun. And the food at Norma's Diner was delicious.

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