For those of you wondering this is a custom home made frame, made “to have a go”, by Richard, our host in Seaside.
WARNING; THIS PAGE CONTAINS SNAKES!
After meeting up with Laura and Richard on our walk in Big Sur they invited us back to their house. On this trip we have been blessed with meeting people such as Laura and Richard; lovely people who go out of their way to help us. They offered us a room and the children slepped in their caravan.
We turned up after a busy day soaking up the sights in posh Carmel and O.T.T. Cannery Row of Steinbeck fame. (We thought that Jacob would like to see some of the sights he had been reading.) We were greeted by the very enthusiastic Finn and a welcoming Laura, Richard turned up from work and introduced me to his bike selection. It was great to chat bikes and stuff, then he showed me his hand made frame. This area is steeped in mountain bike lore and here was a bike made by one of the original frame builders. Then Richard bought out his own build. Well I was pretty awe struck. I have always had a hankering to have a go myself, so a bit of jealousy crept in, but not much. At this point I get into trouble with Angela, too much bike stuff, ‘why is that picture on the top?’ Well… I guess I don’t feel embarrassed buying bike mags in the local store. I will still argue that it is ‘art’.
So we chat and eat and drink. and somewhere along the way I agree to go out with Richard for a ride tomorrow, but since it is a work day it’ll have to be early. That way I find myself out the front door the next day some time before 6. We cycled up for about 3 miles until we reached a turn off onto some single track. We then spent the next 2 hours hooning around some great track in the back hills around the Laguna Seca; dry track with some rock sections and a bit of sand. It reminded me of the ease of access to country side we have in CIara Vale, only I guess you would have to loose Wylam, Ovingham and Prudhoe to get the emptiness. I am not sure I could give up the Boat House. I certainly felt the lack of exercise by the last hills, but I guess it gave Richard plenty of time to admire the view.
We arrived back in time for a great breakfast. I will admit that whilst others managed to walk Finn I had to have a quick 40 winks on the beach.
I have written mostly about the things that I have done, but I can’t miss out what the children found interesting. Of course it was the TV – but apart from that, the 3 corn snakes greatly caught their imagination. Jacob is trying desperately to convince us that snakes make a great pet! We have been holding our own against his proposals. Then most of our objections are countered by Laura and her snakes. Doh! Both children handled the snakes (including feeding each of them a thawed out mouse, their weekly meal) but Jacob was obviously fascinated by them.
We have all enjoyed collecting shells, stones and rocks during our adventures and this fascination continued during our walk on the beach with Laura and Finn. The beach used to be an old ‘dumping ground’ for the neighbourhoods waste disposal and Laura regularly collects weathered smoothened glass during her walks here. We (well Angela and Louise) couldn’t resist this fascination and enjoyed finding shades of blue, green, brown and clear glass specimens to add to our treasure collection. So much for our uncluttered minimalistic home upon our return!
Talking of our return we have decided (during our time away) that it is time to get a family dog upon our return. We feel that the addition of a dog would be a great way for the kids to re-connect with life at home and help us all to reintegrate. I have also read that a dog is good for the mental health of teenage boys! Perhaps it will also be good for the parents of teenage boys! Anyway we have to get over the fact that some of us have developed allergies to anything with hair, feather or fur but the decision to find the right four legged friend seems to have been made.
Before we left Laura very generously gave us gifts including a beautiful example of local ‘Big Sur’ polished Jade and a beautiful pendent for my (Angela’s) forthcoming birthday. This was a very generous gesture and will always remind us of our time with Laura and Richard.