California can be uber-sophisticated. Smart boutiques, fabulous restaurants and a very walkable main street make towns like Carmel elegantly approachable. But a couple of hours down the coast along the incredibly scenic Highway 1 (the distance is short but the twists and turns of the road make it a long drive), you come to two small towns. Both are dominated by the rock, a crouching giant in Morro Bay’s harbour and both seem anchored in a time long gone.
Morro Bay and Caycos remind me of beach towns decades back. I don’t mean that they are simply old fashioned. But they have a nostalgic approach to being beach towns – comfortable, relatively inexpensive and with a line in the kind of kitsch everyone took home when I was a kid. Continue reading →
We were looking for the Artichoke Center of the World. So we drove into Watsonville – where nobody knew what we were talking about.
Ed recalled visiting Watsonville, California many years ago and learning that it held this title. But alas! No longer. Castroville is the current Artichoke Center. In fact, Half Moon Bay should probably hold the title, since it was the first place in America to grow artichokes. These were brought to the New World by Spanish settlers. Continue reading →