Thursday, May 8, 2008

Into the mind of a berry...

We watched my second favorite better-than-ambien show last night, apparently, as I only made it through about half before I fell sound asleep before 9:30, Modern Marvels.

(My first favorite insomnia-breaker is First 48, which I LOVE, and Caroline Mason is totally my favorite - she shows up to crime scenes with her high heels and then goes and makes a hardened criminal cry for his mama all in the course of a day's work. But nevertheless, I don't ever see whether or not they catch the criminal, because about the time they are questioning them, I fall asleep. EVERY. TIME. I wake up at the end, "did they catch him? was it that guy?" And Sarge wakes up and says, "I don't know. I guess I fell asleep." Like it surprises him every time.)

Ahem. Modern Marvels. This time it was about The Pacific Coast Highway, which there was a particular section that I spend a good number of hours riding up and down when I was a young teenager. But they totally skipped over the section that I knew - I think that's when I fell asleep.

But it got me thinking about those drives, sometimes as a family, sometimes just me and my parents, as we got older and my sisters escaped, er I mean, went off to college. My favorite part of that drive, hands down, was not the gorgeous scenery, the dramatic cliffs, the ocean. It was San Francisco. We drove up 19th avenue, across the "alphabet streets," which we all had memorized, or forgot one or two and the others came up with it. Or if we all forgot, Dad always knew.

Wawona, Vicente, Ulloa, Taraval, Santiago, Rivera, Pacheco, Ortega, Noriega, Moraga, I don't remember L, Kingston, what was J? and I can't remember the rest, and there was a break somewhere in there, then we passed through Golden Gate Park and was there a tunnel before and after? The rainbow tunnel was the shorter one after, and there was a longer one before - am I right about this? I know that there are a few commenters that will remember for me, right?

But my most favorite part was the houses. I still have a thing for those row houses, right in the city. I spent hours imagining living in one, picking my favorites and decorating them, even though I'd never been in one. I looked in the windows, paid attention to the ones that had garages and to the ones that were taken care of or not taken care of. I think I usually wanted one that wasn't taken care of, so that I could make it pretty again.

Right before I went off to college, my mother took me house-hunting in San Francisco. No, she was not buying me a house, but she knew how much I loved those houses, so we went on a Saturday and went to open houses and she brought me in to some of those houses that I'd dreamt about. They were just as fabulous as I had dreamed - some more so than others, but as can be expected when you are looking at a giant price range of houses!

Really, not a single point to be made here - just some fond memories (gosh, that makes me sound old) that I know that my family can fill in for me, because I have the worst memory of all of us.


ca sister said...

Oh, yeah! I love google. I could pretend to remember better than you can, but I had to cheat and look up these streets. You skipped Quintara. Lawton is the "L" street, and then Kirkham, Judah and Irving. Then you get to Golden Gate Park.

As beautiful as the drive on the northern CA section of the PCH is, the central CA coast is also just SOOOOO beautiful. Anyone who even considers it, should definitely do it. What a glorious place!

Thanks for this post. We just made that familiar drive this past winter, and while the road has been shored up in a few places, it's still the same -- so rugged and remote feeling. Until you run into the Tour de California bike race on the way back. Another story.

#2 said...

Shoot! I didn't even think to google it. AND, I was so proud of myself, thinking that my talent of singing the ABC's backwards was really paying off - and I forgot Q!

You'd like the Modern Marvels on it - it's about the bridges and the methods they've used to keep the landslides from washing away the road - Remember that weekend that we got stuck up there? Were you there for that one?

ca sister said...

Totally was there the year we got stuck for a couple of days. I remember being in the Old Yellow Suburban and watching Mom drive Dad's little Fiero through water that was nearly as deep as the bottom of the car. Yikes!

I don't think it's rained so much here since then. And... (drum roll please) that was more than 20 years ago!