I apologize for the long break, followed by an even longer post about books. My mind was on vacation but now we're back
You will recall the Mennonites on a Plane incident from the start of our trip. The Mennonites did not leave us in San Francisco, they followed us down the coast. I saw them in Monterey and spotted them at various places we stopped throughout Big Sur. What would a peaceful religious sect want from us? And why would a group that never shaves worship a specific brand of shaving products?
I never found an answer to those questions, but I think a clue may be in this story. If the Amish are moving west to Colorado, why wouldn't the more progressive Mennonites move all the way to the coast? They are probably buying up beachfront property and opening family-style seafood restaurants with big bowls of all-you-can-eat, German-style clam chowder.
In Santa Barbara I did get to sit with my feet in the sand and eat fish tacos: a life-long dream realized. We also visited the winery where our niece works to supplement her income while she completes her PhD in psychology. She quite knowledgeable about and quite fond of wine, a relationship of which her mother and I both approve. She told us "I almost never drink hard liquor anymore, except I have a bottle of vodka in the freezer, but only because I got it from a woman whose cat died." That is an excellent opening line to some kind of novel, which should perhaps be written while drinking copious amounts of wine.
Another highlight of our journey down highway 1 in CA was the nude beach. Here we see a couple blatantly engaging in PDA in the nude, not caring who sees them.