Christmas Spirit

It’s very difficult to get into the Christmas spirit in LA, and despite a nation of inflatable snowmen on peoples lawns, and houses lit up like Heathrow’s Terminal 5, it just doesn’t jingle our bells.

So this year, instead of battling through the frantic shoppers in search of Christmas presents that we both don’t need, I decided to plan a road trip instead.

Route 1 sign CaliforniaThe real California

Whenever we have out-of-town visitors, we always encourage them to take the Coastal Route from LA to San Francisco.  It’s a long scenic road, that includes a windy drive along the craggy coastline with sweeping views of the Pacific, and intermittent sojourns through pine forests where a heavy scent of pine mingles with the smell of raging camp fires.

It’s a stunning drive, and you get to experience the real California, away from the generic congested metropolis of LA.

The weather has been glorious rencently – bright blue skies, and 70 degrees, so it was a perfect opportunity to take some of our own travelers advice, and road-trip up the coastal route, until we reached Carmel where we planned to spend Christmas.  Although we’ve played host on this route before, this time I wanted it to be more about the journey, and less about the destination.

I reminded Lead-foot Red, that this was a road trip, and not the 24 hours La Mans race to Carmel.  I wanted to do some tootling with frequent stops, and plenty of photo Ops.  It’s the end of day one… and so far, all of my Christmas wishes have been met.

Sunset Moonstone Beach Cambria CaliforniaMoonstone Beach, Cambria, California

Tonight, we’re holed up in a gorgeous hotel in Cambria, which is a ideal 1/2 way point on our Road Trip.  We’re staying on the famed, Moonstone Beach Road, which runs along the coastal route alongside Moonstone Beach.

(If you scour this pebbley beach really close, you may be lucky enough to find a Moonstone – which gives off a translucent glow, caused by light reflecting off some of it’s internal layers.)

We arrived in Cambria, just before sunset, and headed to Moonstone Beach to enjoy the view.  We bumped into a Scottish lady called Fiona, who was enjoying a romantic moment with her fella – a very tall Yank!  We bounded in with puppy-like enthusiasm to break their romantic interlude, and got chatting.

Samson & Delilah’s, Norwich, UK

It’s a small world.  The tall American was in the American Air Force, and in the 50’s he was stationed in one of the US bases in Britain, just up the road from where I was raised in Norfolk.  He talked about his wild nights at a Norwich nightclub called “Samson and Delilah’s” – which was still there when I attended college a few decades later.  So here we were – two strangers on Moonstone Beach California – reminiscing about shaking our wicked hips in different decades, in my old hometown of Norwich.

I wonder if you talk to anyone long enough, you’d be able to find a distant link that binds your pasts together?

© Route 1 Photo