Old Friends

Dear Liza (and Jasper and Kestrel),

Down here in Salinas, we had more Christmas presents waiting for us. Auntie Olga’s Mom Alla got a new kippah for Grandpa Nelson, and it looks wonderful!

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Handsome Grandpa Nelson

I am having fun getting to know Salinas again. Grandpa Nelson and I went walking and found dome old friends, a Tiny Free Library and Squirrels, both just like we have in Portland.

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Tiny Free Library

We have been eating at our favorite places, too. We had Mexican food at Michael’s in Old Town Salinas. I haven’t found Mexican food this good in Portland. Maybe I need to keep looking.

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Uncle David and Liza

Last night we got dressed up and went to dinner at Patria, our favorite spot in Old Town. They have great food, friendly people, and their house wine is called Troublemaker and is delicious.

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Michael’s

We also visited people friends. Rick showed us his model of Notre Dame Cathedral that he had made for Christmas. I told him and the family all about Portland and they caught me up on news here.

 

 

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Rick his Cathedral

I am glad I will be here all spring!

Love,

Grandma Judy

 

 

 

Landing in Salinas

Dear Liza (and Jasper and Kestrel),

On Wednesday I arrived in my old city of Salinas. I am staying at your house! It will be fun and different. So I am writing this blog to Cousins Jasper and Kestrel too, so they can know what I am up to.

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Yangtse

First, I got all my stuff unpacked in the guest room. I brought a lot of stuff because I am staying so long! Then we went to dinner at Yangtse’s Taste of Thai. I love their spicy seafood soup. I was so tired after dinner I went right to sleep.

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Salinas High School

Thursday I got up early and walked all over south Salinas to see old favorite places. I think the High School is the prettiest building in town. I saw some old friends, too, in a way that I will miss again when I leave in June.

Walking to the the Cherry Bean…. see a friend. Going to the Post Office…see a friend. I don’t get this in Portland, because I don’t have many friends there yet.

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Sassy

I went by our house (that now belongs to someone else), and stopped by to see our old neighbors Leroy and Ann and our cat Sassy, who moved in with them years ago. They have all been good company for each other.

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Goopy Leaves

It was fun seeing some similarities and differences between Portland and Salinas. Salinas also has leaves that get slippery when they aren’t raked up, but it has roses still blooming in January, unlike Portland.

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Roses in January

Things that have changed since I was here are the new red doors on the fire station on Alisal, and the asbestos clean-up at the Courthouse. Something that hasn’t is the Dick Bruhn building which was gutted by fire years ago and still has had nothing done to restore it. (Sigh).

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New Doors on the Fire Station
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Still wrapped up Dick Bruhn Store

This morning I start teaching again! Wish me luck.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Getting Ready!

Dear Liza,

Well, we are almost there. Grandpa Nelson and I fly down to see you and our old neighborhood in Salinas TOMORROW! The day after that I meet my new students and have a staff meeting, just like a real teacher. Oh, my.

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My stuff

But first things first. I spent yesterday packing up all the stuff I will need in my six months with you. Clothes, books, everything. It seems like a lot! And of course, my teaching hat.

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Auntie Katie and Grandpa Nelson

We spent yesterday evening with Auntie Katie and the cousins. We had so much fun! We cooked and ate, talked about music (I didn’t know Dave Bowie did duets with Freddie Mercury) and danced.

Of course, there was considerable silliness, as well.

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Teaching Jasper…something silly, no doubt

 

We helped Auntie Katie move a big, heavy couch down her long, skinny stairs, which was like putting roller skates on a whale, but it all worked out, with only a few bruises.

See you tomorrow!

Love,

Grandma Judy