Out and About in Salinas

Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

It is so nice having Auntie Bridgett visit! Harold has missed Bridgettbear.

Harold and Bridgett Bear.jpg
Visiting Stuffties

Saturday morning, Auntie Bridgett and I walked downtown for coffee and a walkabout. It has been 8 months since she has seen Salinas, and I wanted to show her than changes… new stores, remodeled houses and such.

Our first stop was Rollick’s Coffee, where Grandpa Nelson still had about a hundred coffees on credit. Barista Savannah and Bridgett are old friends, so there was lots of conversation.

Then we walked up towards the Steinbeck Center to see what sorts of shops are in the new Taylor Building.  Portobello, a restaurant that used to be almost on the south edge of town, has recently moved here, and it is beautiful. Their regular selection of sandwiches, quiches, and salads has been augmented with a full bar and a breakfast menu. Susan, the owner, showed us around her new digs. The back patio has a french feel, with tall wrought iron details and olive trees. We promised to come back for lunch.

Susan at Portobello.jpg
Susan at Portobello

We stepped a bit further along and found Gifts on the Go, a chic and quirky gift shop run by Donna. There are so many lovely things our eyes didn’t know where to go first! Baby clothes and toys, fabulous kitchen gadgets, and cards kept us entertained. There are cookbooks, including an entire book dedicated to macaroni and cheese. It turns out, she spent some time in my hometown of Manhattan Beach. Small world, after all…

Donna at Gifts on the Go.jpg
Donna at Gifts on the Go

As we continued along Main Street, we kept running in to people we knew….Darryl the mailman and our friend Marek. This is one of the joys of living in a place so long.

It was so warm, we walked down to The Cherry Bean and got a glass of water before returning to Portobello for lunch. We had a tuna sandwich and ortega chili quiche, with salads of roasted vegetables. So delicious! I also had to try a new beer, Messiah Nut Brown Ale made by the Schmaltz Beer Company of New York. It was such an unlikely name, I had to give it a try, and it was good!

essiah beer at Portobello.jpg
Schmaltz Beer

When we were full, we walked down to Salinas Book and Sound to see Trish Sullivan and Dan Beck. We had a lively conversation about changes in Downtown Salinas.

Trish.jpg
Trish Sullivan

We realized we still had a long walk home ahead of us, so we headed off and got back to Uncle David’s house. We read for about five minutes and fell asleep! All that sun and exercise and conversation just wore us out.

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.

Yangtsi.jpg
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.

Sal High.jpg
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.

Sassy.jpg
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.

Leaves.jpg
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.

Roses in January.jpg
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).

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

This morning I start teaching again! Wish me luck.

Love,

Grandma Judy