The blogging begins with us already in Capitola, getting coffee. This is Mr. Toots, a popular place that is much more popular at night. I drank my first mocha here around 8 p.m. sometime in October, 1987. Good times.
From the window at Mr. Toots, you can see a bit of the Capitola Wharf, and what are now vacation rentals.
When I was a kid, these were apartments that people lived in year-round, with families and everything.
My dad had a colleague whose daughter lived here. She babysat me once or twice when I was around 8-years-old.
Readers, I cannot overstate the extent to which these little studio apartments on the beach came to excite my imagination for years.
Through the magic of blogging, we are going to teleport over to those apartments, right between the blue and salmon colored units and I'm going to show you a movie of me doing a 360.
(As I said, I think these are seasonal vacation rentals now, but some of them may be condos or regular rental housing. I really don't know.)
During the summer, the beach is packed like Coney Island, but this time of year, during the week, well, it's very relaxing.
So relaxing in fact, that here is a rare picture of your blogger--getting a smoochie even!
Moving on... The wharf is a simple affair.
After visiting the wharf, we went back to the area around Mr. Toots. This time, instead of using magic, we walked.
In the years after college, my friends and I came down here a lot and went to Zelda's
Where you can have margaritas on the beach. Which is what we did. A lot.
Shopping in the immediate downtown area is fairly tourist-oriented.
Tho' I don't know people who buy clothes like this on vacation, so maybe not.
These salt and pepper shakers are magnetized so the salt kisses the pepper...
When I saw these, I sounded so gay
Can you blame me?
Unfortunately, G recognizes no distinction between cute-and-kitschy and ticky-tacky, so none of these came home with us.
But we can enjoy them right here, forever.
Around the downtown area...do people prune juniper like this where you are?
This is called cloud pruning; you should think of the balls of foliage as clouds. The Japanese word is niwaki. Some people hate it, but in my opinion, this is absolutely the only acceptable way to maintain a juniper. Obvioulsy, an expert maintains this specimen.
Ugh. Dietes. You know how I disapprove of Dietes.
If you didn't come to Capitola to shop for tchotchkes, drink margaritas, fish from the wharf, make out, or get caffeinated at Mr. Toots, you probably came for the beach.
Noone comes to Capitola to catch the big waves, but if you're looking for some mellow surf, or just learning, this would be a good place.
The adoring fans.
While G and D laid on the beach and caught some rays, I did that thing I do and walked around the neighborhood with my camera taking snapshots.
Jupiter's Beard or Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) loves coastal California. Loves it.
So does this Mexican Fleabane or Santa Barbara Daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus)
You know what? I like it too.
California poppies love all parts of California.
Welcome to residential Capitola, where people actually live
and plant Lavandula,
and Echium fastuosum syn. Echium candicans
No doubt one Echium would grow as big as a house here if one let it.
(I can't imagine that anyone ever has.)
Geranium maderense, I would guess is a newish arrival..? I think I only started to see it around San Francisco in this decade.
A lot more South Africans now too. For example, a restio (I can only ID a few, and even then only sometimes):
Ah leucospermum...memories of remembering California in Hawaii...
Melianthus will easily reach the eaves.
The pepper tree Schinus molle (not from South Africa) is an old standard.
Zantedeschia aethiopica is tantamount to a weed here (but I like it okay).
I am always very approving of wisteria done right, as this one will be on a very sturdy structure like this, going away from the house.
Anyway, I think by now you probably get the feeling of what it's like to be here, and that's really all I ever try to do.