Beach Day

When talking about the shaky housing market these days, people in the Bay Area are naturally wondering how the market will shake out here. But we do have an intrinsic advantage that goes beyond the employment and cultural opportunities here: On a Saturday in the middle of March you can go over to the ocean and walk along the beach wearing just a light jacket.

My friend Karen has been visiting this week, staying with us but mostly here for business. She finished up the bulk of her work on Thursday, so Friday we went out and gorged ourselves on food, and then Saturday we headed over the hills to Half Moon Bay. We had brunch at one of my favorite breakfast places, the Main Street Grill downtown. We were initially surprised because we went by their storefront and it was empty – cleaned out down to the booths and stools! But it turns out they just moved a block down the street into a large venue which had been the home of the competing diner. Whew! The people and food are just the same, so overall I’d say it’s a win, and they’re still busy enough that a few people who came in after us had to wait for seats.

We spent over an hour shopping downtown; for whatever reason Karen happens to have great success finding things in the little shops and bookstores in downtown. In particular we spent quite a while in the Moon News Bookstore, which is one of those rare independent bookstores which pulls out all the stops in presentation and recommendation of the books it carries – a quantity over quality approach.

Downtown is actually experiencing a lot of turnover: Other than the second diner that went under, a travel clothing store is moving out-of-state, and several boutiques have turned over since our last visit (which must have been late last year). Some turnover is a good thing for consumers I think, but of course it’s a good thing only up until one of your favorites stores goes out of business. But at least new stores keep springing up, which means that Half Moon Bay isn’t moribund and is still in some demand.

After that we drove over to the beaches south of Pillar Point Harbor where we walked along the beach for a while. I was chilly and overcast, but not really so bad if you had a jacket on. Try that in New England this month, people! We walked north towards the harbor before turning around to walk along the trail which runs above the beaches to head back to the car. (I had thought there used to be a bookstore in that vicinity, but either I was mistaken or else it’s gone under. Ah, well!)

So after a view of the ocean, of the various coastside plants that are flowering at this time of year, and a brief encounter with a kitty-cat, we piled back into the car, picked up some coffee, and drove back home.

A great outing. I don’t know why we don’t do this more often.