December 28 – January 4
When I first pulled into Morro Bay I figured I would move there. I haven’t felt like that about anywhere since I saw Taos – and in Taos I was just absolutely sure that I would move there, like, Oh, okay, I don’t need to go any further, this is it. Morro Bay was like that too. I could live here, I thought, oh yes, I could. I’ll live in one of those little tiny houses spilling up the hill, there. I’ll get a job at the natural history museum. Hell, I’ll open a bookstore. I’ll work in a tourist trap. Whatever. And so I opened up Zillow and discovered that to my sorrow, I cannot move to Morro Bay. What the fuck, 21st century America, what the fuck, because while I can well imagine that people in California make more than their counterparts in North Carolina, nobody makes enough to pay $250,000 for a FUCKING TRAILER. I don’t care how nice it is; that’s just wrong.
So that was a jarring blow. Morro Bay does not, for the most part, look or feel rich (I wouldn’t like it if it did) but I suppose that they are either second homes or AirBnBs or whatever, all those tiny half a million dollar concrete cubes. I don’t like it, but I can understand it. Morro Bay is beautiful. Morro Bay has a huge honking ex volcano plug sitting right smack dab in the harbor and sea otters playing in kelp forests and surfers and sailboats floating serenely at anchor and a long long wide sandy beach full of sand dollars and joy. It’s essentially heaven.
Ah well! I stayed in Morro Bay for an entire week and you know I must have had a good time, because I basically got nothing done. I went for long walks on the beach twice a day. I walked to town and back. I discovered a great little wine bar on the harbor called Stax – at least I thought it was a great little wine bar but honestly I don’t know from wine bars: I drink wine but I don’t go to wine bars except this one, which was great – and a fabulous dive bar in the town proper. Now, I am completely qualified to give opinions on dive bars and this? This was a GOOD ONE. It had a pool table and a scruffy dog and you can get pizza from the restaurant next door though a window in the wall. I had an Irish coffee and it was banging and then I had a glass of red wine and OKAY I DO LIKE CALIFORNIA AFTER ALL. I must say I approve of these dive bars that sell actual decent wine by the glass instead of some heinous shit somebody bought at the gas station for $3 in 2005 which is also how long it’s been sitting open on the shelf.
There were a lot of restaurants and I didn’t eat in any of them because I am poor and cheap. It occurs to me that I suck as a travel writer because I never go out to eat and I don’t even stay in the bars very long. Oh well! Mostly, I guess, I review the scenery. Hee. I do go shopping, though. There were a ton of souvenir shoppes and I went in several. One of them had macrame plant hangers, which was nice, and also those wind chimes made out of shells – I nearly bought one, of course I did – and there were the requisite overpriced T-shirts and hoodies and sunglasses but all I bought was some air plant food at the bead store. Oh and some jewelry findings so I can transform beach pebbles into attractive jewelry, the way you do when you’ve had a little too much sun and surf and you think shells are the most beautiful things in the WORLD. It is odd how mother of pearl dolphin earrings can look so right at the beach and so, well, not right anywhere else. I can’t blame the sun, because it went away and it even rained, so now I can say that yes, it definitively DOES rain in Southern California. But the beach was the beach was the beach and fortunately, I am partial to fog and wind.