Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weekend Exploration in Central & Northern California Part II

So many quotes that I can vaguely recall have been coming to me recently. In this time where many are seeking answers, I've found comfort in researching history, political action, social justice movements and great pieces of writing. I particularly love the quote below by Robert F. Kennedy speaking to young South Africans in 1966. It's a speech I quote often, the entirety of it touches upon so many topics I feel strongly about and believe are still relevant. I like to think too, that 50 years ago, men referred to all of humanity. 
"Hand in hand with freedom of speech goes the power to be heard, to share in the decisions of government which shape men's lives. Everything that makes man's life worthwhile-family, work, education, a place to rear one's children and a place to rest one's head -all this depends on decisions of government; all can be swept away by a government which does not heed the demands of its people. Therefore, the essential humanity of men can be protected and preserved only where government must answer-not just to the wealthy, not just to those of a particular religion, or a particular race, but to all its people." 

Back to California. My friend Allison and I had four fantastic days here recently when she visited and the first two, we touristed hard. The second two had a slower, more relaxed feel. 

In Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach, we noticed the waves were enormous! The largest either of us had ever seen.

In Santa Cruz, we saw (and smelled) this large gathering of sea lions. They were loud in their barking and restless in their movement to find a comfortable spot. They seemed to seek sun and rest.

To be among redwoods, we visited Henry Cowell state park and as it was a bit damp there, we were thrilled to see banana slugs. I'd heard so many describe them as "not really that yellow," but I suspect they were referring to a different species of yellow slug or ones that don't exist in California as the ones we saw roaming the forest were as bright and purely yellow as the UC Santa Cruz mascot! I was fascinated by how they slid along and used their tentacles. I restrained myself from bringing a family of banana slugs home.

The redwoods are wide, but mostly just tall. It's tricky to see the tops of the trees but being among a small forest of them feels so peaceful and quiet.

On our way to San Jose for Allison's flight, we stopped by Los Gatos, a town with a lovely and walkable downtown and a name that translates from Spanish as The Cats.

An art gallery and succulents. Two very welcome sights!

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