stillhowlyn's travels 2007 travel blog

A "Golden" Day on the Bay!

Precarious "Devils Slide" area of Highway 1!

Negotiating a trade!

It's Pumpkin time in Half Moon Bay!

Half Moon Bay is flowers!

Our fantastic view of Pillar Point Harbor!

Local "watering hole" for lunch!

My "BFF", Tina!

No stopping Daniel!

Seriously Cute!

And Cuter!

If the Bay area is "home territory" then Half Moon Bay is truly Home! I lived here from 1969 when Terri was only months old until Howard and I hooked up, then finally departed on our journey in March 1995. We certainly come back often to visit local friends and spend time with Terri and Daniel and get our much needed ocean fix!

Half Moon Bay is artichokes, Brussels sprouts, flower farming, pumpkins, big waves and tourism. Half Moon Bay is a small town that really caught on and only 30 miles south of San Francisco. At the peak of the Silicon Valley tech explosion this tiny coastal community was "discovered" and real estate prices flew thru the roof and have continued. We could not afford to buy the house we sold several years ago! It re-sold a year or so ago for around $700,000, as a fixer-upper! A million dollars is an average sales price!

Tourism is always big in a beach town, especially when it's also known as the "really big surf" destination with Mavericks recognized as one of the world's top competitions. (These photos are pretty cool!) Then there is the annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival in October that literally brings in hundreds of thousands of tourists crowding onto two 2-lane mountainous access roads. Traffic is always backed up for hours on weekends with Highway 1 in gridlock!

Driving south from Petaluma, we cross the Golden Gate Bridge on a spectacular clear, sunny day as the Bay gears up for the weekend celebration of Fleet Week. Continuing on south thru Daly City and Pacifica we approach the construction project locally known as the Devils Slide Tunnel Bypass. For years the Devils Slide section of Highway 1, a rather treacherous 4 miles of sinking, sliding, eroding, cliff-hanging road dangling several hundred feet above the pounding Pacific has posed long months of road closures, fatal traffic incidents and nail biting driving conditions. Now the long awaited "tunnel bypass" is being constructed to alleviate said conditions.

We stay at the HMB State Beach Park for a couple of days, having to move out for the weekend due to the reservation system. This park is always booked on weekends regardless of the season or time of year. We have a wonderful dinner evening with Terri and Clint then joined by Daniel after football practice. Clint is a 5th generation Half Moon Bay native from the Azores of Portugal. The Portuguese community is indeed the heart and soul and roots of this town and celebrated in many local festivals such as Chamarita each year.

On Friday I meet my dear long-time best friend, Tina, for lunch at the Brewery, a popular watering hole in Princeton-By-The-Sea. Tina rented a room in our big old house and when we moved out in 1995 she and soon to be husband, Marty, stayed on and rented the entire house, paid the mortgage, utilities and took care of everything allowing us to begin our travels practically worry-free. She had just had a minor stroke a couple of weeks ago luckily while at her job at the UCSF Medical Center and just weeks before her 60th birthday. Her innate stubbornness and refusal to be held back and also being left handed has her insistent on strengthening her left hand and foot and when we met she was practically back to normal and planning to go to the 49er game on Sunday. She is an avid fan and season ticket holder! It was great to catch up and reminisce and laugh and gossip!

Around 3 a.m. Saturday morning the "stuff" hit the fan; e.g. stomach flu or some such! For the next 2 days I couldn't move except to the bathroom and back. Daniel's last "at home" Pop Warner football game was on Sunday which I had to miss. Howard went with camera; Norm, Wendy, Noelle and Christina drove down for the day. Daniel is the star of his team and this game highlighted all his talents culminating in his scoring a touchdown to win their game.

We moved up to the Pillar Point Harbor RV parking for Friday thru Sunday and were so excited (before I got sick) to see our dear friends, Colin and Nancy, were back as co-managers. We didn't get to spend much time together but promise a dinner and game of Mexican Train the next time we're down. The parking is tight but the views are spectacular with the coastal trail and surfer's beach nearby.

On Monday I'm feeling better and we drive back to Petaluma.

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