Monday, November 13, 2006

San Gregorio

San Gregorio turns out to be a very tiny, very cute town reached by a winding, top-down road through the woods from Palo Alto. There isn’t much to the town except for the offbeat San Gregorio General Store. The place doesn’t look like a typical general store; it’s kind of monolithic stucco and looks more like a post office. Or maybe a trading post. But certainly not a general store. Inside, it’s full of weird postcards, funny t-shirts, novelty items (matzo-ball soap, for instance), and lots of candy. There was a bluegrass band playing, and a wood stove, and they did indeed sell sarsaparilla, but it was a cold day and I found that I didn’t really feel like soda. Maybe next time.

There’s also a beach at San Gregorio, fairly deserted and very wild. The surf was rough--I can’t imagine it’s ever swimable. There are cliffs about 40 feet high, all eroded sandstone. The cliffs look like Santa Fe, and the ocean looks like Ireland. It’s a strange juxtaposition, but beautiful. Someone had built a very elaborate driftwood fort that was a good place for imaginary tea and ice cream (my friends and I had a 4-year-old with us). We couldn’t stay all that long because it was too blustery and we got cold. (Maybe I shouldn’t have had that second scoop of virtual mint chip.) It’s a beautiful beach, and I’m glad I know about it.

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