Carmel. Monterey. Pacific Grove. No three words bring happier childhood memories for me. Two of my three books take place there, and that is no coincidence.
I remember these places vividly. It is never too warm; the temperature hovers in the mid to high fifties, sometimes gracing the upper sixties. There is a thin veil of damp fog that lines the streets and creeps in and out of the dense trees in the morning. Everything is lush and green, and my nose is always a little bit cold to the touch.
We went hiking and found salamanders, slugs, deer and rabbits. My feet crunched on the pathways, and before we went on a hike with my grandfather, we would help him choose a finely-crafted wooden walking cane. At Point Lobos we would search for heron, seals and otters in the ocean below. The wind would whip my hair and I loved it.
And the ocean was never for swimming. It was for leaping from jagged rock to rock and for finding small fish and starfish in the tide-pools. It was for running on little legs down long, vacant stretches of beach, leaving kid-sized footprints in the sand.
Monterey holds such beautiful memories for me. I long to go back. Until then, my characters will have to make it real for me.
Monterey – 1Beth - ?