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California Dreaming

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Marin County | California

We went down to Carmel-by-the-Sea over Christmas to celebrate our anniversary. Twenty-five years aren’t that many when you’re married to Rica. The girl is a whirlwind. We drove down Highway One so she could revel in the ocean views at every conceivable pullout.

We had lunch in the little coastal town of Davenport, and I took a couple of photos. I emailed the red door photo to friend Inky Beecher because he has an oddball esthetic and I thought he might find it interesting. He shot back, “Gerry Mulligan recorded a song named ‘Red Door.’ I’m not sure I would have taken that photo, what with the drawn curtains and parked motorcycles.” (Inky knows stuff about big bands from the 40’s and 50’s. His father was Gene Beecher, big band leader and folk artist.)

It’s interesting how he picked up this vibe from an emailed photo. As I was making the picture, a car pulled up a couple of doors down. Out came three young men carrying grocery bags. When they stopped and stared at me, I thought they were just curious. Then they walked past the old Mercedes into the red house. I waved and said I loved the red door. One of them smiled. Rica started pulling on my arm and said we should leave. Off we went down Highway One.

We arrived in Carmel an hour later and checked into Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch. Rica immediately went off exploring, and naturally I had to take a nap. I woke from a dream to the sound of dripping water from the overhead fire extinguisher. It was directly over the bed, and in my sleepy haze I panicked thinking the bed was on fire. It’s amazing how fast you can move when seized by such thoughts.

Once out of bed, a few quick sniffs convinced me that there was no smoke in the room, and a steady look at the ceiling revealed that water wasn’t coming from the sprinkler, but from around its edges where the fixture was fitted to the ceiling.

I was still staring at the ceiling wondering what to do when Rica came in. It took her a moment to place a wastebasket with a plastic lining under the leak and send me to the front office. The Mission Ranch staff couldn’t have been more helpful, and we ended up with a free night.

The rest of our stay was less dramatic but as enjoyable as ever.

California Coast

The Pacific Coast Highway provides an endless number of ocean views.

Red House, Davenport, CA

Xmas photo 2013--3

St. Vincent de Paul Church, Davenport, California, on a slow day.

Mission Ranch

Mission Ranch was once a dairy farm. The water leak into our bedroom came from the second floor suite.

Rica to the Rescue

The leak from the second floor ended up being minor. The staff responded immediately.


Helga and Richard wired beautiful flowers for our anniversary.

Rica before dinner

Rica before Christmas Eve dinner.


This pasture is one reason why I love coming to Mission Ranch.

Sheep at Mission Ranch

I took this photo on an earlier visit. We’ve come here often.

Duck Dynasty

From Rica’s iPhone. I’ve been hoping for a spot on Duck Dynasty. Now that Phil Robertson is back, I may as well trim my beard.

Seasons Greetings

Seasonal greetings to you all.


Written by Ron Greene

December 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

9 Responses

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  1. Happy Anniversary! Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing your keen eye.xoxoxSusan

    Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2013 18:54:09 +0000 To:

    Susan Kirsch

    December 28, 2013 at 11:05 am

  2. How lovely and fun! Happy 25th anniversary and many more. Thanks for sharing this special day.

    Love Elaine

    Elaine Huddon

    December 28, 2013 at 11:08 am

  3. Such a pleasure to read about the wonderful trip. Really great photos, too. Paris, football, and now great portrait and landscapes…. Keep it up, friend. Happy New Year to both of you!


    December 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

  4. Wonderful photos. Can’t believe it’s 25 years!


    December 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

  5. Dear Ron and Rica,
    First of all belated but many many happy returns of your anniversary day. In fact, this was a good occasion to come back to India, visit temples and exchange garlands as many couples do when they complete 25 years or may be 50 years of their marriage. The photos were just superb. It was like visiting the place. Hope there would be occasion to meet you and Rica again. My memories are still fresh from my last visit.

    Best wishes,


    January 1, 2014 at 5:37 am

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