Yesterday the rain came down in bursts, off and on, but mostly on, so I abandoned the daily walk in favor of taking an afternoon field trip with The Professor to Ventura to check out some used book stores.
On the way, we stopped at an anonymous home and garden supply store to choose faucet handles to finish up a shower project that successfully stopped the leaking of both hot and cold water. (Isn't it great that The Professor is a handyman, too?) I wandered over to the plants department, not being particularly enthralled with the idea of looking at all the faucet handle choices. I found a lovely one gallon French lavender because, you know, you can never have too much lavender. We looked for another rosemary plant, but evidently it's a little too early in the herbs season for rosemary.
The Happy Wonderer had kindly given me the addresses for the book stores so we dragged up Ventura's Main Street toward Old Town and the (Buenaventura) Mission district and visited two of the three shops. Abendego Books and Bank of Books reminded me of Powell's Book Store in Portland--immense, stuffed with used and well loved books. The two stores are owned by the same people, as is the third one, The Cookbook Store. Bank of Books has a large basement book room that extends under Main Street and also under the shop next door. I am very proud of myself as I resisted bringing home a number of books I discovered on the shelves and limited myself to only one hard back book, "Gentian Hill" by Elizabeth Goudge (a new author to me) and two more copies of National Geographic Magazine, January 1989.
You may well wonder why I have an obsession with that particular edition of NG--we now own six copies. Why? Because we are mentioned in the article called "Two Worlds of Indonesia". A National Geographic writer came to our village of Mouyeba in 1987, looking for 'the end of the world', the most primitive place in Papua, to interview the people and see for himself how different the worlds of the Papuan interior and the Jakarta urban center were. At that time, the only way in and out of Mouyeba was by helicopter. We often stated that we didn't live at the end of the world but we could see it out the back window of our house.
Then it was time for an early dinner. In my excitement to have an outing with The Professor, I hadn't bothered to eat much lunch and I was hungry. We settled on having fish and chips at a funky little shop on Seaward Avenue, just a block from Ventura Beach. After enjoying the atmosphere of the shop, eating surprisingly excellent coleslaw, chips, fish, and onion rings, and licking our fingers, we went across the street to Full of Beans Coffee Shop. Do you remember that I mentioned that it was raining yesterday? The rain had stopped, blown out to the east by a very strong off shore wind. It was getting colder all the time, mainly because of the chill wind. Our poor Southern California bodies are used to warmth and by the time we got across the street I was shivering. We blew into the shop, the barista took one look at me and asked, "Hot chocolate?"
How did she KNOW?
We took my hot chocolate, picked up a jacket for The Professor and a fleece blanket for me from the car and strolled onto the beach.
It was a short walk. The wind was just too strong, although the sea gulls loved it.
Is there anything more beautiful than a Pacific Ocean sunset?