4th of July - Cayucos, part 1

So, I'm going to make a post with pictures of the parade, but first I want to talk about chairs.

Way back on Monday, I saw the first ones.


These were out in front of the little market. Did I mention it was Monday? That was still June!

As the week went on, more chairs appeared.


By yesterday, there were rows and rows of chairs.


The town went chair crazy. None of them were really chained or anything, just tied together or draped with police tape. I think that was more to save extended space than to warn people off.

As I was walking up the street yesterday, SUVs were pulling up and unloading dozens of chairs each. Obviously, this wasn't just the locals being grumpy about their parking spots being taken over by the parade. This was bigger.

Indeed, one of my teammates sent me an LA Times article:

One day each year, this beach town of less than 3,000 residents becomes among the most populous places on the Central Coast.

Some 30,000 people show up for a parade featuring floats that locals have worked on for at least two or three days before the event, children doing cartwheels and — when they aren't otherwise booked — marching bands.

30,000 seems like it might be a high estimate, but it was crazy crowded this morning in Cayucos. This was shot today where the first chair picture was taken:


And the town seemed to absorb it okay, really. Everyone I saw was smiling and cordial. (We'll see how tonight goes after a day of drinking.) I think the layout of the town helps. Down here by the beach, the streets are a whole lot wider than up in Nevada City. We're just generally spread out more. And, of course, the beach absorbed a lot of people, too, once it was over. All in all, not a bad deal.

And several folks went the extra mile. If you're going to go to the trouble of reserving a spot, might as well make it nice:


Oh, and sadly, I was disappointed he bothered to save a chair but never showed up:


Parade and sand castle pictures later.

3 thoughtful messages from friendly readers:

Don Pelton said...

Feel free to not answer this since -- strictly speaking -- it's none of my business: Since I haven't read your blog for awhile, I'm wondering if you've moved to Cayucos?

I ask because Jane and I just spent a week at Pacific Grove (our annual trek in celebration of our wedding 49 years ag). And -- as happens every year -- we are once again trying to figure out how we could move from Nevada County to the coast. We'd love to live in Pacific Grove, but it's ... expensive (as I suspect almost everywhere on the Calif coast is expensive).

AbbotOfUnreason said...

Hi, Don. Anyone is free to ask anything; I may fail to answer is all!

I'm terrible at living anywhere for any length of time. In the fall, I sold my house up behind the Outside Inn. Sadly, I hadn't found a new place to live yet. I just knew I wanted to migrate to the coast. So I drove from Fort Bragg down to Ventura looking at all the towns.

I liked the Central Coast a lot and, after a brief flirtation with Cambria, found a little beach house in Cayucos. It's not as expensive down here as the Monterrey Peninsula, unless you want to be close to the water. I hear that Santa Cruz is cheaper, but I didn't like the traffic.

I miss kayaking on the lakes up there, but biking (at least along the coast -- it's a steep climb inland) is easier here.

Don Pelton said...

Thanks for your detailed answer. Congratulations on the move. We have some longtime friends who have a (vacation) house in Morro Bay and have been asking us to come visit them there. I have the impression that that's close to Cayucos.

I hadn't thought about the biking issue. Easy biking is what I miss most here in the mountains, where it's a deathly dangerous pastime.

Since I'm in the midst of reading a book about the Cascadia subduction fault that runs some 800 miles from Cape Mendocino to Vancouver Island (and can produce 9+ Richter megaquakes) I'm more interested in looking for somewhere along the coast south, where the San Andreas is relatively (!) more benign.

Which is a laugh, really, because at our age there are hundreds of risks more likely to get us than an earthquake.

We just miss the sound of the ocean and the bracing air there.