Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Went to Carmel for the first time earlier this week. Alice found an inn welcoming to dogs, so Pika came too. What will I remember most? It's a doggie town. Lots of water bowls outside the shops. Lots of good places to sniff. Terrific chicken at that restaurant yesterday! Lots of quality lapsitting time on long drives along the coast and into the mountains above Carmel Valley. That big black Bernese Mountain Dog at the bar at the inn. Wow! I'd never seen a dog that big. Couldn't stop staring at him. And for one of the few times in my life, I was not the cutest dog. When I walked with Pika in downtown Carmel, I can't tell you how many people stopped and said,"Oooooo.... a pug! I've one at home!" Gave me mmore time to sniff things.
Alice says Carmel to her is going to see her older relatives when she was young. Aunt Lucy Pope who had polio as a child but who outlived everyone. Lucy - always a smiling face. A delicate lady who was a gentle as a bird. Her sister Fran who everyone thought would never marry but did when she was almost 50 years old.
It was quite the romance. She'd been friends with a couple in Seattle but then the wife died. The husband, Misha, had a vision one day he saw Fran's face in the Moon. Within the week, Fran called to say she was stopping through town and would be happy to visit.
They had a little house in Carmel walking distance to Ocean Avenue. Misha loved his front and rear gardens. Alice remembers how he wore three-piece suits with a Victorian style watch and fob which her Dad has now. He always had old and elegant wooden canes - the one with the dog head is in Alice's parent's umbrella stand. He spoke with a Russian accent and like Lucy and her sister, was always smiling with eyes twinkling. Alice is the custodian of his USA naturalization papers. He'd been in the Tsar's Army posted on the Chinese border when the Communist Revolution happened. (He's the one with the moustache in the carte de visit.) So, he walked across the border, became a businessman in Shanghai, and eventually came to Seattle and retired to Carmel. Fran and Lucy were his only living family when Alice knew him.
One of Misha and Frannie's favorite things to do in Carmel was sitting at the Carmel River State Beach watching the sunset. Alice and I saw it yesterday as did another couple. Pelicans commuted inland after their fishing jobs. That's Carmel, too.