Beautiful, Sunny California Essay, Research Paper
Beautiful, Sunny California
Warm sunny days, golden tans, beautiful sandy beaches, and bright shimmering lights of the cities at night. These are the images that came to my mind when I thought of California. As a child, I often daydreamed of living in such a wonderful place. Little did I know that the images of sunny beaches, people walking around in shorts, and gentle breezes portrayed in the advertisements of the magazines and television were not as they appeared: however, I would soon find all this out.
My husband was in the Army when we got married and soon after the marriage he was given his duty station. We were informed the we were being moved to the ?Golden State.? Our destination was to be Fort Ord, California. Fort Ord is located on the West Coast just outside of Monterey. San Francisco is a mere two-hour drive to the north and Los Angeles is six hours to the south. Pebble Beach, Carmel, Big Sir, and John Steinbeck?s Cannery Row were only a matter of minutes away. I could hardly wait to get settled into our new home.
Our two children and I boarded our plane in Nashville, Tennessee headed for my fairy tale destination. Dave met us at the airport in Monterey shortly before noon. The day was starting off just as I had imagined. As we stepped out of the terminal, the bright, warm rays of sunshine greeted me. It stroked my face like a child would rub a kitten. The warm air engulfed me like being wrapped in an electric blanket on a cold winter day. This was everything I had dreamed of as a child.
Upon leaving the airport, my nicely crocheted dream began to unravel. I had expected more traffic on the roads here than what was at home, but I was not prepared for what we embarked on. It was lunchtime and the cars were moving through the streets so slowly that it reminded me of sorghum molasses being poured over pancakes. Like a turtle trying to cross a country road, we crept through the streets toward the freeway.
Once on the freeway, the traffic began to flow more easily. I could relax and enjoy the scenery. The freeway ran along the coastline, so I could see the ocean from here. The snag that started the unraveling of my blanket of images was the color of the ocean. Instead of being the blue-green I had envisioned, it was a soft gray color. The sand was not smooth, either, but more like the coarse grate of sandpaper. The colors of the coastline and the water were so similar that I could not tell where the ocean began.
The coastline was littered with patches of brush like a patchwork quilt. And like the clothes strewn across a teenager?s room, the sand had been blown across the freeway. There were no ditches on the sides of the roads, only the sand with small patches of grass poking their way through trying to get a peek at the sun. The grass was not the bright green that it was back home: instead, it was a greenish-yellow color from the lack of water.
Upon arriving at the base, the scenery did not change much. The grass was littered with sand, although not to the extent it was on the freeway. The ocean could still be seen in the distance. The grass in the front yards along the streets was sparse and brown. The green grass that did dot the lawns reminded me of the spots on a Dalmatian.
Once in the house, I went to the patio doors to look across the back yard. Small bushes with tiny yellow blooms were scattered around reminiscent of the soft glowing lanterns that are hung around decks in the summertime. From here I still had a view of the ocean and imagined being able to see the sunset behind the ocean. I could clearly picture the vivid red fading to a warm orange and giving away to the soft pink before disappearing into the water.
Later that afternoon, I sat down on the sofa to take a break from the unpacking and to watch the sunset as I had imagined earlier. This is when my blanket became completely undone. The sight before me was not the relaxing colors I had anticipated, but a gray, gloomy fog was engulfing my view.
The fog came floating across the yard like a lady walking across the dance floor with her gown flowing about her feet. The fog I was used to seeing at home did not move, it merely sat there like an old man sitting on his porch in his rocking chair. The fog was so thick that the lights from the street were a blur. I have always heard the expression, ?fog as thick as pea soup,? but never had I imagined it to be true.
So much for my anticipated ?Sunny California.? The scenery was nothing like I had anticipated. I was raised believing the beauty is only skin-deep, but I thought it only applied to people. This experience showed me that things are never as they appear on the outside. Always look beyond the surface for the true answer!