Prime Time Chronicles May 5 – 8, 2015

11 May
 Pajaro Panthers

The Pajaro Panthers

 This is the cast of characters for the 2015 Prime Time at Pajaro. We greatly missed those of you who weren’t able to join us and we hope you will be able to join us next year. However, even with only seven of us, there were often several simultaneous conversations.  As usual, we never stopped talking.  We had a lot to catch up on!  (Don’t forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Lynda had picked up Dot at the San Jose airport in the morning and they got groceries for the first night’s dinner. Diana and I picked up Susan at the same airport that afternoon and then zoomed to Pelican 10. It wasn’t long before the first bottle of wine was uncorked and the festivities began.  You don’t see Shoo in this picture because she had just come home from Holland on May 4 and didn’t join us until the afternoon of the 6th.  She said the tulips were exquisitely beautiful and her Dutch adventure was excellent.

Before the first glass of wine.  We're ready to party!

We were having a good time even before the first glass of wine!

Many years ago, Trish had the foresight to save many of the letters we had written to her during our freshman year of college. They were written primarily during the first semester when we were all filled with wonder, awe, and dread of what was to come in our maiden year of college. She distributed them to us and it was fun reading our thoughts. There were thoughts about classes, parties, kissing, making out, and the whole ball of wax that one goes through going away from home for the first time. That of course, led to more discussions and memories of college. It seems so long ago (and it was), but we remember those days just like it was yesterday…perhaps with some embellishments? Who knows? It was fun to talk about those crazy days.

Trish had an antique of unknown nomenclature that we all examined. Diana even checked it out with her loupe, but she and we never arrived at any conclusion as to what it is. I think it has something to do with surveying, but we don’t know.

Lynda is examining the antique

Lynda is examining the antique

Diana is ever prepared to examine antiques

Diana is ever prepared to examine antiques

We didn’t walk as much on the beach as we usually do because of wind, weather and other activities. I think we needed Sherry to jump-start us in that direction.

But we did take a hike in the Nisene Marks State Park , which is four miles north of Aptos. The park offers rugged semi-wilderness, rising from sea level to steep coastal mountains of more than 2,600 feet. Once the site of logging operations until the 1920s, visitors can still find evidence of logging operations, mill sites and trestles in the park. The land was donated to the state by the Marks family in 1963. One note of interest is that the park was the epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Lynda’s house sustained quite a bit of damage from that quake.

Here we are getting ready to enter the Nisene Marks trails

Here we are getting ready to enter the Nisene Marks trails

This view is not far from the trailhead and looks down on Aptos Creek.

What a beautiful park! It’s a hidden delight for hikers and bikers.

What a beautiful park! It’s a hidden delight for hikers,  bikers and walkers.  The forest has redwoods, some new growth, many ferns, wildflowers, redwood sorrel and even some poison oak that we all deftly avoided.

Pretty new growth

Pretty new growth

It's like a little Eden in here.

It’s like a little Eden in here.

Lynda is an elfin spirit

Lynda is an elfin spirit in the forest.

Walking the trail

Walking the trail

Our first total group walk on the beach produced the usual views of the godwits poking their beaks into the sand, sanderlings scooting along the shore, pelicans flying overhead, and grebes floating and then diving for food in the waves. But we also espied many purple sail jellyfish washed up on the shore.

A by-the-wind sailor...not very big.  They are perhaps an inch and a half to two inches long.

A by-the-wind sailor…not very big. They are perhaps an inch and a half to two inches long.

An invasion is afoot along beaches from Oregon to California: Millions of glassy purple, jellyfish-like sea creatures that look like sailboats have been washing ashore. Known as “by-the-wind sailors,” they typically live in the open ocean, but when warm water and storms draw them near shore, the wind blows them onto beaches, where they die in stinking piles. These creatures, whose scientific name is Velella velella, aren’t actually jellyfish, but hydrozoans, related to the Portuguese man-of-war.  (according to Live Science.com)  They are pretty, in their own way, and are harmless to humans. Luckily, they were not stinking on the Pajaro beach.

A great place for chowder and other sea food delights

A great place for chowder and other sea food delights

For dinner that evening, we drove to Phil’s Fish Market and Eatery at Moss Landing. I meant to get pictures of our plates, but was too engrossed in my own food. Oops. Suffice to say that we all enjoyed our vittles very much and were stuffed to the gills. Later on, that didn’t stop us from enjoying Diana’s famous berry cobbler made with Jacobs Berry Farm berries. Delicious!

The next morning, Susan, Dot and Lynda helped do an antique beaded purse restoration for Diana. Such talent in our group!

The next morning, Susan, Dot and Lynda helped restore an antique beaded purse  for Diana. Such talent in our group!

The toys and games

The toys and games

As you can see, we all have our electronic toys and phones upon which can be played games. For a bit, we were pretty much occupied with playing Dropwords. I did pretty well with it when I was working with Dot, Susan and Lynda. Alone, I was too slow.

We tried to get reservations to take a tour of the Elkhorn Slough, but they were sold out on the day we could all go. So we drove to the mouth of the slough and watched pelicans and sea lions on a breakwater. We even saw a sea lion pup, which didn’t look too happy.  Many sea lions are not getting enough to eat these days due to warming waters that drive their food supply to cooler areas of the ocean.

A small sea lion on the breakwater

A small sea lion on the breakwater

Pelicans on the breakwater.  The brown blobs to the right are sea lions camped on their section of the rocks

Pelicans on the breakwater. The brown blobs to the right are sea lions camped on their section of the rocks

Dot is enjoying the sea breeze and trying out her own wings.

Dot is enjoying the sea breeze and trying out her own wings.

We didn’t get to take the slough tour but we did see one otter floating on his back near the shore of the marina. Some locals told us he is there quite often.

The Moss Landing malingerer

The Moss Landing malingerer

We had our traditional lunch at the Whole Enchilada at Moss Landing and enjoyed a variety of Mexican food delights. Susan had the biggest chili relleno I have ever seen. I thought there had to be at least 2 or 3 peppers in the dish, but it was just one. Wow! What a meal! Again, we didn’t get our traditional picture marking our presence at the Whole Enchilada, but we do have a few.

Shoo and Diana

Shoo and Diana

Susan and Dot

Susan and Dot

Ray, the proprietor, always seems to come around to talk to us when we have lunch there. He always talks a bit, asks who is in charge and then gives her a pitch about being in business together. Then he gives her a Lotto ticket saying he gets 50% of the winnings. This year, we couldn’t decide who was in charge, so he had us each choose a number. Diana has been the one in charge before and didn’t want to do it again. However, she picked the exact number and then felt lucky with the ticket since she was spot on. But, alas, it was a loser. Rats!  Diana is always a good sport about these things and we admire her for going with the flow.

It began to rain during our lunch but we walked to a couple of nearby shops to check out their wares. The local boutique made out quite well with our group.

After our walk through the rain, making purchases and checking again on the marina otter, we drove on home to make sure the wine was still in good shape. Well, that is not totally true, but there was a lot more conversation. It seems as though we always have something interesting to talk about. I always learn a lot of stuff when I’m with these ladies.

The chatting forum

The chatting forum

It is such a joy to be able to gather each year to celebrate this group. It is not often that a group of high school gals bonds in such a way that the relationship lasts a lifetime. When we come together, it’s as if we haven’t been apart for a long time and we coalesce back into the amazing group we’ve always been. (Not that we aren’t supporting throughout the year, it’s just now it’s face-to-face)  We always know that the group will be there to help in any way it can.

It’s just great to be together with these ladies.  Thank you all for being you!  And thank you, Lynda, for contributing some of the pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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