In November, the Princess learned that unless she wanted to be losing them, she’d best use her “floating holidays” by the second week of December or she would be kissing those days “good-bye”.
So, like the respectful royalty that she is, she put in for the time off and we got our buddy, Jimmy John (alias JJ), involved with our plans for silliness and merrymaking, and decided that a trip down to Monterey to do some bike riding along the coast would be a nice way to spend her time off.
Being the pizza and pastry lover that I am, though, I can’t drive down to Monterey, without a stopover in Capitola for a thin-crusted slice of pizza from a joint named, “Pizza My Heart” or a pastry from “Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria”.
So, the three of us agreed, before hitting Monterey’s coastline for bike riding, that a detour to this quaint beach town – known more for its steep cliffs and colorful houses and hotels, than its pizza joints and bakeries – was definitely on the agenda for the day.
The Princess and I had never been down to Capitola during the Christmas season and were pleasantly surprised to find “free parking” and Christmas music being piped-in throughout the village’s popular downtown.
Unlike other times of the year, the streets were pretty empty of tourists, and with the fog and overcast sky, it seemed more like a scene straight out of the Dicken’s era, if it weren’t for Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” playing in the background.
With nearby parking to the pizza joint and no one in the usual cue in front of the place, we quickly placed our orders and got served lickety-split.
Because this restaurant has no seating for its customers, and also because we enjoy eating with “an ocean view”, we headed down to the nearby beach to sit on a bench and watch the local surfers ride the unusually large waves of the season and enjoy our prized slice of pizza.
The powerful waves and surf had created a lot of beach debris, so no one, besides the multitude of pelicans and other shorebirds, was on the beach.
We decided that sitting on the boardwalk’s benches and using the cement beach wall, that separated the walk from the beach, as our “outdoor table”, would be the best plan of action for enjoying our pizza; and started to do just that, when out of nowhere, in one fell swoop, a pelican snatched the Princess’s slice of pizza out of her hand and gulped it down without so much as a “How do you do?”
The Princess, caught off guard and in total shock, stared at me in child-like innocence and whined, “OMG! That pelican just ate my slice of pizza. Did you see him? I can’t believe it, but that flippin’ bird just grabbed my slice of pizza outta my hand and ate the whole damn slice!”
(And she expected this bird to share her pizza with her and leave her a piece?)
In the meantime, she began to hungrily eye-ball my slice of pizza, looking for sympathy from me and JJ.
And, of course, being the sympathetic partner that I am, I let her know that she was shit outta luck when it came to sharing MY pizza and that if she wanted pizza for lunch, that she’d best head-on back to the pizza joint to buy another slice.
JJ just kept laughing, as he kicked back on the bench and savored his pizza, and told her that he saw the bird zero-in on her, but by the time he went to warn her, it nosedived directly at her and it was too late to say anything.
Photo credit: Pizza My Heart
Totally disgusted with all of us – Me, JJ and her new friend, Petey the Pelican – she traipsed back to “Pizza My Heart” for another piece of pizza, walked into the restaurant and announced to the clerk, “I just got mugged by one of your beach pelicans and I need another slice of pepperoni pizza.”
“Well,” the young man responded, “You’re in luck this afternoon, ‘cuz we have special insurance on pelican muggings and your pizza is on US today!”
Then he graciously proceeded to tell her how the shorebirds were unusually aggressive this time of year because there weren’t a lot of people feeding them and sent her on her merry way with another hot slice of peperoni pizza safely ensconced in a pelican proof pizza box.
Be careful out there, People.
Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again, when predators, of all shapes and sizes, come out of nowhere and swoop-in and take our valuables.
Have a Merry Christmas and I’ll catch ya next adventure, looking at life from my shoes.