The Princess and the Pelican

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!

Un-Hun.

(And she expected this bird to share her pizza with her and leave her a piece?)

Yep.

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.

pmh-pizzas-126-big-sur

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.

 

Advertisements

Got Nuts?

All righty.

The Princess and I headed for Monterey this month to do some whale watching and celebrate my birthday.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

We go to the area often and enjoy hanging around the aquarium and checking out the little fisheys.

Whale watching, though, is quite another story.

The last time that we took this little naturalist led excursion, I ended up in the aft end of the boat for most of the trip, bonding with a moaning, pale 5 year old, as she and I reluctantly contributed our morning breakfasts to the bay waters.

Wasn’t a fun experience – to say the least.

So, when I woke up bright and early Saturday morning and told the Princess that I was in the mood to do some boating and see me some humpback whales, the Princess looked at me like I “hadn’t the sense God gave a goose”, and rolled back over and told me to go back to sleep.

After coaxing her out of bed and getting her to see that I was quite serious about my wishes to go whale watching, we got ready and headed out to the coast.

Acutely aware of the fact that I didn’t fair too well the last time we went, I judiciously decided to forego breakfast and determined that a large bottle of Coke would serve me well and that I’d eat when we finished the trip.

The Princess, though, decided that she needed something of sustenance and elected to stop off at one of the little shops on the wharf to procure some snack-type vittles before starting our excursion.

Uh-Hun.

She prudently decides that nuts would be a good source of protein and a much better snack, than the popcorn that I was hungrily eye-balling.

Quickly finding the nut display, but not knowing which of the three, young service people, idly standing behind the counter, was responsible for the “nut section”, she innocently asked, “Which one of you three handles the nuts?”

Not missing a beat and coyly smiling, the witty young man among them smugly looks at her and replies, “Hold on, ma’am, I’ll be with you in a minute.”

I don’t know who was laughing more – the kids behind the counter or me?

God love her!

She keeps me laughing every day.

Have a great day, People, and may you be blessed with someone that brings you laughter and joy, on a regular basis.

Catch ya next time, looking at life from my shoes.