Endings and Beginnings

You know the old saying, when one door closes…

We drove over to the coast Sunday, me with the wine in my SUV—AC going full-blast to keep the wine happy—and Jim following. Both our cars were packed full.

We got to the apartment about 5. I had this idea on the way over—why don’t we take the wine to a proper storage vault instead of carrying ten cases of wine up 24 stairs (and back down in five months)? The temperature at the coast is between 68-75 on any given day, but it’s not as good as a constant 65, which is what the wine needs. He thought the idea was brilliant.

We carried as much stuff from the cars up the stairs as our legs (and hearts) would permit, and we went out for chow. Exhausted and famished, we stopped at the first place we saw, Pandora’s Pizza, on Coast Highway, or PCH as it’s commonly called. We got lucky. The pizza was very good. We’ll go back—next time we’ll walk, it’s only a block away.

The next day we drove up to The OC (what I call Orange County) and took the wine to a swanky vault with crystal chandeliers (how very OC). It’s about 40 minutes from here to the new house, an easy and pleasant drive up the coast. 

As we rolled south, I got two emails. The first one was from our builder, letting us know that construction had begun on our new house. The second was from the escrow officer letting us know escrow had officially closed on our desert house. I thought the timing was pretty freaking profound, I must say. Almost simultaneously.

We are in Encinitas, in “North County” (which is actually San Diego County). North County consists of a string of tiny beach towns along PCH. It hasn’t changed much since I lived here in the late 70s. It has grown exponentially, as has all of SoCal, but most of the growth is east of the interstate; the beach cities look the same—the same shacks but with different names as businesses came and went over the years. In fact, J got a message from his BMW saying he needs brakes. I remembered a European auto repair shop in the area (because I had an MG when I lived here) and it’s still here.

The apartment condo is small but nice. It has been completely gutted and redone, with bamboo floors, vinyl window frames, granite, travertine, glass shower, stainless, wall-mounted big TV—all very nice. 

We chose an upstairs unit for security (it’s the beach, after all) and the quiet. It is very quiet. We are a block from the ocean but there's no view, just trees. I can hear the surf at night, if I try real hard. 

If walls could talk—I wonder what it looked like when it was first built. My hunch is it was built in the 70s, and the kitchen didn’t have granite countertops but 4” tile, set on the diagonal. The fridge might have been harvest gold, and there definitely would have been no microwave oven, although microwaves were coming in then. The carpet would have been either drab green or golden brown shag, and there would have been a wall between the kitchen and living area, which has since been knocked out to let the light in and make a bar. There is an open bookcase where the pantry/broom closet would have been.
PS: I love the climate at the coast better than the desert but my hair curls more. 


  1. Certainly looks like a nicer apartment than it did in the '70s, I'm bettin'.

  2. I remember the 70's. Apt sounds nice. Glad you're on the way to a new adventure. xoxo M, your toothless sister.

  3. I'm sure there will be many more adventures to share. Looking forward to hearing about them.

  4. Nice digs. We have friends who have a very small place on the beach in that area but live in Manhattan Beach most days. It is lovely in both places !! Wine storage ?? Who would have thought. So, how long can I keep my reds in my 74 degree house? I drink the whites as soon as they enter the abode….
    Glad life is on the slow side these days and dreaming of decor is all you need to think about.

  5. It looks like a great place to await the transition to your next place. Enjoy beach life, though yes, it's hard on the hair.

  6. Love the white kitchen...most kitchens are so dark these days.

    Good call on keeping the wine off-site. Why take a chance on ruining it and why give up the space?

  7. Looks like a nice place! You're right about the grown around San Marcos! We were amazed. And I do remember the gold appliances as that was our choice, either that or avocado. Now we have off-white in various shades as the appliances come and go.....Enjoy your interim digs!

  8. You are a smart cookie! The ocean looks so wonderful to me. I bet you are tired still but this looks like a great adventure for a few months.

  9. The apartment looks nice! A comfy place to wait for the new home!


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