Charming Carmel. It is a small town of beauty and richness. Small shops and lovely planters invite tourist to stop and linger. The roads that run east/west lead to the ocean. And it was walking down Ocean Avenue that I felt just a bit off balance.
The charm of the city has much to do with the trees that line the streets. But it does make the sidewalks uneven. And, Ocean Avenue slopes downward as one walks west towards the water. And that is what I thought was the reason for the slight lopsided feeling on Saturday night.
Meeting friends for dinner to celebrate a 75th birthday, I wanted to look sheik in this affluent town. Husband and I donned our spiffy outfits and decided to take the 15 minute walk to La Playa, where we would join our friends for cocktails before dinner.
ONE TWO BUCKLE MY SHOE: My black wrap dress was dressed down just a bit by black low-healed boots. But comfort was essential and I decided to sacrifice style for comfort. One foot in front of the other, that darned Ocean Avenue proved a challenge to navigate despite the comfort of my shoes.
THREE FOUR SHUT THE DOOR: Soon after our arrival, I noticed that the beautiful, spacious room our friends were staying in was gently sloped towards the ocean view. “Yes” agreed beautiful, youthful birthday girl, she thought the floor was sloped too. I told her that the floor of our room eight blocks away was slightly sloped as well. Yet, as I shifted to my other side, the room then felt shifted away from the water. I blamed the illusion on my off-balanced walk.
FIVE SIX DINNER AT SIX: And it was wonderful. Great food. Wonderful conversation. Laughter aplenty. Although the gravel driveway at Mission Ranch provided yet another uneven walking platform, my vertigo subsided slightly while sitting to eat. Thankfully I wasn’t wearing spiked heals to navigate the pebbly surface after dinner and a glass or two of wine.
SEVEN EIGHT SET ME STRAIGHT: Back at La Playa, the party continued with singing, dancing, charades and gift giving. It was during the gift giving that my dear friend admired my shoes. She particularly liked the buckle on the left boot.
Then she asked me, what happened to the buckle on the right boot? As I glanced down, I wondered the same thing. Then upon closer inspection, I noticed that the heal on the right boot was quite a bit longer than the heal on the left!
All night long, my right leg felt longer than my left. All night long, I pranced about lopsided. All night long, I felt off balanced.
And I blamed it on:
the construction of the room,
the graveled driveway.
I was wearing two different boots, hastily packed in my luggage from the dim morning light of our bedroom!
We laughed and laughed. And laughed some more. With my tail between my legs, one foot in front of the other, with husband holding my elbow to balance me, we left our friends and exited the hotel to begin our 15 minute walk uphill through the tree-lined, uneven street back to our hotel. When miracle of miracles, a young man driving the hotel shuttle pulled up in front of the hotel.
At this point, I gave up on looking sheik, and we implored him to drive us to our hotel. He obliged. I hoped he would not notice my feet.
What a lovely weekend! And how wonderful it was to be back on even ground!
NINE TEN WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?