My thirty-something son Scott has been out of work so therefore he is fair game for things his mom wants him to do. Recently I needed (wanted) to go to Monterey for a nursing conference and could not find a co-worker who wanted to go. Combining business and pleasure, I asked Scott if he would like to visit Monterey while I went to the conference. Amazingly he agreed to go with me.
I say amazingly because usually Scott turns me down. He turns down invitations to movies and dinners out. He has turned down cruises, trips to Disneyland and even a proposed trip to Disney World. The kid does not like to travel, or maybe he does not like to travel with his mother. Go figure.
So feeling that he probably would back out a the last minute I didn't spend too much money booking a motel. I did plan to make the trip fun and adventuresome if he did follow through and actually go along. I hoped we could reconnect and talk about the direction his life is currently going and not going.
I had a book on compact disc that I had been wanting to read and we listened to it as I drove. Scott did not listen as intently to the book as I would have liked, but it was easy for him to follow regardless. We were able to complete the book before the trip officially ended.
On the way to Monterey we stopped at for lunch. Just a little further down the road we toured , one of the most beautiful of the California missions. We also discussed the Hitchcock classic Vertigo, which was partly filmed at the mission. I expected Scott to be resistant to touring the mission but he said "Whatever you want to do Mom." Is this person actually my son?
Arriving in Monterey, we stopped at a favorite antique mall of mine. Antique malls are a great place to share memories, especially another generation, if you can get them interested. We figured out our bearings for the motel's location and the next day's agenda. We had dinner on Cannery Row at Bubba Gumps and and then drove the beautiful 17-mile drive at sunset, still listening to the book on CD.
Our motel was in Pacific Grove just across from Lover's Point park. The next day, I left early for my conference. Scott stayed behind and later walked about a mile on the to the . The weather was perfect, not cold, not windy. Scott said he enjoyed the walk, seeing the ocean and arrived at the Aquarium at its opening time.
While I was attending my class, Scott spent the day at the Aquarium. He had not been there since he was a little boy, the only time I took him. He told me he was able to pet the Bat Rays as he did when he was small. I wished I could have gone to the aquarium also and thought about what his day was like several times during my conference.
We met up after the class was over and I decided to avoid rush hour traffic and splurge on one more Cannery Row dinner, this time at the Fishhopper. For the second night in a row we enjoyed an ocean side table with scrumptious food, even though it was just chowder and salad. I felt particularly fortunate as the parking lot did not charge me extra for having gone over the allotted eight hours.
We had a nice time together--talking, not arguing. There was a moment when I almost went down a one way street the wrong way and blamed my mistake on Scott. He was telling me I was going the wrong way, which I was, but it was the wrong moment to further confuse his mother. It was super to have him carry my suitcase so I didn't have to. He did disappoint me by not have any change for the ridiculously expensive parking meters in Monterey after I had used all mine. How much change do they expect you to carry at five cents for two minutes? Also, one meter just took the coins and didn't move. However, maybe it was charging even more than five cents for two minutes.
At least in Monterey, street people do not ask you for your spare change. They know you need it for the meters.
Trips can run a little more expensive than you would like as you make choices for what to include and what to leave out. Overall, it wasn't too bad and we could have forgone the dinners but I wanted it to be a treat for me also. After all, I had to go to a nursing conference.
But the highlight of the trip for me surprisingly came the first day, before we arrived in Monterey. Scott and I had taken a similar trip to the coast when he was eight. Then I had taken a photo of him at Mission San Juan Bautista sitting on a bench beneath a mission bell. He posed as requested by me on the same bench again. I had also taken a photo of him on a big expanse of lawn that is between the mission and the stables. Back then, my eight year old had done an impromptu cartwheel for me as I snapped his picture. I asked Scott to go stand in the roughly the same spot he had been in 24 years earlier so I could take another photo of him for comparison. I kept saying, "no, move over there" as I tried to get him in the location I remembered.
Scott walked to the spot I pointed out, one he only vaguely remembered from his childhood. As his mother looked through the camera lens to take a photo, Scott again performed a cartwheel. I was amazed as I snapped the photo of my six foot tall grown son, yet once again saw the little boy.
Yes, we had fun.
This is an original post to the . When Sharon is not traveling she can be found blogging at Channeling Ricky.