Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oy, Oy, Oysters and Tamales Bay

I'm throwing the chronology of our trip to California completely out the window -- much like Eric throws the logic of a direct route from Point A to Point B out the window. This trait is sometimes enviable -- that he's willing to go off the beaten path, that he takes interest in seeing things others might miss, that he's more drawn to water than land -- but in this case even he will admit we took an unnecessary detour (to a place we'd been 3 times before, no less).

Tamales Bay is a coastal estuary located on the central California coast north of San Francisco. They are famous for the oysters that they harvest there and on our first trip to California, we made a wonderfully memorable spur-of-the-moment stop at a place called Tony's, where Eric had a dozen on the half shell, I had a grilled cheese, and we both had an ice cold Sierra Nevada while the sun was going down (or at least that's how we remember it). Tamales Bay, thusly was doomed to become that classic the-first-time-is-always-the-best time.

During last year's trip, we routed ourselves that same way only to find that Tony's was closed. Then this year, Eric chose once again the twisty turny Highway 1 to Tamales Bay on our way to Santa Rosa. (We had made a stop in Sausilito first.) He just won't give up on trying to recapture "the first time."

As we're driving, he mentions that he thinks Tony's is closed on Tuesdays -- or is it Thursdays? (I'm sure you can see where this is going.) So with me behind the wheel twisting and turning in our rented Jeep Laredo (thumbs-down), we make our way north. The scenery is no doubt beautiful and the eucalyptis scent produced a much-needed calming effect, but eventually, as we wrap up "the-detour-that-cost-us-two-extra-hours-on-the-road," we approach Tony's to find it closed once again. They are only open on WEEKENDS! So we moseyed up to the next roadside stand (whose name escapes me) to shovel down a dozen oysters and a beer on the "barrel tables" they require you to sit at if you want an adult beverage.

As you can see from the main photo in this post, Oliver is not interested in Oysters (at least not beyond knocking the shells about). I was less interested than usual myself and ate only 3 of the 12. Eric polished the rest under the pressure of the displeased and delayed crowd, and then we hit the road to Santa Rosa just in time for Friday commuter traffic. Next time, if Tamales Bay is in the cards, we are going to Santa Rosa, driving west, eating, and driving east back to civilization and 101.

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most beautiful drives in the world, I think, but it is by no means the most direct route and should be used sparingly in that regard.

1 comment:

mrsjtg said...

Your descriptive writing kills me, Denise. Is there a book in your future? I love it!