|An old post card|
There are huge hotels and resorts dotting Pacific Coast Hwy. Main Street is a total shopping zone - and all the restaurants offer al fresco dining out on the sidewalks and you can't drive on the lower blocks. The homes are all rebuilt and have that Newport feel to them - and they cost in the millions!!
We ate at the Sugar Shack - best for it's pancakes. When I was living there it was a little hole in the wall place that the locals hung out in. Although the original restaurant is the same, most of the dining is outdoors. I was not impressed - even the food had changed too much (and not for the better).
We headed off for the pier - Looks quite different! It was rebuilt in the early 90s after it collapsed for a second time in 1988.
|Complete with street musicians - and this kid was GOOD!|
Looking over one side looked like a remembered it. A long stretch of sand full of sunbathers and surfers. No buildings or clutter on the beach.
Looking over the other side exemplified the changes - multi-floored hotels, restaurants along the beach. A mecca for tourists instead of locals.
Right on the corner of Main Street and PCH is Jack's Surfboard shop - an icon of the area. That store has been there since the 1950s and up until the 80s hadn't changed much at all. Just a single level store full of surfboards and surf paraphernalia, it is now a two story tower set up to fit in with the surrounding villas of shopping and eating. Even the merchandise has turned tourist.
Here's how I remember it (a photo from the 60s, but very much like the 70s).
And here it is now......
We drove past the high school. It has been remodeled and added on and changed a lot. Even the surrounding area has changed - built up. No more bean fields or open areas. Then we visited Dwyer middle school - that is where I met Alexia. We were in what was then called Jr. High School (that started at 7th grade, not 6th). It hasn't changed much. As one past student recalled, "Still looks like a prison". But it has stood still in time.
As I pondered going back, it was odd to be in a place that was familiar but so different. It felt like home but a world away. Am I that different now? Have I evolved to something that is familiar but totally changed? I think so. Time has a way of making us who we are. Those experiences and memories are integral in who I am right now. And although I do enjoy strolling down memory lane from time to time - I am completely happy to be in the now and revel in the who I've become.
You can't go back, but you can delight in the memories and dance with the passage time.