Many years ago, when I was a young boy living in Sunnyvale, my mom would take my sister and me to visit my Aunt Jackie who lived in Carmel. She was an artist and had an apartment here at the time. Carmel was much different than Sunnyvale, and instead of apricot orchards and seas of neighborhoods, Carmel had small-town charm with cobblestone walkways, unusual little houses and an amazing white sand beach.
One of the things I remember on the drive to Carmel was a majestic view that was always fresh back then and remains so every time I pass it. When coming from the North on Highway 1 and passing through Sand City, the view looks out over the Monterey Bay and across to Pacific Grove. I have seen it thousands of times and it’s still a beautiful sight which never gets old.
It was back in 1990 when I accepted a job at the Monterey Herald. I was living up in Sonora at the time and married to my first wife and raising our three awesome kids. I rented a guest house in Pebble Beach while we tried to sell our house in Sonora so we could eventually get the whole family here.
It was that view of the long beach and wharf area which looks across the Bay that had me saying to myself, “I can’t believe I am going to live here.” Taking that job at the Monterey Herald was one of the best decisions of my life in so many ways. It led me to my beautiful wife of 20 years, my second batch of young children who are equally as amazing as the first, and it led me to start up this magazine almost 20 years ago.
Living here is about as good as it gets. Recent trips to LA and San Francisco dramatically emphasize how different it is here. The Monterey Bay area is changing for the better these days as all parts of the County seem to be on a mission to up their game. Retaining our roots while making the necessary changes to keep our tourist population coming and our residential base happy is paramount to success.
In this edition of Carmel Magazine, we have many inspiring stories and features, some of which are dedicated to some substantial milestones.
The Ventana Wildlife Society celebrates 40 years of amazing conservation work and dedication down in Big Sur. The Monterey Jazz Festival is celebrating its 60th consecutive year as it continues as the longest running Jazz Festival in the world.
Also in its 60th year is Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, which has been going strong since 1957. The track evolved from a need tied directly to the Pebble Beach Road Races which took place in the early ’50s and are also featured in this edition.
On that note, I would be remiss to not mention Car Week. This annual event seems to keep growing and expanding and producing more and more special events tied to the week. The economic upside is worth the inconvenience to locals who have to fight the San Francisco Bay Area type traffic for a week.
Yes, it’s hard to get around and can be frustrating but it is also great for our local retailers and if you are into cars, you don’t have to go far to enjoy the best of the best.
The Monterey Peninsula offers a vast array of opportunities all within a 20- to 30-minute drive. It is a world-class destination that cannot be beat.