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What A Difference A Hill Makes….

September 8, 2014

It’s a twenty minute drive.  Okay, maybe 45 when traffic is thick, or an accident slows things, or when a tree falls in the road.  The drive over the hill (I call it a hill because with an elevation of 1800 feet it is hardly a mountain) can be unpredictable at times.  But in any event that is the separation between Sunnyvale, California and the quaint village of Aptos.  The time separation may be short but the quality of life, the pace of life, the essence of life is a world apart.

When you walk down the sidewalk, or along the beach (okay, so in fairness Sunnyvale doesn’t have a beach) people actually say good morning or good evening or just hello as you pass.  If people are running with earplugs they will smile at you as they go by.

When you are at a crosswalk cars actually stop.  Even if you are not at a crosswalk, cars stop to let you cross.  A young man of about ten carrying home a pizza stopped at a point where the sidewalk narrowed for only one person to pass and let us go by.  In Sunnyvale you’re lucky if kids don’t run into you on skateboards or bikes.

The neighbors came out and greeted us, introduced themselves, and welcomed us to the area. There are still neighbors in our old house we have never met or even seen.

We found a small independent pharmacy, the pharmacist gave me her card and said if you have any issues or problems call me.  In the local CVS an employee asked us if we needed help, twice.  I have never been asked if I needed help in the Sunnyvale CVS, much less have the pharmacist do more than dispense the pills.

The mailman actually said hello and was not talking on a cell or walking with an MP3 player plugged in his ear.

At the end of each story that’s continued, the local paper prints “please turn to page #”.  Please!! Now that is a word you rarely hear much less see in print.

The local restaurant we found actually pours a full glass of wine, instead of to some line fixed by corporate to maximize profit.

At the Armitage wine tasting room the woman working the counter came around and hugged us when we were about to leave, having purchased two bottles of an incredible Pinot Noir.  I have been in a lot of tasting rooms and have never been hugged before.

Sitting on a bench, looking out at the ocean, sipping wine, we had a man come up to us, also with a glass of wine, and toast with us for the gorgeous sunset.  Now in fairness we did have great sunsets in Sunnyvale, but somehow having the ocean as backdrop just makes it all better.

We had a good life in Sunnyvale, but on this side of the hill life is and will be so much better.  So if you head this way just look for the guy with a white pony-tail, wearing flip flops, black cargo shorts, a sleeveless shirt, and a big smile on his face, walking with the love of his life beside him.


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