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>In between writing and running errands and recovering from what I keep thinking of as For(d)ward the Future (Ford's futurist/tech conference this week) we took a run down Highway 1 today to enjoy the views and have my favourite brunch at Cafe Kevah (the sunnier, deck area of Nepenthe). It was grey and cloudy after we did the twistiness that is Highway 17, right down to below Carmel (where the dove-placard peace garden is definitely all stone cairns and pebble piles now). Even in the dimness under the marine layer it's a lovely coast and the grey-white reflection the distant fog bank cast on the furthest stretch of the sea was striking against the aquamarine of the surf around the rocks nearer the coast. Then we turned a headland and the sun came out and the sky and sun turned blue and the headlands went yellow with mustard; some slopes were so crowded with yellow and purple lupines and ice plant and indian paintbrush and magenta flag and that yellow monkey flower thing and other blooms that it was like a patchwork quilt.

It was such a lovely day that Cafe Kevah was busier than usual; the blue and scrub jays kept to the trees - they like to retrieve crumbs from empty tables - and we weren't under an umbrella, so my left arm (not protectively tanned from being next to the car window all trip) is now festively pink. But the fresh blue crab and avocado in the eggs benedict and the superb coffee are worth it (and the sourdough toast and christopher bun - cinnamon, raisins, icing - are nothing to sniff at either).

Back up the sunny coast and across to Capitola; I know it's touristy but it's charming too, with pretty painted cottages and Cafe Violetta had my favourite ice cream flavours back in stock - ollalaberry and honey, and oregon blackberry - so we sat on the sea wall and boggled at the new sandy beach where once was a small river and piles of rock and driftwood, and debated what the distant wake was (canoe rather than dolphin) and toasted a little more before heading back to San Jose. A little work, a little packing (!), a long flight and we'll be back in London and plunging into press conferences and the London summer - joy ;-)

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Mary Branscombe
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