Thursday, August 09, 2007

Casa de Fruita

Vacation in Monterey

Memory making begins from the moment we get into the car. We travel the exact same route, make all the same stops, but manage to make it feel brand new each and every time. If anticipation could be turned into a fuel source, we wouldn't even need to fill the car with gas. As we leave the hot summer weather of the Valley behind and begin the uphill assent into the small mountains, we have already covered at least 10 different subjects of conversation. The thrill of going away together only builds as we reach our traditional first stop...Casa de Fruita. We park in the bumpy, well worn parking lot and walk arm in arm to a very decent sized and surprisingly clean public restroom. We always need to stop here first, as we have been on the road for some time now. Recalling a few comical moments that have already happened to us on prior visits, we giggle. These things are too personal to mention, but very funny and I enter the bathroom with a beaming smile and wonder if the people around me think I am extremely delighted to go to the bathroom...and I am :)

If my daughter Angela seems dazed and confused, it's because this wonderful fruit stand, that is more like a Fruit Palace, offers way too many choices. Every variety possible is displayed in a mouth watering way, that I'm sure is done by a professional and neurotic, Fruit Display kinda gal!

This person's goal is to lure you in, causing a reaction that makes you want to eat everything you see...not a small task in the least. Could fruit look more beautiful? Could there be any more of a choice? As you can see, all of this brought a smile to Angela's face.

True to the core of who we are, we usually end up buying the same items every time, but not without first, admiring all that is around us. Our eyes are soaked with the onslaught of bright colors and our noses eager to smell things up close and personal. Knowing that Angela will go about the business of actually choosing what we will snack on, I take a few pictures and marvel at the textures and patterns displayed before me. I love patterns...true honest to goodness, neurotic first born, patterns... even in food.

The dried fruit was amazing and I would be lying if I told you that I didn't reach in and take a nibble or two. It wasn't my fault...these displays beg you to touch and taste. (look one is watching...slyly reach in...Mmmmmm) Besides, I witnessed others doing it too...that makes it okay...right? I know, I know...if everyone took just one little bite...lalala...sorry, Mr. Fruit Stand Owner :$

Angela joined me here. This was filled with candy covered fruit! (my sweet tooth actually screamed out loud ;) We blatantly taste tested the items we could not resist. Sly caution melted away, like confection on our tongues and the only thing left to say was, "oh my Have to try This one!" We each said that at least 5 times. But, being careful not to fill up on the stolen tasty bites, we saved room for the most special treat of all...Chocolate Covered Strawberries...

We purchased our grapes (that are huge and actually make a popping sound when you bite into them) apples, mangoes and teriyaki beef jerky (the best Ever made!) We sat down on the guest patio and both bit into our strawberries, letting the juice run down our chins. We smile and chew, make yummy food noises and it's over, all too soon. The strawberry is sweet, the chocolate divine and we both want another one, but need to get on our way. We wash our fruit at the fountain and then walk back to our car. We pull away from the parking lot and fondly look back. With our car pointed towards Monterey, it is only 10 a.m. and our vacation has only just begun.

I smile
reaching across
from my seat to yours

your skin
feels oh so soft
just like a child's does

just you
and me right now
driving and carefree

our mouths
speak of the times
we have shared many

just now
I try so hard
so I won't forget

and how you look
at this pure moment

is more to come
a memories must

and here
we both will share
mother daughter us


Blogger Kristin said...

You are totally making me miss my Mom! I am so glad that you ad Angela are able to share this trip together as you have in the past! And those strawberries look unbelievebly scrumptious!!! Next time we are in route to Monterey I will have to get you to tell me where this Casa de Fruita place is!!! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

what a sweet (literally) and fun time with your daughter. it's making me yearn for a trip with my own mom.
and...i was tickled to see case de fruta featured. i went to college in slo and drove past many times -- and even stopped to sample their goodies from time to time.
have a great rest of your trip - i love your posts.
jill :)

6:32 PM  
Blogger LEstes65 said...

Oh my goodness I just enjoyed that like I was there WITH you!!! Mmmmmmmmmmm....

7:13 PM  
Blogger PixieDust said...

Oh my goodness, my daughter and I love stopping here, we have been stopping at The Casa de Fruita since she was a little one (it's not far from me at all!)

Sounds like you and your little one are having a wonderful memory-making time... so happy for you...


7:32 PM  
Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

What a delicious post of mother/daughter bonding!! Sending you good thoughts as you continue on your holiday!! xx, deb

10:55 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Oh Darlene...What a "delicious" beginning to a wonderful trip. Love "Casa de Fruita"! Makes our local fruit stand seem small!!
So glad you two are having so much fun...more picture...please more...

11:00 PM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

What a wonderful post. The photos are fantastic.

The journey is even moreso.

You are both fortunate to share this marvelous adventure one more time.

Just think of the future adventures you will have.

Next time we are out that way we will have to look for the places on your route. It would be worth it just for the sights and aromas.

This makes me think of my own daughters and how I revel in the times we are together and how well they are doing.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Sounds like a perfect day!

So happy for you both.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Star said...

What a beautiful description of the start of your time together (and luscious photos as well). I can tell we are in store for more treats as you share the rest of it with us.

The perfectionist in my loves the way the fruit market displays their food.

Glad you're back and safe.

10:48 AM  
Blogger cherry girl said...

It sounds like you are both having such an amazing time! Beautiful poem and photographs!

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Mary Ann said...

I JUST this second discovered your blog. And you're doing my favorite thing in the universe. Taking a road trip and stopping to savor the beauty along the way. I'm in LA, where pray tell is Casa de Fruta? sounds a loooooooong way away. drats.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Thanks for sharing your fruit. I'm still wiping the juice off my chin. :)

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Loretta said...

We used to live in Fresno and have a lot of fond memories of Casa de Fruita. The weirdest time was when we arrived and realized that the car in front of us had just rolled into the displays and knocked everything over. No one was hurt and it was a very funny tidbit for years to come! Thanks for taking me back there.

2:28 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Oh, the colors are fantastic! It reminds me of Pike's Market up in Seattle. Looks like you had a fantastic trip. Yea!

1:09 AM  
Blogger daisies said...

oh what a wonderful trip for you and your daughter : ) yay!!

10:46 PM  

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