The Colors of Guadalupe
We drove and we drove. We took off from San Francisco and we drove in search of home for the weekend. Down Highway 1, the cliffs mesmerized us to keep going. Hours went by. The sun rounded the earth. We belted out songs on the radio and stopped for strawberries on the side of the road. The fog along the coast drifted in and out with such extremes that at times it felt like a blanket, letting us peek in at the ten cars ahead of us and with a turn of a cliff, the sunshine melted it away to show us miles of coastal paradise. This made for a hilariously tricky top-down drive, but worth it times a million. Living in California has changed us. Driving along Highway 1 that day changed us. Amazement for the gloriously beautiful scenes here have dulled into normal, everyday sites. And so, we have to remind ourselves to be humbled and appreciate where the mountains meet the seas. To stop in at the one-road towns and try their local fare. This is something our big city could never feed to us and Guadalupe secured a place in our top memories that day.It was all too serendipitous - how we discovered this gem, finding a sim card store in this tiny town not three steps after our camera informed us we had run out of room, that my hair thrived in this setting and actually stayed curly. Justin had remembered an advertisement with this incredible mural behind it. I like to imagine that hand running along California in a slow motion from San Francisco down to Santa Barbara indicating our route. In typical Justin fashion, he recalled all of the pertinent details of this ad, a mere blip in his life. When we stopped for the night only an hour away, he woke me up to go an adventure to find Guadalupe and its mural map.
The map that led to this color explosion. We parked the car to wander the quiet streets, peering into the venues speckled with patrons. The heat, the excitement, and the plethora of crop fields surrounding us told us we'd be wise to dine. There was one door with an alluring smell and constant flow of satisfied(?) customers. The cozy interior of El Tapatio boasted even more colors and a jukebox, always a Montgomery pleaser. A couple passed our table on their way out - full bellies, all smiles, 'it's worth the wait.' As if there was no way we could be locals. We decided the camera tipped them off. The smell of mom's cooking and Manuel's friendly service only heightened the excitement. We're still talking about that meal today.
El Tapatio914 Guadalupe Street
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