Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Spring 2018

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Page 45 of 219

T he bubble has a lot of dogs— some wearing intricate outfits. It has whales flopping merrily off shore, bobcats watching intently from forests, and enough deer run- ning around to make people hardly notice them anymore. Unlocked cars pepper the parking lots, many with a furry face or two poking out open windows as if to say, "hello." It has first generation Americans whose parents don't speak much, if any, English; movie stars; sea otter experts; a for- mer presidential Chief of Staff; hospitality superstars and retired gazillionaires. The bubble has fog, but the obscured views are still gorgeous. It also has rain—once again, finally— accentuating its palette of vibrant greens and rusty reds; and ocean foam that is as luminescent as the puffy clouds. For years, when people asked where I lived, I murmured "Carmel," almost apologetically. Fully aware of how privileged I am, and many of us are, to live in this area, I always felt a tinge of misplaced guilt, as if I was doing something wrong. Trips afar made me further appreciate the nooks and crannies of this magnificent, sweet slice of the planet. But still, I didn't want to rub it in when someone would say, "You are so lucky to live in paradise." I knew that in the month of February while I was out walking our dogs, then enjoying a round of golf (while wearing a short-sleeved shirt), one of my friends from Toledo (no offense to Toledo) was shoveling snow. When my Ohio-based guest visited, she was astonished that we could sit in my car in the parking lot of a local Safeway and chat, with nary a thought about being mugged. "Oh, we would never do this at home!" she exclaimed. "I'd have the windows up, the doors locked, and my pepper-spray in my hand." Recently, I had lunch with friends who live in Montecito and Santa Monica. Although well-to-do, they are hard-working and dedicated to their jobs. The man of the group is a paramedic, working primarily in the rougher parts of Los Angeles. He explained the complexities of his job, and I listened with rapt attention as he described some of the grimness of answering calls in the most crime-riddled, dilapidated neighborhoods. "Boy, do we all live in a bubble," I replied, motioning around the table. "Yeah, but I love my bubble," he retorted. I've embraced his words like a mantra: I love my bubble. Say I have to run an errand at Del Monte Center in Monterey. A few exits east and I'm in Seaside, where I volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club as a yoga teacher, and am greeted by a dozen smart, gregarious kids from varied backgrounds who end up teaching me every week. Afterward, I may head down the street and peruse the racks at Marshall's or Target. I can grab Vietnamese noodles, a classic street taco or an authentic pizza within a two-minute drive. There's a world-class ocean view the entire way home, and if the sunset is looking extra special, I can pull over just about anywhere to watch it. If it's a quiet day, and the wind is blowing just right, the siren-like serenade of sea lions can be heard in countless neighborhoods. If I wasn't so lazy, I could run freely on a miles-long beach trail, and I can stroll, unafraid, through densely forested areas and tree- lined neighborhoods. Our bubble. We have our share of problems here. Although many sources cite our "A-plus" amenities—libraries, parks, open spaces, restau- rants and entertainment—our housing costs are among the highest in the country, receiving a bold faced "F". The divide in income is as obvious as the city limits signs that separate us along Highway 1. Traffic is now almost Los Angeles-like along cer- tain areas between Carmel and Marina. Heck, the only time my purse has been stolen was from my parked car when I lived in downtown Carmel. But, we all have access to that sparkling gem to our west, those miles-long nature walks, the incredible food that doesn't break the budget, the friendly smiles from people carrying on about their daily lives, whether at the gas station or in a grocery store parking lot. Yeah, I love my bubble. Dina Eastwood is a former news anchor at KSBW TV, past host of "Candid Camera" and has starred on a reality show on the E! Network. She is a writer, editor and yogini. She resides on the Monterey Peninsula with her daughter, Morgan. BEHIND THE SPOTLIGHT D I N A E A S T W O O D If it's a quiet day, and the wind is blowing just right, the siren-like serenade of sea lions can be heard in countless neighborhoods. The Beloved Bubble 44 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

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