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De vader van Marie Vliegt: It happened in Monterey

Monterey is a beautiful city with a famous Fisherman’s Warf. In the harbour we see sea lions swimming. With their heads just above the surface they look in a challenging way. After checking the Warf we find an old piano at one of the characteristic wooden docks. The instrument sounds like a Honky-Tonk piano quite adverse to the Chopin etude the young man with holes in his shoes is playing at that moment. I put some dollars in the jar and a few minutes later I find myself playing some ragtime music on the instrument while looking over the Pacific Ocean. I enjoy every moment of it and frame this picture in my mind. When I notice a Japanese tourist start making video and pictures of me I decide to ‘hand over’ the piano again to the young man that honours this big Dutch dude.

It’s time to head our way to San Francisco. While Marieke drives the Jeep Renegade along the highway I start playing songs about the places we pass: Sacramento (Middle of the Road), do you know the way to San Jose (Dionne Warwick), (If you are going to) San Francisco (Scott McKenzie). It gets us in the mood, while Frisco gets closer every mile.

Frisco, City by the Bay

As Marieke a.k.a. Mary (which turned out to be a lot easier to be announced while waiting for morning coffee) approaches the city centre the roads suddenly seems to have vanished. Just over the hill it goes down, deep down. The following 3 miles are both exiting and thrilling. The many stops before every crossroad sometimes hold the car in a strange angle especially compared to the Dutch standard (flat). It’s amazing how this city was built. The bay is getter nearer quickly and suddenly we view the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge. It’s just like in the movies.

The varied program over the next two days brings us biking over the bridge; visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum; travelling with the trolley bus through China town; catching the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie in a 3D+ (big TV chairs that lift your legs) and visiting Fishermen’s Warf. An amazing place that is very crowded, full of entertainment and restaurants that serve fresh huge crab, while everywhere music is playing loud. At the end of the second day I drink a cocktail called Escape from Alcatraz (bourbon, ginger, lemon, Cointreau and ice cubes), couldn’t resist it. We decide to skip the Island with the famous prison as time is running out. I feel my legs when I lay my down my head in the evening and I immediately fall asleep, California dreaming ….

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