May 19, Part 2: Driving to the Beach
This trip report has been written from a nostalgic point of view upon returning to favorite places after being away for 8 years. Thank you for coming along for the ride.
After our yummy beignet breakfast, we got in our car (hated to give up such a choice parking spot) and drove down Harbor Blvd. For years, Harbor Blvd. had remained the same but since we were last here, there have been a lot of changes. Such as, what happened to Belisle’s? They served yummy food with huge portions. We used to drive past it a lot when I was a kid and my mother would read the funny sayings painted on the window. I finally got to eat there as an adult. I did a search on the internet and it may have closed in 2004. I also read this fact:
It opened as Belisle’s in 1955 same year as Disneyland. Walt and his imagineers used to eat in there when Disneyland was being built.
Another piece of history bites the dust.
Palm Harbor Hospital, where my sister was born, is now a high-rise condo. I never did see my friend’s father’s pool supply store, Anthony’s Pools–he probably sold it when he retired.
The plan was to drive down Harbor Blvd. until we found the turnoff to my first childhood home except that the landmarks had changed so much we missed it. LOL! We had to backtrack a bit and when we arrived, I vowed to never return. You know how some neighborhoods deteriorate over time? Well, it’s been going downhill gradually since I lived there but when they start to put bars on the windows… it’s time to close that door for good.
We turned back to Harbor Blvd. and the first thing I noticed when we got to the intersection for my second childhood home was that the Von’s store on the corner (Debbie Reynolds showed up for the Grand Opening) was a Latino grocery store. This neighborhood still looked good–unlike the previous one. And while there were some changes to the neighboring area, the strawberry field behind the house is still there.
I had always dreamed of coming back here and buying this house. And guess what? The house is up for sale now. The current owners upgraded the inside and they maintained the outside well. But our home in Las Vegas is twice as nice at half the price–a big reason so many Californians live here.
Driving Down Memory Lane
Next: Lunch on the Pier