Monday, May 12, 2008


Monday: Monterey

Checked out of my Sonoma hotel and drove back across the Golden Gate Bridge to Monterey and Carmel.

Spent some time at the Old Custom House and the Old Fisherman's Wharf, but most of the photos were taken at a pretty little park that runs along the coastline.

The photos from Monday are HERE

That's where I saw this little guy who completely stole my heart. Clearly a juvenile, and "playing" all by himself, in an area about a football field away from the rest of the sea lions. Climbing on and off the rocks, floating on his back, "waving" his flippers in the air.... He was kind of a klutz-- but seemed to be having a great time.

Californians probably take this stuff for granted, but the whole concept of sea lions and seals just being there, like seagulls or pelicans, just blows me away. THEY'RE FREAKING SEALS, (or, in this case, sea lions) right there! How can you not be jazzed by that?

It's not that I'm unused to the beach--- I've probably spent at least part of every year of my life close to salt water of some sort. Growing up, my grandparents lived a couple of blocks from the Atlantic coast. And then my parents moved to th Florida Gulf Coast, and I eventually moved there to take care of my Mom when she became ill. Working and living in the Tampa/Clearwater area put the beach minutes from my home and office doors. When I lived in landlocked Atlanta, trips to Savannah and elswehere recharged my batteries, and when I was living in Tallahassee, I escaped to salt water whenever I could-- whether that was St. Marks, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, or Sandestin and the Emerald Coast......trips to Boston, Miami, the Carolina beaches, Delaware beaches, the Chesapeake Bay.... from Maine to New Orleans, I've eventually made my way to all of I've seen my share of marine life---- dolphins and manatees, sharks and billfish, rays and shorebirds.......but the Pacific is so very different from the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Dramatic shorelines-- sheer cliffs that spill down to beaches strewn with boulders the size of houses, outrageous swaths of wildflowers in red and pink and yellow and lavender....

Still trying to decide on an itinerary for Tuesday. But it's a safe bet, there will be some salt water in there someplace.
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