California ~ part 2 It's a l o n g one

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 |
My husband lived in Monterey years ago while in Post Grad. He insisted we visit the Monterey Aquarium. We have a wonderful Aquarium here in Mystic. I've had many "behind the scenes" tours over the years because of my students and we are part of Project Oceanology which gives the students hands on experience in their labs as well as takes them out on their boats to "fish" in their outdoor classroom. However, my husband asks for very little {and I'd already drug him into many shops} so I went along with the request.

I lost total track of time as there was SO much to see. Being on the opposite coast provided a whole new cast of characters and they put on quite the show! My favorites were the sea stars and seahorses. The ham of the day was the otter that cleaned his head the entire day ~ I guess he had somewhere special to go or was trying to impress someone.


These are only a few of the many divers that gather daily to head out in the Bay. There were all ages gearing up to head out.


While walking by these handsome fellas gave us an entertaining song and show routine. As luck would have it, the minute I pulled out my camera, they clammed right up. Cute, nonetheless!


Prior to my arrival Kevin did share that it was cooler in California {like 70} and that I should pack a sweater. Not a problem, I usually do anyway. However, he failed to inform me that it may get as cold as 53 during the day. Cold doesn't begin to describe how I felt ~ I was numb! You'll notice from the photo below that I am modeling the season's finest Monterey wear. Note the pink fleece with the insignia, pashmina, and if you peek real close you'll see the sweatshirt I purchased as well. The sales person expressed more than once that this was unusually cold for this time of year. Great. I am not the type of person that goes on vacation and brings home clothing to advertise where I've been. Well, this trip I was the billboard poster child for Monterey. At one point I was actually contemplating buying character socks to wear with my cropped jeans and Jack Rogers ~ screams fashion statement! No?
Lucky for me I had a glass of wine to warm me up at days end! If only I had packed my flannel jammies ;)


One morning after lingering over coffee {ahh} we jumped in the car to enjoy the 17 Mile Drive. Unfortunately, there was a very thick marine layer and it was hard to see let along get really nice photos.

The center photo is of Pebble Beach. They were in the process of tearing down from the US Open. Regardless, it was still impressive. So were the homes along this drive!


Later that evening we had the pleasure of getting together with a friend {and his wife} of Kevin's from his Academy days. Travis went on to play for the New York Giants and from there a team in Canada. He and his beautiful wife, Kristinna, now own a business together in San Francisco. We planned an early dinner so we could catch up and they had a long drive back home. Our dinner lasted 4 and half hours! I have no idea where the time went but we needed more. They are the type of people that are just easy to be with and the stories of years ago certainly kept us all entertained.

This photo cracks me up ~ Travis towers my sweet husband! Truth be told, he is like a teddy bear. He has such a gentle demeanor.


We quickly stopped by the base so my husband could check on something. The Naval Post Graduate School hasn't changed all that much in the many years since his attendance. Below is the Dole Mansion. I didn't take my camera inside but the interior is most impressive. The hand carved wooden ceilings are amazing.


This resident of the grounds certainly wasn't the shy type. Mr. Personality strutted right up for a photo shoot ~ he was honestly posing. It was hilarious. I so badly wanted him to spread his plumage but being a typical male, he had his own agenda and that wasn't on it! 


Before heading back towards Los Angeles, we decided to fit in the Hearst "camp" Castle. The story of how it came to be is interesting and the talent behind creating this work of art at its location is behind imaginable.

We went on the basic tour for those visiting their first time. You are bused up to the castle and met by two tour guides ~ one at the front of the line and one behind. There was neither wandering nor peeking off the set path. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and provided in-depth background on the owner, his family, and the guests that visited. While it was very informative, I would have enjoyed seeing more of the castle.

The architecture was well thought out and implemented. The tennis courts had "windows" beneath the nets which provided skylights for the indoor pool built beneath. The estate has the largest known silver collection ~ there were many pieces I'd love to own. The decor of the rooms depicted the areas of the world Mr. Hearst visited with his mother when he was a young boy.


I hope you made it to this point. If you did, I'm impressed! I put many of the photos in collages to keep it somewhat short. 

I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the wine we shipped home. I see a wine tasting of our own in the future ;)

*We purchased a Garmin to use in our rental car. This helped us immensely to navigate our self guided tour of California. It proved to be priceless! This saved us hours of not getting lost or turned around.*

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Seersucker Scrapper said...

How beautiful! I would love to go sometime. Believe it or not I have never been to California.

JMW said...

What beautiful photos - looks like you had an amazing time! Who would expect 53 degrees in July?! The fleece is cute, though!

Whitney and the Preppy Puppy said...

Jo, your pictures are wonderful. I love the ones of Pebble Beach- breathtaking! xo xo

Pink Martini said...

Looks like you hit some of the best places. Sorry our June Gloom was around while you were here. The best time for NorCal is in Oct. It's like summer then believe it or not. :) xoxo

Nadine2point0 said...

Beautiful photos - I remember how load those barking seals were by the cannery boardwalk!
The velvet was for theater drapery for a dance school here. Just finished the job thank goodness...too hot for velvet :)

Travelbugmom said...

just L.o.V.e. the photos!!! I am so glad that you found time to share....I'm living vicariously through your blog!!!!!

French Basketeer said...

Wow talk about seeing the sights, you really packed it in! 17 Mile Drive and Hearst Castle are definitely must sees; isn't that pool fabulous? Sending you an email now. Cheers...

Lauren said...

Such beautiful pictues! Looks like an amazing vacation. Too bad it wasn't as warm as you would have liked! I love your cute attire! Yes, it would have been quite a sight if you would have tried some socks with your Jack R's! Ha! And isn't Mr. Personality just a hoot?

pretty pink tulips said...

What a fantastic trip! I've only been to Monterrey once - but before we had kids. I know our boys would love it. And Santa Barbara.....ahhhh, I SO want to go there. Love your pictures! Elizabeth

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jo,

I loved seeing your wonderful holiday snaps and what a great time you must have had.
You look very beautiful in the pink outfit.

Enjoy the rest of the week

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Beautiful photos!! Sounds like a fabulous trip!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Hi Jo,

I am finally catching up around here and it sounds as though you had an AMAZING trip...... I just wish I could see the pictures. It is saying that all of your photos are unavailable. Wondering if something happened with your flickr account. You might want to check it out. I hope you can get the issue resolved~

Enjoy your weekend!


Holly said...

Oh man! You were in my backyard! I live right by the gate to 17 mile drive! Hope you had a wonderful time on the Peninsula! Summer here is cold! In fact it is hardly ever that warm.

bevy said...

Those are wonderful pictures! So glad you posted so that YOU can reread and remember your amazing trip!

...And thanks for sharing with us too!

Miss Janice said...

I have enjoyed your tour and photos of your California those areas of California! I lived in Palm Springs in the desert for a long time and it was never cold in the summer, but have visited several California spots and know it can get cold!!!
P.S. You are stunning!

Ms. Emily Ann said...

Gorgeous pictures!! Sorry about the cold weather, but a glass of wine always seems to do the trick :)

Dee Stephens said...

cute blog!! Has anyone ever told you that you resemble Jennifer Aniston? Not kidding!!

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