Black-necked Stilt

Image

Black-necked Stilt

All good things must come to an end. We left Dad, Chris and Monterey. We first drove Dave and Maren to the San Jose airport. Dave was flying back to Boston, Puck, their dog and work. Maren flew south to LA, extending her vacation a few days, to spend some time with friends. After we dropped them off, we turned around and headed south. In order to pull off this maneuver, we had to squeeze all of our luggage into the way back, so that the kids could sit in the back seat. Forgoing the back seat of holding meant that our luggage was piled to the ceiling, totally blocking rear view visibility. Not to worry though, because the RAV4 has a dual mode rear view mirror, normal and as a video screen. In addition to the backup camera, it has a second camera for the mirror. Even when I bought the car I thought that this gadget was just a gimmick, but this day it proved it’s worth. All this rigamarole allowed us to jump on the five sooner and go further today than we would have otherwise. The problem with the five though, especially on a holiday weekend, is that one bad wreck could leave you mired in a jam for hours. Fortunately, it wasn’t until our last mile on the five that that wreck occurred. It slowed us a little, but not that much. We eventually made it to Barstow and the beginning of I-40. We actually drove it’s first mile before arriving at our motel. We are officially on Route 66 again. We plan on taking three more days to get home, a far shorter time than it took us to get out west and just before CRAB arrives for the weekend. One summer vacation is ending, but there are many more to come.

I’m So Tired

Image

Harbor Seal Mom and Pup

On our last day in Monterey, we did the tourist thing. First Fisherman’s Wharf and then Cannery Row. For lunch, we headed up and away from our fellow tourist. We ended up at Bon Ton L’Roy’s, a BBQ restaurant with a Cajun theme and a decidedly Russian flair, in the form of of our waitress. She was a hoot! Her service was slow and initially rather brusk, but she warmed up to us eventually and even apologized for her behavior, “I’m really not a bad person.” The food was great though, which made everything else irrelevant. We walked back to the car and then drove to Carmel, which was mobbed. Letting everyone else out, I drove around for an hour, before I found a parking spot. I found everyone on Ocean and we then headed down the hill to the ocean. The beach was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it. We then headed home away from the gathering masses. After dinner, we walked the road, giving me 25K steps for the day. This morning I weighed in and had managed to lose a pound, even after all of this past week’s fine dining.

Sea Otter Mom and Pup

Elkhorn Slough Sea Otter Mom and Pup

Dave and Maren landed in San Jose on time and aux luggage. We arrived early enough to figure out the airport parking and met them at baggage claim. We got lost leaving the airport and ended up having to go through Santa Cruz, which entailed lots of traffic. Do you know your way from San Jose? Anyway we made it back to the house, where Dad and Chris were there to greet them and then whisk us all off to the Rio Grill in Carmel for a sumptuous dinner. Dad’s birthday cake and an evening of hearts substituted for the usual British TV murder fare. The next morning, David, Maren, Anne and I launched south on the Pacific Coast Highway. First stop, Point Lobos, always a favorite. We spent a couple of hours there hiking and hunting sea beasties. Then we drove to Nepenthe in Big Sur, which as always was fantastic. On the was back, we stopped at Andrew Molina State Park, a first for me. We did a one mile hike to the beach. Coming and going we had to ford a creek, where all save Anne went barefoot. Saturday, we went to Moss Landing, in the center of the bay. We lunched at Phil’s and even met Phil there. Our main agenda item was the Elkhorn Slough boat tour, which was a huge success and a baby otter bonanza.