A Travellerspoint blog

Blue Skies and Golden Gates

sunny 65 °F

What a wonderful, wonderful day!! We walked across the street to the Boudin Bakery for egg & ham with their famous sourdough bread.

The sun was shining - we were both comfortable wearing light jackets. We decided to stay out of the car - even tho we feel we know the city well, it's been 20 years since we lived in the area. Remembering the name of a street and actually knowing where it goes - maybe not so much. We enjoyed an early morning walk along the wharf.

The morning had only a breeze so we hopped on a ferry and viewed the city skyline from the water - remembering that 1st year when we commuted to work by ferry. Where else could you be late to work because the herring were running, the seals were chasing the herring and the ferry had to slow to avoid the seals. No one blinked an eye when I explained why I was late.

Brought back a few memories; so glad Dad answered the phone and not Mom. I told him I was going out to Alcatraz, Grace Thorpe asked me to come help with the children, I didn't know if NSHS would keep my job. He told me not to worry ... Mom wouldn't have said that. Pretty sure her comments would still be ringing in my ears.

To my mind, San Francisco is one of the most beautiful settings for a city - the prettiest of any city I've visited. After the ferry ride, we decided to take the Hop On/Hop Off bus. A little pricy but it meant neither of us had to drive and neither of us had to yell or fuss at each other after making dozens of wrong turns. As friend Becky said "think of it as marriage counseling savings." The bus took us past almost every area where we worked and played. We decided to spend the remaining part of the day at Golden Gate Park. First stop was the De Young - I'm astounded at the design of the new building - nothing like before and I certainly understand why it was so hotly debated. I'm still studying it without making a decision. It's the dark building behind me.
We also had lunch there. I had beets & mache; Philip had some kind of veal

Then over to Japanese Tea Garden
There was no way I could resist climbing the Drum Bridge, despite Philip's grumbling - she's out of back surgery 3 months, no business...blah, blah, blah....

Last stop Botanical Gardens where the Rhodies and Azaleas are just starting to bloom. You don't see a picture here because I was reluctant to trample across other plants to get better shots.

A wonderful day we will long remember.

Posted by ChinaBecky 17:50 Archived in USA Comments (0)

North to San Francisco

sunny 56 °F

Lovely drive up the coast yesterday, a part we haven’t seen as much over the years; mostly because Devil’s Slide was living up to it’s name. The road was often closed or one-lane. Today the road was open but won’t be for long – there’s a tunnel going thru and that will end the constant road closingings.

Right outside of Castroville, we stopped at a stand and bought wonderful fresh strawberries. We passed fields of artichokes ready for harvest.

Stopped to take pictures of Pigeon Point Lighthouse and got to talking to a volunteer gardener. They are trying to restore the landscape to “native” plants….a project near and dear to my heart. We talked about common issues – what’s native, lack of volunteers, how to keep new plants alive without a source of water.

Stopped at Halfmoon Bay for lunch – couldn’t find the little English tea place where Mom loved to stop…still had a decent sandwich and soup.
Then we fired up Greta. Philip named the GPS as the Evil Sister of the other cars GPs – Etta. I guess this naming is a Man Thing. Regardless, flowing her instructions we came right by the AT&T ballpark, along the Embarcadero and by 1:30 were strolling along the wharf, eating crab & shrimp cocktails and heading to the Buena Vista for an Irish Coffee. The day was sunny and warm.


No Karmel Korn – anywhere. I’ve looked and looked. It used to be a wharf standard up and down the coast.
Dinner was at the Crab House – I had nothing but a crab cooked dripping with garlic butter. It was fresh and ohhhh soooo gooood.

Posted by ChinaBecky 07:38 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Be You Ever So Welcome

sunny 50 °F

Besides great food - this place is awesomely special - I don't even have the best adjectives to describe it. First of all, it's tiny, tiny - can manage 2 tables (4 people) on each wall with an aisle down the middle; a narrow aisle. The waiters are mostly family and come from Jordan. The Chef, who's about 40, said he was born in Jordan and came to the state 21 years ago. He then sent for his brothers & father.

When you enter, either you are seated or if you have to wait; you're offered a glass of wine. Or...if the shops are still open and you want to continue to browse, they will call your cell when your phone is ready. The menu is limited but they like to talk about the food and make recommendations; depending on your tastes. The conversations were like taking among friends; there wasn't any sense of pressure. Apparently everyone on the staff plays an instrument and sings and the make the most of the little room they have - singing, playing guitars, drums and inviting everyone to sing with them. Just before we arrived, the diner next to us said - "you just missed the shimmy dance."

Leaving, again, it's like leaving friends - hugs and farewells and hoping to be back.

We didn't say goodbye, only we'll meet again!

Posted by ChinaBecky 15:50 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Carmel - Final Thoughts

sunny 62 °F

This was a perfect stay - weather cooperated, memories still intact, friendly people, good food. But...you have to wonder - this area is so expensive and lots and lots of California's are broke and struggling. Someone told Philip - there are 2 Californias - the wealthy on the coast and the inland poor.

We were at Pebble Beach for several hours and I didn't see any shortage of the foursomes teeing off - it costs $500 per person for 18 holes. After my comment about being disgusted at the price of the Monterey Aquarium, my sister noted that Disneyworld is $125 per person, per day. I guess I'm living in a fantasy.

Oh well, I'm here to relax and enjoy not solve problems.

Carmel is Pet Friendly - we were told the past 7 years it's been voted The Most Pet Friendly City - 5x's. One lady told us she specifically comes here with her dog to relax. Whilel walking, you have to be careful not stumbled across the water bowls set out for dogs.

However the Normandy Inn was not quite so inviting.
Could be because the house cat is 22 years old and enormous.

We tucked into the courtyard of the Hogs Breath and had a glass of wine.

Our Carmel abode

Posted by ChinaBecky 16:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)


sunny 64 °F

What a gift from Mother Nature – another beautiful day, wind coming from the valley so 61 felt like 71. After our usual testing/rating of the local bakeries & strolling past galleries; we headed to Asilomar to see where we were married. Asilomar is under heavy reconstruction to bring it up to handicap accessible code but we finally found our way over to the Sand and Surf building…one wall a huge stone fireplace and the other 3 walls, floor to ceiling glass with spectacular view of the ocean. There was a meeting so we couldn’t go inside.

The Asilomar beach and marine reserve is still one of the most spectacular of the Monterey peninsula and that’s saying a lot.
These Buttercuppy things are in bloom everywhere - Philip says Laurrie would be appalled that I call them "buttercuppy" but I don't think so.

We planned to go to Monterey Aquarium; paid our $15 to park and then went to the entrance. They wanted $31+ per person; which just infuriated me. Philip was also annoyed but said since we were there we should go ahead and enter. Nope, not having it. Been here many times and it’s not that I can’t afford $31+, it’s the principal – this is a place children should see and how can families afford to go here. We left and enjoyed a walk along cannery row.

Posted by ChinaBecky 16:09 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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