July 6, 2015

the excellent california adventure: pacific grove, monterey, and carmel-by-the-sea

Oh, California! Every time I go back through the photos from our trip I miss it a little more. Especially this area. After our morning touring the 17 Mile Drive, we passed through Pacific Grove where I marveled at the gnarled and windblown Monterey Cypress trees (which I love very much). We then decided to check out Cannery Row, as John Steinbeck's body of work (his books Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday in particular) is what drew my interest to Monterey in the first place. However, the experience there was a huge letdown. Steinbeck's Cannery Row was a place full of life and character (and probably offensive smells, but he doesn't talk much about that), but the Cannery Row we visited was a chintzy tourist scene and highly disappointing. But, we did check out the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium, which was full of wonderful things and inspired us to go out poking around in tide pools that afternoon. Back to Pacific Grove we went, where we climbed over rocks looking for colorful creatures (and feeling like Steinbeck's Doc, who collected marine animals along the coast). Evin and I have both decided that tide pooling is a lot of fun, but we just don't get that sort of thing in our part of the country! Afterward, we drove to Carmel-by-the-Sea and walked around its adorable, quaint streets before settling down on a bench to watch a Pacific ocean sunset at Carmel Beach. Then it was dinner at a little Hawaiian place and back to the hotel to prepare for the trek down through Big Sur the next day...

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