photo of the day (san francisco day 9)

This is bonus day one of our vacation that we thought was supposed to be over. Instead of staying in the hotel we stayed at in Monterey which was no great shakes, we decided to find a better location and a better hotel in Carmel for our last 2 days of fun. After checking out and having something to eat, we headed over to check out the scene at Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Not really much to do there — just a lot of little gifty and souvenir shops and restaurants. But it was fun to see some seals and an otter or two floating around by the docks.

I found this little seagull on a dock by the waterfront.

I think this guy has been parked for a little too long, don’t you?

I caught a shot of these 2 rowing around by the wharf.

After we saw all there was to see at the wharf, we caught part of a parade celebrating the Portuguese Festo do Divino Espiritu Santo. There were girls from all over California dressed in the most beautiful white dresses with elaborate trains. It was like a Disney Princess explosion with a Latin flair.

We followed the parade for a little bit and took some pictures and then we headed into Carmel to find a place to stay. We chose the Normandy Inn because it looked so cute and because it was right on Ocean Ave and just a short walk from the beach. We couldn’t check in until 3 pm so we got in the car and took a drive south along the coast just to see what we could see.

We stopped every once and a while at an overlook to take some pictures and take in the view.

I found this tiny little blue butterfly by a trail near an overlook.

Everywhere we looked the view was spectacular.

When the road started getting almost as steep and windy as it was up towards Point Reyes, I convinced Zki we should head back towards Carmel and see if we could check in to our hotel.

On the way into town we took a brief detour into Pacific Grove to see if it was like Zki and I remembered it. Twenty years ago, before we moved to Connecticut, Zki and I were visiting his mom, sister and brother in Berkeley. We took a trip south to Monterey and were completely taken with Pacific Grove. What would it take, we wondered, to live in a town like this? So we stopped in to the Chamber of Commerce and Zki asked the woman working there what people in Pacific Grove do for a living. “Do for a living?” she asked. “People who live here don’t have to do anything for a living. If you have to do something for a living, you drive in from Salinas.”

Well, at the time, Zki and I needed to do something for a living so we figured Pacific Grove was not the place for us. But this trip, Pacific Grove looked a lot more run down than we remembered it to be. The beach was lovely though and we stopped for a while, took some pictures and had a late lunch by the water while we watched people swim, sailboats and kayakers glide through the water and seals bask in the sun.

Then we headed to Carmel to check into the hotel. We were pleasantly surprised by the room which had a small kitchenette with an eating area, a sitting area with a fold out couch and a lovely bedroom with a large bath with a dressing area.

Sherry is served in the lobby by a small fireplace in the afternoon (remember, it’s chilly by the water in CA) and when Zki and I went to have a glass and check out the menus of the local restaurants, we met the loveliest couple. Al and Sally live near Schenectedy, NY and were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with their family who had gathered to celebrate with them on the West Coast. We chatted with Al and Sally for a bit before heading out to spend the rest of the day exploring Carmel, shopping and visiting galleries, having dinner and getting to bed early.

Oh, I can’t forget to send a special Happy Birthday message to my dad who turns 80 years young today!

~ by photobella on 13 July, 2008.

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