Pretty Damn Nice! travel blog

John and his twin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unusual bush blooming near Aquarium


We have enjoyed perfect spring weather here in Greenfield. During the day, it gets up to around 75 degrees and at night, it dips down into the 40's - perfect for sleeping.

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Yesterday, we drove 30 miles into Salinas where there is a WalMart for shopping. The other little towns along the way I guess are not big enough to support one. We stopped for lunch at a Black Bear Diner where we had excellent food. John had a cheeseburger salad which he said was the best salad ever and I had a club sandwich with real turkey.

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Then, today, we drove into Monterey, about an hour away. You can always tell someone who is from California. We do not measure distances in miles; we measure it by the amount of time it will take to get there. Something can be 20 miles away, but it will take you an hour to get there depending on where you are in the state. As far as I can tell, no other state does this. Therefore, I never know how far some place is in miles, which is puzzling to people not from California, but it makes perfect sense to me.

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It was a beautiful day with clear skies and no fog on the Monterey Bay, which is unusual. John got me up early again so that we could be at the Monterey Bay Aquarium when it opened at 9:30 am. I bought tickets on line so that we wouldn't have to wait in a long line at the door.

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I have been to the Aquarium many times with my son. It has always been one of our favorite things to do together. I remembered how to get there and where the best parking was so that we didn't have to walk a mile. We actually had plenty of time so we stopped for breakfast at Coco's nearby.

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I wasn't quite sure whether local schools are out of session this week or next week for Easter break, but the line at the door at the Aquarium was not long. We were able to walk right up to the Will Call window with no waiting whatsoever.

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The Aquarium was pretty much as we had remembered it from past visits, except there was one new wing with an exhibit called The Tentacles. It featured information on octopus, cuddlefish, and squid. I was somewhat disappointed to discover, however, that several of the windows did not feature live animals, but were videos of animals. Is this the future of museums and aquariums? Videos instead of the real thing? Will we some day just be given a hand-held device so we can view the videos as we walk through a building? We might as well just stay home and look at things on the computer.

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But the day was spectacular and the scenery certainly is unbeatable. We spent almost three hours at the Aquarium and really did enjoy it. It was becoming really crowded by noon so it was time to go.

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Because it was such a beautiful day, I told John I wanted to do the 17 Mile Drive, even if it was horribly expensive, as we both thought it would be. The last time I drove it, it was around $10. Well, surprise, surprise, it is still $10!!

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We took our time driving along the coast, and I pulled over often to let cars fly by, going at outlandish speeds, to who knows where. I forgot momentarily that we were in California after all, and everyone it seems is in such a big hurry. They don't even slow down to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Monterey Bay.

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We moaned at the incredibly huge mansions that all seemed to be in some phase of remodeling. After all, who would want to live in some old thing where someone else had lived. I told John that these people are not just rich; they are filthy wealthy.

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By the time we finished drooling at all the big houses and the fantastic ocean views, we were hungry again, so we headed back into Pacific Grove, where we found Toastie's Cafe, a tiny hole in the wall place with whimsical scenes painted on all of the walls. They are only open for breakfast and lunch but they have quite a nice menu for such a small place. We both had ... what else ... crab melts with fries - real fries made from real potatoes. The sandwiches were scrumptious. We were both happy campers.

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It was time to head home. Traffic was extremely thick and we came to a stand still often, even though it was only about 3:30. Where the heck is everyone going?

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On the way home, I stopped at a market and saw that they had Dungeness Crabs for $9.99 lb. I asked the butcher how much they were selling for on Fisherman's Wharf and he said $13.99 lb. The difference is that those are fresh and the ones in the store were previously frozen. For $4 a pound, I don't need fresh.

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Tomorrow is my birthday. I will turn 72 - although somewhat reluctantly. The trip to Monterey was a treat for my birthday and so will the crab salad that we will have for dinner tomorrow be. Thank you to my Sweetie for another perfect day.

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Pretty Damn Nice indeed!



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