Monday, November 20, 2006

Monterey Peninsula

"A journey is a person in itself, no two are alike." - John Steinbeck

Our entire family was in agreement that a road trip was desperately needed. So, on Friday, all of the creatures in our house were readied for exploration. The destination was a secret. Mike only fed us small clues throughout the week.

Once in the car, he handed me a folder which revealed the details of the trip. (He is nauseatingly organized. The folder had detailed maps, directions and restaurant recommendations - all crisp and neatly stapled. Had I planned such a trip, I would have forked over a wadded paper with vague, hand drawn directions and hoped for the best when we got there - if we got there.) We were headed for a weekend on the Monterey Peninsula for some relaxation and whale watching. Whale watching! I had to double check that a few times. I've been pestering Mike to go whale watching for a very long time, but every time I mentioned the whales, he mumbled something about "a cold day in hell". I wasn't sure what cold days and hell had to do with whales, but I suspected it had something to do with migration patterns.

Anyway, Mike set us up at the Andril Cottages in Pacific Grove. The cute well-stocked cottages were perfect for us - all of us. Yes, Sancho and Lola were also welcomed. This is a super dog-friendly place, but the best part about these cottages is their proximity to Asilomar State Beach. We just walked over to the surf in minutes.

After lounging on Saturday, we readied for a day of whale watching on Sunday by starting with a hearty breakfast of strawberry jam and tears (I'm not even sure what brought on the tears anymore. A shift in the wind?).

Once on the boat, we had to break the news to Sarah that two-year-olds were required by law to wear "special jackets". She handled the news well and didn't complain about the oversized jacket - too much.

I have to admit that I was afraid that a whale watching trip might just be a long boat ride spent squinting off in the distance hoping for movement of any type. In other words, boring. Luckily, I was completely wrong. Our guides sped us out to deeper water and within minutes there they were - humpback whales spouting and slipping through the water. Magnificent! You'll have to imagine this sight. Our photos did not/could not do this scene justice.

After reaching whale satiation, we were surrounded by hundreds (not kidding, hundreds) of Risso's dolphins. There were also a sprinkling of seals and right whale dolphins. We had an amazing excursion. I think even Mike would agree that the frost in Hades was a fortunate event.


At 2:19 PM, Blogger QT said...

That is sounds like a super-cool excursion and I love the fact that the dogs went with! You are lucky to have an organized traveler in your life - that is my role, but only by default as my BF is incapable of "planning" anything - he is very spur of the moment.

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous acumamakiki said...

What a fun trip! I remember whale watching field trips off Catalina Island growing up. In between sticking my head over the side, it was incredible to see whales and dolphins right there!

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Valarie said...

That sounds great. Maybe we'll actually have to plan ahead for the next trip we take. Also, I'm jealous of your whale watching excursion. The one we took in Washington was lots of time on a boat with a small amount of squinting into the distance.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger jen said...

What a GREAT trip. And how great that someone else planned it....the pics look great and i am so glad you all got a break.

sister, we are neighbors for pete's sake. one day we'll have to get coffee.


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