Monday, July 30, 2012

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

I was surprised to realize that I hadn't been back to Monterey and Carmel in several years; I suppose I felt like I had vicariously visited that stretch of coast often, considering my parents enjoy frequent weekend getaways there.  Of course the central focal point of our three days there was golf for my dad, but you can be sure my mom and I shopped and ate well, too.

One afternoon mom and I took the 17-Mile Drive around Pebble Beach, and stopped for a glass of wine at The Lodge.  Not too shabby.

The next day after breakfast, again while dad was golfing, we tried to tour the historic houses of Monterey State Park, but due to budget cuts, they're almost always closed.  We were at least able to explore a few of the gardens as well as enter what is believed to be the first general store in California.

Later we moved on to Carmel, and after a French lunch, we popped into some stores and visited various well-known spots including the Tuck Box and also took a walk on the beach.  That night we met up with dad and his golfing buddies for an Italian dinner.  The place was Naples-inspired, but with a twist because the owner had first immigrated to Hoboken, New Jersey.  Thus, Hoboken was proclaimed on the walls with other towns in the Campania region of Italy.  A slightly twisted version of reality, but we went with it.

The next day we headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, situated in the old historic cannery building, and considered by many to be the best aquarium in the world.  We watched the feeding in the Kelp Tank and learned that they recorded Darth Vader's sound-byte from a diver's breathing.  I was probably supposed to learn more about the fish, but that's what mostly stuck with me.

The highlight of the day for me was when a little girl grabbed her dad's arm and exclaimed, "Look, Daddy, it's NEMO!  Look at all the Nemos!"  I myself always love the jellies, of course, and there were some incredible seahorses to wrap our minds around as well.  See if you can discern the animal from the plant:

The moray eels fascinated us for a long time, as we tried to figure out where one began and ended through the various holes they had snaked themselves through.

We decided to stop for lunch at the acquarium's restaurant, and for some strange reason I had a hankering for fish.  The restaurant was sublime, and we all loved what we ordered.  Next time you go, make sure to stop in there for a meal!  Of course while at the aquarium we received copious copies of the Seafood Watch to remind us which fish we should be enjoying, which to be avoiding, so that there remain plenty of fish in the sea for a long, long time to come.

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