California….FINALLY

When I think of California, this is what I picture
When I think of California, this is what I picture

I took a little trip back to the states for a month and finally got to see California for the first time. I stayed with my BFF in Pebble Beach so I was living the good life! They recently purchased a home off of the famous 17 Mile Drive and close to the ocean, so I’m glad I got to see it and help around the yard.

The "Gingerbread House" in Pebble Beach for rent
The “Gingerbread House” in Pebble Beach for rent

Like New Zealand, California is also known for its wine production and we visited MANY tasting rooms and a few vineyards. I couldn’t help but notice a some similarities in the coastlines and the flora. There were a lot of those creepy trees I love so much as well as the same types of flowers and bushes.

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I was also lucky enough to go to the Monterey aquarium a couple of times and got in plenty of shopping (my downfall). We also hit up Big Sur and ate lots of great food in the time I was there. I’m happy to say I fulfilled my requirements for seafood, Mexican and BBQ and some stuff I had forgotten about like this cheese steak sandwich!

Mmmm Philly cheese steak!
Mmmm Philly cheese steak!

Some of the first places they took me were to the wharf and Cannery Row. I was overwhelmed with all of the free clam chowder being sampled along the walk and took advantage of just about all of them. THAT was something I hadn’t had in a while. The gigantic crab legs were hard to miss as well.

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We saw these great little squid air plants and I made a friend in the gift shop.

Squid air plants you soak in water once a week
Squid air plants you soak in water once a week

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There were sea lions and otters galore, like this one who found an urchin to munch on (very carefully).

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I was really impressed with the aquarium, so much that I went back a second time. The jellyfish and cephalopod exhibits were outstanding. I spent a lot of time staring at the flamboyant cuttlefish. There was a touch pool for skates and rays and a beautiful shallow pool with anemones.

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Skate – totally looks like a scary alien face

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Pharaoh cuttlefish

The jellyfish were so mesmerizing, it was hard to get out of the exhibit! They had quite a few octopi as well.

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Big Sur is a must do if you’re in the area, so they kindly took me on the drive and we stopped in at a nice place to eat overlooking the ocean.

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Closer to home, we went to Carmel Beach for some sunset shots and pictures of the infamous cypress tree. This is allegedly one of the most photographed trees in the U.S.

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Another trip took us to a sunset while drinking wine and having some appetizers.

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Carmel Beach had this one spot where the sand was pink. When mixed with the black and white sand then dried, it became purple. Of course I had to bring some home with me!

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While I still have food on my mind, there was some great fruit at this farmer’s market and I saw some odd cauliflower at a market outside of town. I’m also constantly amazed by the cereal aisles that I miss so much. Ours here is about 1/4 of that size and 50% more expensive!

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Thanks again, Dahnelle and Remo for making my first visit memorable and I look forward to coming back!

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5 thoughts on “California….FINALLY

  1. Linda March 15, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    Big Sur is one of my favorite places on this earth,first stop on my honeymoon and visited every New Years for a lot of years, camping in a motorhome by the Big Sur River.
    Monerey Aquarium is incredible. The sea otters and jelly fish are my favs.
    Glad you had a wonderful trip to beautiful California.
    My daughter moved to Sonoma county,California which is next door to Napa, I got to explore the Sonoma coast and it is gorgeous too.
    Glad your adventures have been so great,I love seeing your posts.
    Linda

    • StephieD March 15, 2016 / 1:03 pm

      Thanks, Linda! Nice to “hear” from you! I’ll chat you up on email soon. Glad you enjoy the posts (still!).

  2. Kay McAnally March 15, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    Great post, Steph! Who gets to do what you have done? Not many of us. Congratulations and glad you’re home – at least for a while!
    Kay

    • StephieD March 15, 2016 / 1:59 pm

      Always my moral support, you are! Thanks for keeping updated with me! I’ll talk with you soon.

  3. Lani March 15, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    I agree Monterey’s aquarium is the BEST! Love those squid plants 🙂

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