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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Back in Monterey

I headed back down to Monterey Thursday night with my dad. I love travelling with my dad to conferences and meetings. This time there were no planes to catch, we just hopped in the car (with me in the driver's seat) and headed south to the city by the ocean that I love.

My dad's purpose for being in Monterey was to attend IEEE Adcom meetings all day Friday and Saturday which consisted of sitting inside a windowless conference room with 40 fellow attendees from 8 in the morning til 5-6 at night.

For me, I had two days to do whatever I pleased. Now, if I was home, those two days would be filled with all sorts of projects, activities or the dreaded housecleaning jobs. I came prepared. I brought a book (Emma), I brought some magazines (Real Simple, The Ensign), I brought a photo album project, and I brought a counted cross-stitch sewing project.

I'll bet you are wondering..did I open my book? did I get any pictures pasted into the photo album? did I read any magazines? or did I thread a needle? Well, I must respond with a resounding NO to all of the above. I was prepared just in case the weather did not cooperate and I would be confined to our hotel room. But since it was soooooo gorgeous, I was out and about at the crack of dawn.

Let me share with you a tidbit of my long weekend:

The moment my eyes flipped open Friday morning, I made a beeline to Trader Joe's and to Peets to purchase some fresh squeezed oj , a cup of steaming hot chocolate and lemon scone with currants. That was my breakfast. The first thing on my agenda was to head up the coast to Moss Landing and go to the Succulent Gardens. OK, I purchased more plants and a couple of wreath forms (will show the progress on that project in a future post). I know what you are thinking ...there she goes again, purchasing more plants..I know I am plagued with a bit of sickness ...I just can't help myself.

I found some zinc bell jar tops in an antique collective. Had a wonderful chat with one of the owners. I felt a bit bad for him, for business has been quite slow. So, I had a good feeling as I trotted out of his store with my tiny brown paper sack under my arm. Upon returning to my car, I was greeted with this on the windshield. Those lovely seagulls!

Believe it or not, I started feeling pangs of hunger so I headed to Phils Fish Market ,

and had a very large bowl of their clam chowder. I was stuffed.

Again, for seafood lovers, this is the place to eat--you can also purchase the freshest fish in their market. I understand their cioppino is OUTSTANDING.

I came upon this sign for the Moonglow Dairy. The sign alone made me want to buy their milk, unfortunately I don't think they sell to the public. Cool sign though.

Wafts of the freshly tilled dirt permeated the air as I drove along the coastal roads. I passed acres and acres of artichoke fields filled with ripened chokes waiting to be harvested... passed by fields with workers bent over mounded rows covered with plastic, planting and weeding the acres of strawberry plants. I am so grateful for these hardworking people. What a back breaking job. I am glad they are willing to work in the fields (most speak very little English, if any) under all sorts of harsh conditions, whether it is the beating sun or cold air. My hat is off to you!

I stopped at the Navy Postgraduate Training School where my dad was stationed over 65 years ago. I naively thought I could pop in and take some pictures of the buildings he stayed in...unfortunately since it is a "live" military base, I was denied access, thanks to 9/11. Oh well.

Finally, I spent over an hour in Target wandering the aisles (you can easily do that in Target), after which I headed back to the hotel, got ready and headed to Fandango for a most delicious meal. I had the finest paella my palette has ever tasted! Would highly reccomend this restaurant.

To be continued (tomorrow)......


Anonymous said...

Sounds like so much fun. And you went to one of my favorite restaurants...Fandango. I've had some great meals there!

Look forward to reading about the "rest of the story!"

Love, Gwen

Natalie said...

Ooo wow, makes me itch for a day to myself. How I would love to wander around and eat great food like that, especially in Monterey! And it would be equally nice to cuddle up in cold weather and work on a project, too.