Monday, September 05, 2016

Summer Vacay - Stop 2 - Part 2, Central Coast (the migration north)

The "plan" was that we would leave from our friends home early Thursday morning and drive north to the Monterey Bay Aquarium - arriving when the doors opened.  But our success of actually departing anywhere before noon is extremely low, particularly once we engage in a deep conversation about the anthropological evidence regarding Jesus and his very dark-skinned complexion.  What ramifications would it have on the world if it was proven that Jesus was black? Would or should it have any? And why?

Then we had another cup of tea and by the time we departed it was 12:15.


We took the beautiful Highway 1 up the coast, passing Heart Castle in San Simeon and the elephant seals of Piedras Blancas.


We're fascinated by animals of the ocean, especially marine mammals.  The lives that these particular animals live - the migratory routes that they take, the way they return to the exact same location each year, the 80% of their lives that they spend in water, the nearly 2,000 feet dives that they take, and the hazards - the sharks and whales. And we think we've got things tough.

Here were two young males, wrestling on shore.


Boys will be boys.


Who I imagine to be the mother elephant seal was on the beach barking at them, so they took their sparring match in to the water.


We also enjoyed watching the younger seals.  Like this one who by moving only her flipper and with eyes closed, was able to cover herself with warm sand.


This would be me if I was a seal.

If any one can bring back a tuna sandwich, that'd be great. 


We walked along the boardwalk, taking lots of pictures, contemplating the harsh lives of these animals, and feeling depleted by the ocean wind.


Who wants to jump in the ocean and swim from here to Alaska?

Anyone?  Anyone? 


Hopping back in to the warm cozy car, we continued our drive north.


We passed regions where helicopters were flying down to scoop up water to fight the fires raging to the east of us.


And we offered up prayers for the safety of the brave men and women who were risking their lives to put the terrible fires out that have been ravaging a severe drought stricken California for years.


Our destination Thursday evening was Charlie's sister, Susan, and her husband, Jeff's house - just south of San Francisco.  But there were several stops on our way there - to the children, it seemed that we were stopping every 20 minutes.


How could we help it?

Look at this view! 


And this road!  

Can you imagine the engineering, planning, and construction involved?!


We rolled in to the south bay of San Francisco at the same time as the fog.  None of the pictures that we took can quite capture the way that it billows up and over the hills like a blanket.


After a wonderful dinner and rest at Sue and Jeff's on Thursday night ... we continued our way north on Friday, through San Francisco.


We'd had plans to visit Alcatraz, but the reservations needed to be made months in advance. What is with all of this advance planning that is required these days?  And how can someone who thrives on spontaneity survive in this world?!

Instead of Alcatraz, we walked across the Golden Gate bridge and talked about Mark Twain and how "the coldest winter he ever spent, was a summer in San Francisco."


Once back in our car, we drove to Sausalito and walked / jumped along the bay.


We then stopped for lunch: chowder in a sour dough bowl because ... San Francisco.


It was a very good day.


Made all the better by children who thoroughly enjoyed being together.