Sunday, August 12, 2012

8/12 Back in Napa After Visiting Monterey

Monterey, California, is a terrific place to visit.  Not only is there a world-class aquarium, but there is wonderful seaside scenery and mountains to look at, plus a lot of very good seafood restaurants and shops.  And, the weather is cool, even in the hottest summers.  Jackets are a must, which is really unusual for California.  Highs for the past four days were in the low 60s, but it was mostly sunny, at least when the fog wasn't sneaking in.  Water temps of 57 degrees and deep ocean currents create the cool, foggy climate.

Anyway, we spent Friday at the aquarium; lots of interactive exhibits for kids and just about everything you can imagine in terms of sea life.  I liked the jellies and the seahorses, but there were otters and deep sea fish, as well as outside patios where you could watch non-captive otters, seals, and sea lions in the kelp forest:

Saturday, we went whale watching on a tour boat, quite a ways out in the ocean off of Monterey.  lessons learned for whale watching:
  1. Don't buy tickets in advance.
  2. Check the weather before you commit.
  3. Choose the biggest boat available.
While it looked calm in port, there were 15-20 foot swells out in the ocean and our boat was the biggest whale watching boat, but it was still small compared to the size of the waves.  Going out, you literally could NOT walk or even stand without holding onto something because the boat was tossing so badly.  I found a spot out of the cold wind in the rear, and finally gave up standing and sat most of the rest of the trip.  The rear railing of the boat, which was about 15 feet from my sitting spot, rose and fell at least 10-15 feet with each swell.  (Rob says more.  All I know is that I have never been on any boat that moved up and down so much.)  The kids were scared and then just seasick.  Jen had to hold my grandaughter, and my grandson fell asleep on my lap, which was the best thing he could have done.  Here they are both next to me out of the wind. 

I had to use the bathroom twice, and literally was bouncing off the walls inside of it.  There was a snack bar, but it was selling no snacks, obviously!  A lot of people were hanging over the rails.  I have never been seasick in my life, nor had my daughter-in-law, but we both agreed even we were a bit sick.  The movement was also not helpful to my vertigo.  Coming back it was a little better and we were able to even sit inside and move around a bit. 

So, how many whales did we see??  I saw one tail from a distance as a whale of some sort dove.  Next time? There will probably not be a next time, unfortunately.  Did have a great lunch at Fisherman's Wharf at Bubba Gump's, afterwards, after our stomachs calmed down! 

I will be in Napa another 10 days. Tomorrow I try to find a carpet remnant for my motorhome, and I need to do some shopping to stock up on paper things because I will be spending the next month in national parks and far from big stores.  Also want to see about getting some new glasses and ordering my prescriptions for mail order delivery.  Not sure how I will get them since I will be in Arizona for a while.  Maybe pick up at a UPS location?  Will need to do some checking.  School starts on Wednesday, so I get to take the kids to school and pick them up for a few days.  It will be my grandaughter's first day of kindergartern!  Do you remember your first day of school?  

1 comment:

  1. Too bad your boat trip wasn't more fun but it was still an experience of a lifetime. Find a smaller town near where you plan to stay in Arizona and check on their General Delivery. Most post offices will do that but you don't want a big town because there may be a number of post offices. That's how most full-timers get their packages and mail when they stop in one place for a week or so.