Thursday, March 30, 2017

Day 3 So Cal - Monterey and Area

March 2017 - Monterey CA

Weekly Recap
Day 1 Los Angeles
Day 2 LA to Monterey

it was raining as we breakfast, but there is hope of sunshine in those clouds. As we ate we deliberated between taking a bus tour in the afternoon that took to 17 Mile Drive and Carmel highlighting movies made in the area. We hate bus tours and decide we could do this better and cheaper ourselves. This will allow us to make as many stops as we want.

So we head out to explore. The sun is shining and we have spring coats on.
Leaving the hotel we stop at Fisherman's Wharf and are gifted with a rainbow!

A cool looking garden centre, it would have been fun to explore.

John is playing around with the creative settings on his camera.

Fashion note - spring coat not waterproof, but have boots on.

Pacific Grove is known for its Victorian homes, Asilomar State Beach, and is also known as "Butterfly Town U.S.A." for the annual migration of the monarch butterflies. The city is endowed with more historical houses per capita than anywhere else in California. Seventy-five percent of the homes in Pacific Grove are considered historical. Some of them have been turned into bed and breakfast inns.

The city is also known as the location of the Point Pinos Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast.  it would have been worth a visit but it doesn't open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so no chance even of stopping by tomorrow.

 Pacific Grove was also the main filming location for Roger Spottiswoode's 1989 film Turner & Hooch as well as A Summer Place, starring Sandra Dee.

We spot the 17 Mile Drive street sign and decide to head there.
According to Wikipedia: 17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula in California, much of which hugs the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses, mansions and scenic attractions, including the Lone Cypress, Bird Rock and the 5,300-acre Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees. The price for entry was a reasonable $10.25 per car.

We were lucky, it's a rainy cool Tuesday morning so we didn't encounter the usual slow cars and tour buses with hordes of camera toting tourists. Yes we both had cameras and phones...

From the Sunset Drive/Pacific Grove gate, the drive runs inland past Spanish Bay, then adjacent to beaches and up into the coastal hills, providing scenic viewpoints. The route allows for self-directed travel and stopping, with frequent turnouts along the roadway in many locations along the route. Without stops, it takes a minimum of 20 minutes to reach Carmel. The numerous turnouts allow stopping to take pictures, or getting out to stroll along the ocean or among the trees. Visitors receive a map that points out some of the more scenic spots. In addition, a red-dashed line is marked in the center of the main road to guide visitors, and help prevent them from venturing into the adjacent neighborhood streets.

Some eye candy on a gloomy morning, surfer changing.

Fashion note - I now have my Canadian winter coat on having decided the rain jacket was going to be warm enough and John has pulled out his jacket and toque. Rain drops on lens.

 John spots these guys! harbor seals gather here from April to June to give birth, it is almost the end of March.

Standing on a granite hillside off California's scenic 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach, the Lone Cypress is a western icon, and has been called one of the most photographed trees in North America. The tree is located between Cypress Point Golf Course and the Pebble Beach Golf Links, two of world's best-known golf courses. Possibly as old as 250 years, the cypress has been scarred by fire and has been held in place with cables for 65 years.

The Monterey Cypress grows naturally only in Pebble Beach and Point Lobos.

A drawing of the tree was registered as Pebble Beach Company's trademark in 1919. The company said the trademark protected not only the logo but also the tree itself.

Ghost Tree derives its name from the white and gnarly local cypress trees in the area which call to mind ghosts or witches. Foresters predict that the few still living cypress trees will soon join their ghostly brethren due to a blight of beetles that will kill much of the cypress and pine in California over the next 20 years.

Legend tells of a particular spooky tree in the bunches that graces the coastline of swanky Pebble Beach. Supposedly the image of a “Lady in Lace” has often been spotted on dark foggy nights near the famed Ghost Tree, upsetting the motorists who are said to have seen her walking down the center of the 17 Mile Drive.

One theory, among believers, suggests that the ghostly figure is Dona Maria, who once owned much of what is now Pebble Beach. Perhaps the Lady in Lace is just surveying her vast property. However, as more sightings are made, others continue to speculate about the lady’s identity. Some people who have seen the Lady in Lace think she is wearing a wedding dress. Her sadness leads people to speculate that she is a jilted bride moping for all eternity. (Another less ethereal explanation is that these are optical illusions created by fog and refracted light).

More recently, a legendary surfer, drowned near the Ghost Tree while attempting to paddle into the massive waves. The infamous wave and the entire surfing area has now become known as Ghost Tree. When locals catch a good wave there, they often remark, “The Ghost Tree is with us today.”

Someone's modest beach cottage. I googled house prices and found one for $45,000,000 US, no I didn't put an extra zero! But you could get one for around $14.000.000.

 Stopping at Pebble Beach.

Inside the hotel.

Rolex clock on putting green.

Inside the Pro shop where John "had" to buy a golf shirt.

Back in the car for the short ride to Carmel by the Sea in search of lunch.

We take the leisurely one way driving loop by the ocean with some incredible houses facing it.
One million and up could find you a home here. Not bad considering that an average house in Toronto starts at $1,000,000.

That's a rain streak on the window. This house looked like something out of Hansel and Gretel..

We're out walking in sunshine.

Fashion note - I no longer have any coats on, and the scarf and cardigan will come off soon.

A gorgeous French linen shop. The owner said Bonjour in a very Parisian voice, John responded in French, she was surprised and asked where we were from. Then sniffed" ah, un Canadian accent!"

A stop for coffee/tea.

 A drive by shot of a mural as we leave town.

We headed to the mission in Carmel, check back on Sunday for photos.

Time to head back to Monterey to check out some more stuff.

Cannery Row is the waterfront street in the New Monterey section. 

It is the site of a number of now-defunct sardine canning factories.

 The last cannery closed in 1973. 

The street name, formerly a nickname for Ocean View Avenue, became official in January 1958 to honor John Steinbeck and his well-known novel Cannery Row. In the novel's opening sentence, Steinbeck described the street as "a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream."

The Cannery Row Monument pays homage to nine important characters that played pivotal roles in Cannery Row's history.

Author John Steinbeck anchors the monument at the top of the rock with friend and marine biologist Ed Ricketts towards the bottom. 

The canneries failed after the collapse of the fishing industry in Monterey Bay in the mid-1950s, which resulted from a combination of factors, including unfavorable oceanic conditions, over-fishing, and competition from other species. In his investigation of where the sardines had gone, Ed Ricketts finally concluded "They're in cans." Before the collapse, the fishery was one of the most productive in the world due to the upwelling of cold, yet nutrient-rich water from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that is funneled to the surface via the vast underwater Monterey Canyon.

Several other characters represent those who once worked in the bustling canning industry on the row including Chinese fishermen.

The statue also depicts four local entrepreneurs who are praised for their revival of Cannery Row and its tourism industry including Ted Balestreri, George Zarounian, Hary Davidian, and Bert Cutino.

Cannery Row was the setting of John Steinbeck's novels Cannery Row (1945) and Sweet Thursday (1954). Both were the basis for the 1982 movie Cannery Row, starring Nick Nolte and Debra Winger.

It is also mentioned in Bob Dylan's song "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands". Here is Joan Baez' version, because I happen to like her.

Pacific Biological Laboratories, a biological supply house, was located at 800 Ocean View Avenue (now 800 Cannery Row) from 1928 to 1948, and operated by Edward F. Ricketts, who was the inspiration for several characters in Steinbeck novels. The laboratory is still preserved.

Ricketts provided the model for the several “Doc” characters in Steinbeck’s fiction, including the novel Cannery Row. The Lab was where much of Ricketts' and Steinbeck’s literary and philosophical vision germinated and grew. 

Following Ricketts’ death in 1948, the Lab became the meeting place for a group called the Pacific Biological Laboratory (PBL), named in honor of Ricketts’ Lab. In 1957, the PBL members invited jazz promoter Jimmy Lyons to one of their meetings, which resulted in the idea for a new international venue for jazz—the Monterey Jazz Festival. In 1993, the PBL group transferred the Lab to the City of Monterey to insure the preservation and interpretation of this unique literary, scientific and cultural resource.

There are many restaurants and shops in the area selling the usual tourist junk.

A chorus of cannery whistles, each with its own unique call, summoned the Cannery Row workforce. Men and women in rubber boots and oilcloth aprons showed up to clean, cut, pack, cook and can the sardines that were a major part of Monterey’s economy for more than three decades.

The work was dirty and hard, cold and wet, and the smell was terrible–but it was the smell of prosperity. The stench of sardines, reduced to fertilizer, fish meal, and chicken feed, permeated the Row.

At least a half-dozen languages could be heard over the din of canning machinery. The men operated and maintained the equipment and warehoused and shipped the finished product. The women worked the packing lines, filling Cannary Row’s trademark one-pound oval cans with sardines and salmon. Until the formation of the Cannery Workers Union in 1936, wages averaged 25 cents per hour.

Next stop - Fisherman's Wharf, where we had eaten last night while it was pouring rain, and incidentally, where we began the morning.

Fisherman's Wharf was built by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company in 1870 for the loading and unloading of passengers and goods. The wharf was also used by other commercial operations, and the city of Monterey took ownership in 1913. The wharf was expanded through 1920.

In 1923, while an unusually large shipment of sardines was being loaded onto the S.S. San Antonio, bad weather caused the ship to lean on the wharf, and 132 feet of the wharf collapsed. When the wharf was reconstructed, it was extended by 750 feet.

Municipal Wharf II was constructed in 1926. After World War II, the sardine population in Monterey Bay collapsed. With the contraction of the fishing industry, Old Fisherman's Wharf reoriented its business focus toward tourism.

Definitely watching!

As we leave to go back and put our feet up after on long day. We ordered pizza!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The seals are my personal favourites of these shots. The architecture there is very distinctive!

  3. It's a definite bonus to do the drive in not so good weather and give the crowds the slip, Jackie. I suppose imposing a toll helps keep numbers down? Some of those coastal trees look like they've taken a good battering. Character building stuff. :) :) Thanks a lot for your company.

  4. When I saw the seal photo on the MMBC linkup, I knew your blog was my first stop. I just moved to Georgia from Monterey! How I miss it!! Such an amazing place to live. Nice eye candy. Ha!!!

  5. Monterey Bay is my favorite travel destination - San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, etc. I love that area. Great shots!

  6. You chose one of the beautiful and most expensive ares of California to drive through. Most who do live there, bought a house before the prices became so crazy! Am addicted to ocean views since I lived in this state. But I didn't know Toronto was so expensive!
    Thank you for all the beautiful views, Jackie we can enjoy with you at All Seasons! Have a great traveling week!

  7. Hope my comment got through ,,, will check later!

  8. It is a beautiful scenic area. Did it in 2009 and the seals are my fav posers

  9. Wow that's quite a weather but the views are lovely, even in the rain!

  10. Loads of things to like here. The golf course looks like a japanese garden! I always like seals and this one is a lovely colour. The boat harbour with rainbow is a fantastic capture!

  11. You two were lucky enough not to have a lot of tourists around while you visited this area. Fantastic captures plus was informative. Can't wait to see what's next.

  12. So much moody light in the first series of photos, but the scenes remain intriguing. Adore the sea poses. And such a great range of architecture.

  13. What fantastic captures! The surfer changing wasn't so bad either ;) Your posts always make me want to get on that plane and go exploring! I wouldn't mind me one of those beach cottages too!

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC. Have a love weekend and hopefully see you Monday x

  14. Ahh, you visited some of my favorites spots in California. I agree you want to tour these places at your own pace. The scenery in here is so stunning that you want to stop every 5 minutes (or more often). When you return to the ares, stop by Point Lobos (maybe you have been?). That is another stunning area along the coast. #TPThursday

  15. Hi Jackie, I much prefer exploring at our own leisure than taking a bus tour too. Lovely photos. I could have stood and watched the seals all day... And the surfer too!

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.



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