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September 2009

September 15, 16 & 17, 2009

Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea; our mid-September road trip took us to familiar places and favorite activities.  Dave tried out his new GPS system and called out instructions as we drove around. 

After unloading our bags at Lovers Point Inn we unfolded the bikes and set off for the warf to go whale watching.  We bought two fairly expensive tickets on the biggest boat we could find; one hundred feet.  Then, about ten minutes before boarding the fog rolled in the captain said the visibility was about a quarter of a mile – so we got our money back and rode our bikes north on the bike trail. 


This was to be a trip of prat falls and misplaced items.  Dave nearly went into the drink when he stepped over the curb on the fishing wharf and nearly slipped between the boat bumper and the deck.  I watched him do this and my first thought was that he would be really mad to get his new camera wet.  He saved himself somehow and declared "no harm, no foul."  We rode north on the bike trail to Seaside and traversed a small sandy slope to begin the return ride on the beach.  My brakes locked up and I fell knee first onto my bike and did a face plant on the beach.  That just added another bruise to my collection. I had been riding one of the Friesian mares at the ranch a few days before when she started bucking and wouldn't stop.  I grabbed the fence to bail before I got thrown and my legs got a bit mashed on the fence.  It was a slow walk back to the bike trail and an almost one-legged ride back to the hotel at Lover's Point in Pacific Grove. 


After a nap and some ibuprofen I was ready to go so we hiked up the hill to the 17th Street Bistro for cajun snapper wraps. ( I found out the next day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium that snapper is NOT one of the fish that is in plentiful supply or sustainable.)  That evening we strolled around the beach walk, stopping to sit on the beachside benches.  The fog was beginning to blow away and we were star gazing when something bumped my elbow.  I looked down at a lovely young cat who was rubbing her chin on my fuzzy jacket.  We talked for a while then she hopped down and disappeared into the bushes. 
Wednesday we rose early to walk to the point to see if we could see the cat and get a photo but she was off on her kitty errands and couldn't be found.  It's a quick bike ride from Lover's Point Inn to the Aquarium and we had to do some shopping and bay-gazing to take up the time before the main attraction opened.  The Aquarium has a seahorse exhibit that is really interesting.  The unusual shapes these creatures can take are delightful.  The leafy sea dragon has to be one of the weirdest beings in the sea.  Some of the bigger sea horses, when seen from the rear, reminded me of the fat necks and shoulders of the draft horses I've been riding. (and falling off of.)  We broke for lunch at a nearby pub and spent a couple more hours watching the fish swim, penguins waddle and octopus squirm.


I had been wanting to replace my wedding ring and we again hiked up to Lighthouse Avenue after a nap in the hotel.  A Niche In Time, a used and estate jewelry store had just what I was looking for and took my old ring (too small) in trade.  Dave couldn't resist the chance to ride the whale in front of the Pacific Grove Museum.  We drove down to Carmel River Beach to watch the sunset then back to Cannery Row for dinner at the Fish Hopper.  Dave had Crusted Mahi Mahi topped with a citrus cream sauce and papaya mango salsa, served with chef's rice.  I had Herb-Crusted Grilled Salmon served with sauteed spinach and whipped potatoes.  YUMM. 
Our last day took us back to Carmel Mission for a photo shoot.  The mission grounds are lovely and the decorations on the walls, ceilings and windows are almost whimsical.  We stopped at Casa de Fruta at the bottom of Pacheco Pass for lunch and then headed home.  Since we were within a couple of miles of the stables, we stopped to pet our horses and got the story of how Tango let himself and Zany out of their stalls the night before and had a party.  I guess they were bored.


The entire set of pictures (and slide show) is available  HERE .

Saturday September 12, 2009

This morning a bunch of us from the ranch decided to take a break from our normal routine and visit Shady Oaks where they were having a horse/driving show.  The wild weather made the morning extra exciting with lightning and thunder providing an ongoing light show.  Shady Oaks is a large facility on Thornton road just north of highway 12.  There were competitors from all around the United States.  I was actually more excited about the opportunity to try some ACTION photography than about the event.  I think I got some action, don't you?
     ENERGY PLUS                   Lightening and thunder

Our friend Michelle in red             The score is based on SPEED
Click on any picture above to see a larger version.

Combined Driving Events (CDE) feature three competitions; dressage and presentation, obstacles (what we saw today) and cones (precision driving around a couse).

HERE to see a slide show of all pictures of the event.  
Once the page shows up click on "Slide Show" in the upper right corner.

Click on pictures to see a large version.
September 2009
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