Sunday, November 21, 2010

Monterey Peninsula, Part 2

(All photos from ScheckTrek unless otherwise stated.)

It’s kind of funny how it took us 27 years to get back to the Monterey Peninsula after our 1983 trip (we went this past September) then only six weeks to return again. Some good friends invited us to share their vacation-club condo, and it was well worth the quick return visit!

Our mid-September trip was covered in my October 18 blog ( This will be a review of our early November jaunt.

Sightseeing on this trip included a walkabout in Carmel (with a legal name of Carmel-by-the-Sea, is it any wonder it’s one of the most charming villages in the U.S.?), San Lobos State Natural Reserve, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and a short stop at Mission Carmel.


I’m not normally one who wants to spend my travel time looking at things in an “artificial” setting, but I cannot possibly overestimate the appeal of this aquarium. I could have easily spent the whole day there.

Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you looking for?

Under the sea, under the sea
Darlin’, it’s better
Down where it’s wetter
Take it from me

--Lyrics, “Under the Sea”

Some of the color combinations were amazing.  This little fish almost appears to be wearing a crown from the reflection.

The otters were little entertainers who kept all ages amused.

Hitchin’ a ride

Lover Lips meets…

 (That was one scary looking eel!)

This well-camouflaged fish looked like it was filled with jewels and resting on porcelain flowers.  I really hope it was a girl fish because, what a waste on a guy!


I could have stood there for hours just watching the jellies (jellyfish).  How do they not become hopelessly tangled?


I had no idea there were so many different types.

This jelly reminds me of a dress my daughter had as a baby, but the animal is of course deceptively innocent looking.


Sunny Side Up jellyfish

Leafy Sea Dragon, beautifully attired!


Bat ray

Somewhat humorous, but with a message


Carmel's architecture is a mixture of early California + fairytale.



Lots of art galleries


Carmel is so cultured that even the dogs frequent its art galleries, though I think these two were really just more interested in meeting Uncle Al.

Don’t you love that hair-do?

And there were lots of upscale shops, peddling unusual and creative wares




The seas were rough, which made for some interesting photography opportunities.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen more tripods in use at one time.  That seagull continued to brave one big wave after another.

CARMEL MISSION, established in 1771

Those walls look over 200 years old!




In September we chose the Spindrift Inn in Monterey. This time we stayed about five miles away at the Highlands Inn, in Carmel. They’re both upscale properties with water views, but if sunsets over the water are your thing, you’d be well advised to consider Carmel, whose west-coast setting actually faces west, rather than Monterey, which faces north on the peninsula.

Below are some photos of and from the Highlands Inn. (For more information on the Spindrift Inn, please see my October 18, 2010 blog.)

Photo from

That tub was great!

And the sunsets were even better.

It was a wonderful four days, even if we had been there just six weeks earlier!

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