Jesika enjoyed running each morning while we were in Monterey as there was a great track along the coast line. So while she was running about 5miles each day Nathan and I would cook pancakes and enjoy a leisurely breakfast chatting with the other hostel folk. Met some realy cool people from all over the world. Must say though that we did have a group of 4 totally obnoxious, loud young American´s staying for the last two nights. They seemed oblivious to anyone else there. Made sleep difficult too
We drove to Carmel-by-the-Sea. It is a lovely ritsy type village. No fast food outlets of malls etc. Just quaint artsy type shops and very highly priced real estate! We bought a board game at Boatworks called Nautical Trivia, so hope that will go down well at home. We then drove north to Moss Landing to meet up with Scott Jones, who had interviewed Jesika about her yachting trip. You can find the interview on www.moosemeals.com then go to quick pick menu and scroll down till you find With Wind and Seas. Click on it and the you will find Jesika´s 2 part interviews there. You do need to have Real Player loaded to listen to it though.
Scott took us out in his 28ft yacht Kittiwake, Jesika and Nathan had lots of fun learning how to tack & jibe, I kept my head clear of the boom and took photos! We saw heaps of sea otters and also sea lions, which are a real pest in the marina. They are very loud and also have cause boats to sink by several of them jumping in at the same time. They monopolise the walkways and are dangerous. Needless to say the locals are not very endeared towards them!! Anway, the current was way too strong for us to get out of the harbour so after a couple of hours we sailed back to the jetty and went aboard their latge yacht to socialise. They then took us out to ´The Whole Enchalada´for dinner. We are really enjoying these Mexican restaurants. Lots of fun, good service, great food and nice people. Afterwards they kindly let us use their internet. It is quite expensive at the hostels. $1US for 10mins.
We packed up and went to visit Gail again. Spent several hours chatting, using her internet and phone. Then about 2pm I suggested we all go out for some lunch so we piled into her car and went to Carmel. Had a very entertaining lunch at Village Corner – a Fawlty Towers atmosphere!! We wandered about for a while, found the two Thomas Kinkaide galleries. Really beautiful paintings but way out of our price range.
Finally managed to leave Gail – very sadly I might say, as I felt I had found a great friend, it was 5:45pm so we hit peak traffic and it took us 3 hours to get to Montara. We decided to go on the interstate rather than the coast road as we were unsure of time and distances and it was getting late. Got to Montara at 9pm. Booked in for 4 nights. It was a delightful lighthouse hostel, very friendly, comfortable, reasonably quiet and nice folk there. It was also lovely to be beside the sea.
We wanted a fairly quiet day so just drove down to Pigeon Point to see the lighthouse there. Unlike Montara is in not working, it is in a very delapidated state and there is a lot of fund raising to resurrect it. We then drove up to Pescadero Beach and let Nathan loose on the beach. There was heaps of great driftwood which other folk had been building into interesting huts so Nate built one too. We then found the Half Moon Bay library and used their free internet. Went back to the hostel and sorted clothes. Did several loads of washing and repacked everything so we only took what we needed to Mexico. We met some rally nice people at this hostel including Nat & Heather and young couple from Berkeley SF who were dressed in a Gothic style. Nathan´s head sure swund the first time he sawy them, we had to suggest he didn´t stare! However, it didn´t take too long to become good friends and we spent lots of time chatting and Nate played cards and Jenga with them.
Went back to Half Moon Bay library, Nate was thrilled when they lent him a book he had been reading on an honesty system. He didn´t even need to check it out! We sure wouldn´t get that in NZ! We went to Bean Hollow beach and had a lot of fun playing and exploring on some rocks. They had the most fascinating erosion patterns, also had tidal pools full of crabs and large anenomes. We got back to the hostel before 3pm so they were still cleaning. We sat out on the cliff edge reading our books in the fresh air and sunshine. Most relaxing.
We then got changed and headed into SF. Drove down the famous Lombard st zig-zag street, tried to get to Coits Tower but there was a huge traffic jam so we did a U-turn and headed to the theatre. Watched the movie ´Little Miss Sunshine´. It was a good movie, lots of crazy fun, family difficulties and interactions, but way too much bad language for our liking. Had a HUMUNGOUS container of popcorn and then finished it off with Starbucks frappaccino´s on the way home for dinner – most healthy!! I am sure Tim is not going to be happy about us educating Nathan into the habit of eating out!! He has especially developed a liking for Starbucks frappaccinos
One thing I have learnt here is that American´s do not know how to serve or eat small portions of food. Everything comes in BIG! Even eggs are served in 3´s. In NZ we get them in 1´s or 2´s. Any more is considered totally unhealthy.