We spent a few days in Monterey during spring break. It was a nice getaway, and close to home. But, it felt worlds away. We drove 17-mile drive (the Lone Cypress is there pictured above) through Carmel and visited the Mission in this little hamlet. Or, I should say, Carmel-by-the-Sea. I've lived in California for most of my life and I never knew about the "by-the-Sea" part. But I took lots of photos to share with you.
At one point we were having a late lunch at Monterey's Cannery Row (fodder for Steinbeck's award-winning novel of the same name). I commented that Brianna would have loved it there. We were sitting outside on a covered patio right on the water having clam chowder in a bread bowl. About 10 minutes later, a woman walks up and says, "You all look so familiar. Iva?" I was blown away. The woman was Brianna's best friends mother, who a week earlier had sent me flowers to let me know she was thinking of me. John, Trevor and I thought it was a sign from Brianna. What were the chances that Chelsea's mother would be in that restaurant (which wasn't small), in Monterey, having a late lunch only after changing their plans and deciding last minute to stay in Monterey. Brianna was with us.
As we drove through parts of Monterey, I started to cry after seeing a bronze sculpture of two children:
I was captured by the innocence of these two. Innocence that is long gone for us and my children, child. I thought it beautiful just the same.
Here are some of the beautiful paper mache religious figures that I thought were remarkable at the Mission. The first is large, almost life-size, while the others were small in the Mission's display case.
We love the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It has 20 foot + high tanks full of fish, sharks and all sorts of sea life that you can just walk up to and look into, as if you were a sea creature yourself. Do you see the school of sardines whirling in the center of the photo and looking almost like a tornado?
The jellyfish display was so beautiful. These prehistoric looking life forms floating like ballerinas in the water. Swimming to a rhythmic beat only they hear. The aquarium pipes in beautiful music that seems choreographed to the creatures movements. And... so many different kinds of jellyfish and different colors. I felt like a kid again!
I also noticed a stunning quilt someone had made and donated to the aquarium. It featured all kinds of sea animals and was hanging near the cafeteria. People were sitting in front of it, so my picture isn't the best. But I think you can see the detail and colors well enough.
Then next week, my PFATT sisters arrive for a few days of touring, art and sharing. I really can't wait.
Shhhh.......Here's a sneak peek of a little surprise they will receive before leaving to our part of California:
And my PFATT sister Sandy of Sam I Am Creations created this little gem for us to display. Sandy is so very talented when it comes to designing web pages, templates and the like. They fly in on Thursday and leave Tuesday. I'll update you when I return from all our activities and pfatt pfun!