Thursday, April 26, 2012


Yeah, I know! It's been, like... forever! Right?! Well, I been busy!! Just kidding, I mean, I have been busy, but I mean I'm kidding 'bout getting angry with you for questioning me. I just came back from a conference in California. Luckily, it has not made me renounce the East Coast, that'll just never happen. I was with my buddy Emily though who is from the West Coast of Canada and it made her homesick for the West Coast, and she was all trying to push her 'West Coast is better' beliefs on me.

Bah!! I say BAH to that! (I'm kidding of course, she is too nice to push her beliefs on anyone)

Anyway, it was foggy and chilly in the mornings and then the sun burned off the fog and it was gorgeous. but East Coast (Mid Atlantic to be exact!) wine is better than CA wines... (how many readers did I just lose?) And I prefer to watch sunrises.

OK, now that my foot is firmly lodged in my mouth, wanna' see pictures??? Of course you do!
Our hotel was right on the state park/beach in Monterey, CA. These are the morning shots, foggy, chilly, but we still had to enjoy the beach a little.
The sand was fantastic! Super fine and warm and white.
Emily being goofy...
Ashley following suit.
The water was also surprisingly gorgeous. I told Emily I still love my brown, murky Atlantic :)

Ending the morning the way it's supposed to be ended ;)
This area had some amazingly dazzling trees.
It has those trees with the fuzzy stuff hanging off it... that's as eloquent as I can be about that.
Fuzzy trees, and sweet rustic road signs. Also, the only other thing that makes me jealous of these amazing year-round great temps; succulents just growing everywhere!

 Succulent bushes!↑ Someone's succulent garden ↓
One of my favorite pictures ↓ Not sure what happened to this poor cypress tree, but some pretty crazy force bent its two largest branches at almost 90 degrees. It looked unreal.

 So I had to come back to the beach and take sunny pictures as well :)
 Pretty sick, right?
OK, so one afternoon, we all went on a tour of 17 mile drive, a famous trek through Monterey that follows the coast of Monterey Bay and has all sorts of great little monuments. The one below is not a good example but way back in the background is Bird Rock.
There were some fantabulous beaches where seal pupping happens, and the seals are very well protected by the state while they pup, so that we as fur seal lovers can continue to go 'Awwwwwwwww!!!!' at fur seal pups for years to come.
So as a result, this is sometimes the only types of pictures I could take of some of the beaches:
Still pretty heavenly...
This is the Lone Cypress. No, not the huge impressive one in the forefront, the lonely one in the background on a cliff all by itself. It's been there for about 250 years! That's what's supposed to be impressive about it, because as far as looks go, I saw a hell of a lot of cool, impressive-looking cypress trees in Monterey, but this is one of the only ones that's been around for forever.
Tons and tons of scary/awesome cliffs with smooth, pretty rocks, wind-beaten trees, and succulents and moss growing all throughout the cracks. And of course the Pacific lookin' pretty.
My phone died before I got a good picture but behind these live trees is the Ghost Tree:
I was so upset that I didn't get a good picture of it, I got a stock photo because you have to see it:

There's controversy over which one is actually considered the Ghost Tree, that tall one in the front, or that little bent one on the right in the background. The tall one is my favorite though. These trees have been so weather-beaten that they lost all their bark and leaves and branches. They look creepy but awesome.

What's amazing is that these cypress trees seem to grow best in this salty sea air and soil but they also get warped and look crazier than any other tree I've ever seen. They were everywhere so I had plenty of 'wow!' moments.

Finally, our last evening, we had a gala dinner at the Monterey Aquarium. Now, I don't know how I keep managing to go cool places with an almost dead phone, but I only had enough battery for a few pictures, and this guy was my favorite.

We caught this octopus in a rare active state, he climbed all over the place, and we caught him on film!
I loved this Aquarium, it was featuring jellyfish, and behind glass, I looooove looking at jellyfish.

(Yeah, that's not my picture) They also had awesome hammerhead sharks and otters (buggers were sleeping the whole time we were there :( ) and a huge 'please touch' area where we played with manta rays and starfish and little sharks. oh, and abalone!
This isn't a great picture but I wanted to impress how big they are. They basically look like a cross between a snail and a clam (because they have more clam-like shells but only on the top of their bodies, the bottom is a big sucker that they slither around with like a snail), and they can be about a foot long! Their shells are gorgeous like oyster or mussel shells on the inside, only gorgeous-er!
Anyway, they liked to sucker to our fingers, they were awesome. So I also did a lot of work and networking and listening to lectures while in CA, but that's the boring part not worth talking about. We're still on track for moving into our new house, inspections and haggling over fixing stuff is done, we're just patiently waiting now for the end of May!

Meanwhile, I still have no word on whether or not I've got a job after grad school and thank you notes are still not done! Lots to do, but I'll be around!


  1. I am SO jealous you got to go!! Looks like you guys had fun......meanwhile, I'm stuck just going to AAI in Boston :(

  2. I love your pics! Hope you guys had fun, in which it looks like you did!! :)