April 21st, 2007

Conrunner Kevin

Footsore in Monterey

Having two-day tickets for the Monterey Bay Aquarium means not feeling obliged to be there first thing in the morning, so the only constraint on our time this morning was the beginning of the Cricket World Cup game (and we have sufficient bandwidth here to watch it, unlike the hotel in Naperville) and the included continental breakfast, which ended at 10 AM. Eventually we made our leisurely way (it's about 3 km) down to Cannery Row and the Aquarium, browsing the shops and stopping for a coffee along the way.

Then it was in to the Aquarium. I recommend getting advance tickets or getting them through your hotel package like we did, because it allows you to use the faster side entrance, rather than having to wait through the long queue out front. New this season is a big otter exhibit, which we did first, but the entire Aquarium is fascinating and well worth spending a day-plus exploring at your leisure.

About 2:30, we decided it was time for lunch and walked back down Cannery Row, picking out the Blue Moon Seafood Bistro, where we were shown to a nice table by the window. From there, we enjoyed our respective lunches of crab risotto and clam linguini and watched children playing tag with the surf on the beach below.

As we were finishing our lunch, we saw three divers making their way to shore. We then saw that there were four harbor seals following the divers, circling around them and generally giving the impression of puppies following someone home. The divers made their way to shore, but the seals stayed slightly out to sea. They seemed so disappointed that the humans didn't want to stay and play.

After lunch, we returned to the Aquarium and stayed nearly until closing. I think we managed to see everything there. As it passed 6 PM, we could feel our feet complaining as we walked back up the pedestrian/bike trail (formerly the Southern Pacific Monterey Branch serving the canneries) to out hotel. Cheryl broke out her umbrella as it started to drizzle. We got back to the hotel just before it really started to pour.

As I sit here composing this, I see that Cheryl has fallen asleep, and I can't say as I blame her. The Aquarium is fun, but spending the day on our feet is not something we're accustomed to doing. On the other hand, I observed that, unlike my usual work day where I sit in an office all day, I had circulation in my fingers around 6 PM.

We haven't decided on dinner yet, but rain may make us less willing to wander afield too far, and if we stay in too late, we'll be forced into the Denny's across the street, which does seem a bit of a waste.