Monday, July 14, 2008

Grandma & Auntie V Come For a Visit Pt. 2

On Monday, we went down to Carmel, Pacific Grove, and Monterey. We went to The Barnyard in Carmel, where we visited the best chocolate shop ever: Pieces of Heaven. Of course we made the "obligatory" purchases there, including a box of sugar free chocolates for my diabetic dad. We also visited the wonderful toy shop, Sandcastles by the Sea. Mom bought Princess V something there for her birthday. I can't tell you what it is though, because it's a secret.

Then we had to make a stop at The Bountiful Basket to see if they had any Pineapple Vinegar in, which they didn't. We did get to taste some different vinegars though, and Mom had never tasted flavored vinegars before, but loved them. We tried Blueberry Vinegar, Strawberry Vinegar, Raspberry Vinegar, and Pear Vinegar. The owner of the shops produces her own line of these vinegars, and when The Archer and I went down there in March for his birthday, we bought the Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar, which is FANTASTIC!!! They will be opening up another shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, so be sure to check them out if you get down there.

We took a drive by Asilomar, showed them Pebble Beach Golf Course (from a distance), drove by where our church has our Women's Retreats (Lighthouse Lodge Inn & Suites), saw three deer, showed them the PG Lighthouse, and then stopped to eat lunch. For lunch, we went to the local grocery store and got some sourdough bread, some roast beef, sliced cheese, and drinks. We made sandwiches right on the seashore of Pacific Grove. It was SO nice to just sit and watch the waves while eating lunch. We had to sit in the van because it was really very windy. We didn't want everything to blow away. After we had eaten, we got out of the van and walked down to the water. It's amazing how many types of seaweed and kelp were lying around on the beach. We stayed there for awhile so that we could enjoy God's majestic creation. Then, we headed down to Monterey. While on the coastline drive, we pointed out some of the gorgeous inns down there, including Green Gables Inn, and Seven Gables Inn. One of these days, The Archer and I hope to be able to stay in one of those two places for an anniversary or something.

So we drove on down through Cannery Row, but didn't get out. We were on a mission. We wanted to take them to the little beach on Fisherman's Wharf. It's a wonderful little beach, where you don't have to trek over tons of sand dunes to get to the water. We carried our camping chairs down there, along with towels, a kite, and a thing of bubles. We took Sir E's shoes off, and let him walk in the dry sand, which he was NOT thrilled with, because of the tactile issues. Then we kept walking to the wet sand, which he REALLY didn't like, to where we reached the water that was splashing up on the beach. I guess I don't need to tell you that he HATED having his feet in the water. The ocean scares him a little because of the waves rushing up on the shore, and because it's so expansive. But we hope that things will change, as we take him to the beach more and more. We want him to learn to love the beach, the sand, the water, just as much as we do.

While we were enjoying the beach, we actually got to see some sea otters swimming around in the surf. We tried to get some good pictures, but they were really hard to see, and you couldn't tell what we were trying to photograph.

Sir C got his kite flying and had fun with it for a little while before he got bored and wanted to join me and his Auntie V, as we raced the waves. The Archer was content to sit and videotape or take pictures, because he has a torn lateral miniscus in his knee, so walking has been more painful lately. At one point, Grandma G got the bubbles out and blew them for Sir E. He LOVED that! We kept saying "pop, pop, pop", and he would mimic us. When Princess V and Sir C saw that bubbles were floating by where they were trying to build sandcastles, they had to find the source, and were delighted to see that Grandma/Mom was blowing them. They had to hop around chasing and popping as many as they could.

Princess V is such a beautiful and photogenic little girl. I really enjoyed taking pictures of her enjoying the ocean for the very first time. Mind you, she lives in a land-locked state, and has never flown until now, nor had she seen the ocean or even played in it until now. I think this was an experience that she will remember for the rest of her life.

We finished off the Monterey trip by heading over to Fisherman's Wharf. We had hoped to get to the Maritime Museum, but it was closed on Mondays, and it was after 5pm, so either way, we wouldn't have made it. But we took pictures anyways. They have this cool little garden there, with all sorts of plants and flowers. One thing that Mom really REALLY loved about CA, besides the ocean, was all of the gorgeous flowers everywhere you went. We got some really good closeups of some beautiful flowers while we were down there.

We walked around the wharf, and went to the back part where you can take rides on glass bottom boats, or go on whale watching adventures. We didn't do any of those things, but we did get to see a seal or two, as well as some sea otters swimming in the bay. Once again, we took pictures, but I'm not sure you could really tell what's in the picture.

We wanted Mom and Princess V to be able to taste a little of the area, so we bought sourdough bread bowls filled with steaming clam chowder, from Old Fisherman's Grotto, a restaurant that has been featured by Rachel Ray on The Food Network, and has gotten awards for the best clam chowder. If you taste it, you'll understand why. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures of the "bowls" of chowder. I was just hungrily spooning it into my mouth. I even gave a tiny bit of the cooled chowder to Sir E. He seemed to like it. It was his very first taste of clam chowder!

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