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June 7th, 2011 (07:06 pm)

Its seems that this was the weekend for escapes. Half my friends were either in vegas, or up near my old stomping grounds. Us, we went to Monterey.

Monterey was a bit of a tradition with the ex and I. We were dirt poor most of the time, but we always managed to go to once a year. We kinda had a trip pattern. Aquarium/wharf/walk around Carmel (not necessarily in that order). One of the this that has bummed me out since our divorce is that I haven't been back there. Monterey is something I want to share with someone. I've always wanted to take Monkey, so when the living social deal popped up during my unexpected windfall a couple months ago, I jumped on it.

The deal was for a one night stay at a very nice hotel/resort, a $30 spa credit, and with the caveat of having to use it by the end of June. By the time we got our shit together to actually book our night, all the Saturdays were gone. We decided to take a day off & go Sunday/Monday instead.

Friday & Saturday nights, we had unexpected house guests. One is one of my very best friends who used to live with me. The other is his now 'friend'. She's nice & funny, but having to kids in their early 20's in the house for that long after a VERY trying work week was a little rough at times. We didn't actually map out our trip until about 2am Sunday, or even pack (not that we needed much for an overnight or anything) until Sunday morning.

We got off to kind of a late start, but were surprised to realize that is was only a 2 hour trip (I always came from Sonoma county, which is a longer distance & less direct route). The new little car (whom I call 'the tardis') performed remarkably well. The only stop we made was to a road side fruit stand in Gilroy, where we bought 3 baskets of strawberries, a bag of cherries, and 3 peaches. All that is left after last night is 1 peach. Soooo muuuuuch goood fruuuuuit *nom*

The hotel was classy, pretty, and not too over done. We dropped our stuff off & jumped back in the car for the short trip to Carmel. It turns out Monkey had never been there. Oh man, there's not much better than showing a place you love to someone you love for the first time, and having them see it like you do. In case you've never been to Carmel-by-the-Sea, it is a tiny seaside town filled with fairytale cottages housing amazing art galleries, shops, restaurants, and hidden courtyards. We saw maybe a quarter of what there was to see, and even that was overwhelming. The art was amazing. Monkey called his mom after the third gallery & started talking about taking her there when she's up to visit next month. We stopped in a game store at one point & we got a couple fun new card-based games for entertainment. I called my ex to try to figure out where our favorite restaurant was (I thought I knew where it was but was having trouble finding it). Turns out he & his wife had been there the day before! As much fun as it would have been to run into them, I'm glad we didn't. The trip, for me, was partially about making new memories in one of my favorite places that didn't include him (though the Monterey trips were some of our best memories, over all). He told me our old favorite was gone. Monkey & I wandered around until he found one he wanted to try (I was open to whatever, and really wanted him to pick something). The food amazing, the service fantastic and hey, I can finally say I ate at a french restaurant. We played card games between courses, and headed back to the hotel stuffed & happy.

After some more food-coma induced card fun, we decided to hit the town. Now, Monterey on a Sunday night isn't exactly party central, but we found a couple of bars to stop in at. One was pretty much a college kid/frat dood karaoke place. We giggle through one drink & headed down to street to an english pub. This place had great decorations & a huge list of Scotches. Unfortunately, they were obviously closing early. Monkey got to try two new (to him) scotches, before then, which made him a very happy Monkey. We headed back to the cheesy bar, when I felt sufficiently boozy to sing in front of a room full of frat boys. Which I did, and I effin' KILLED it. I was the last singer permitted, so we headed back to our hotel & crashed out happy & relaxed.

The next day we woke around 10 & packed up the car. At check out, we were directed to a lovely organic restaurant across the street, which served a lovely veggie/bacon scramble with home made bread. We wandered back across the street to the spa & enjoyed a couple hours of massage therapy & general laziness before heading down to the wharf for the touristy stuff. I do love the wharf in Monterey, though I never go to the one in SF. I dislike clam chowder, but Monkey loves it, and had a blast trying the free samples from all the restaurants vying for our business. We shopped, looked at (and unfortunately smelled) the sea lions, and laughed a lot. Eventually, we settled on a place that had fresh-caught salmon encrusted with pesto & Parmesan. The food & views were wonderful.

After that, we decided to head home after grabbing a couple cheesy things from the first gift shop. I was in the middle of paying when I saw them - jars full of baby sharks for sale. Real ones.
In the past few months, I've done quite a bit of research on sharks & have grown to love them & become sickened by what we as humans are doing to destroy them (for fin soup, face cream, and snake-oil treatments). It was too late to cancel my sale (I tried but she didn't hear me & ran my card). I walked out feeling like a fucking tool for shopping there. I ran into Monkey outside (he was searching for a bathroom) & told him what happened. We went back in to return the stuff (and monkey went to try & figure out the name of the company that distributed the sharks). Neither of us were successful, as they didn't take returns (in fact, I felt kinda bad for the two old ladies behind the counter as they were totally bewildered & had to idea why anyone would do a return ever!). Their manager is in tomorrow. I'm thinking of calling or emailing him/her to just drop a little education. Hard to do that without sounding like a preachy/crazy/PETA type person, but I'll try.

Besides that, it was a damn near perfect trip. We headed home while the sun set & proceeded to watch TV & cuddle birds rather than risk drama & (further) back injuries at Death Guild.

Now I'm back at work & I'm so stressed & frustrated & . . .  oh never mind. That's a post for another day.


Posted by: ... (wyndebreaker)
Posted at: June 8th, 2011 05:28 am (UTC)

That douchebag, Assemblyman Leland Yee is running for Mayor in SF. He opposes the ban on shark finning.

The guy is a total snake, and I hope he never becomes mayor.

Posted by: bronicablue (bronicablue)
Posted at: June 8th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)

Oh I know, I've been following that. It's just wrong. There's a beautiful & heartbreaking documentary called shark water about finning & this guy who fights it. Watch it if you can (I think everyone should, though it made me cry a LOT).

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