Earlier this week, Karen and I took a short 28th Anniversary (!) vacation to Monterey and Carmel, two seaside resort towns on the California coast. Although they're just a few hours from our home, I hadn't visited the area in many years (Karen has had a few more recent business meetings there). Monterey is famous for its Cannery Row, immortalized in the Steinbeck novel of the same name, and between Monterey and Carmel lie some of the best golf courses in the world--about which, much to my father-in-law's disappointment, I couldn't care less. But it sure is purty.
There's some interesting geography at work here. Monterey and Carmel lie about five miles apart at the south tip of Monterey Bay, which takes a big shallow bite out of the Pacific Coast. On the map below, you can see how Monterey sits on the protected inland side of a stubby peninsula--when you're standing on the shore you see land nearly 360 degrees around--while Carmel is on the opposite side facing directly into the Pacific. As a result, the waters of Monterey are as calm as a lake, while the coast of Carmel is pounded by frothing surf. Their ecosystems and microclimates are distinctly different. It's a dramatic contrast in a compact area.
I'll tell you all about it with a few pictures and captions, then maybe have more to say on the other side . . .
|Karen shot this sunrise from our hotel room balcony overlooking Monterey Bay.|
|One of our favorite genres of photography, the long-armed one-handed self-portrait. I'd be embarrassed to admit how many of these we shoot. So I won't.|
|The aquarium has several terrific exhibits but my absolute favorite was the jellyfish. They're housed in featureless tanks with deep blue backgrounds and then lit so that their translucent bodies almost seem to glow.|
|More jellies, and a short movie below that captures others in motion. They're so incredibly beautiful it's hard to remember they're alive. They're like works of art.|
|Through the cypress trees, the beach of Carmel. We went prepared for cold rain but lucked out and hit amazing shirt-sleeve weather.|
I wanted to finish up with a word about marriage. It's a little dismaying when you've been married long enough to start winning door prizes and condescending praise ("Anybody here married for ten years? Fifteen? Twenty-five? Wow, twenty-eight, isn't that great folks!"). I remember attending some 25th anniversary parties when I was a kid and those people were OLD. But when you do it right with the right person it seems to fly by pretty effortlessly, especially with kids occupying 24 years of it. Happy Anniversary, Sweetie, thanks for putting up with me.