Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - 4-29-17 - THE LIGHTHOUSE AND THE RITZ-CARLTON

Saturday, April 29th, 2017. 


It is 9.22 p.m. and we have had a full but very enjoyable day. 


Gregg's sister and her husband took us out for a drive around the area.  We started off by visiting Santa Cruz Wharf, and having lunch at a place called "Splash", another restaurant with a great view of the water.


I was intrigued by the enormous oyster shell filled with ice.  It was on our left as we walked in the door.  This young lady was shucking oysters.  I have never tried them and still haven't, but I know they are popular.  I am not that adventurous with certain things, but the image of that large oyster shell made me smile.


I did, however, try steamed clams for the first time in my life, thanks to my sister-in-law who ordered them as an appetizer.  My taste buds must have changed as I thoroughly enjoyed them. (Gregg just had a chuckle when he saw these photos.  He said, "All those years of family 4th of July picnics, and you never touched one steamed clam."  I told him, "It was a different time dear.")


This was my lunch, a lobster roll with fries, coleslaw and let's not forget that melted butter I poured all over the lobster.  It was delicious!



As I didn't think it very polite to stick a camera in everyone else's face, I don't have pictures of my my sister-and-brother-in-law's meals.  I held myself back - unusual - and yes I am smiling.  Also Gregg's meal I can't remember but when I asked him he thought it was fish and chips.  He said the coleslaw was great.

After lunch we took a walk to the end of the wharf and discovered.....


a raft of seals.


There was quite a racket going on.  As we studied the scene further, it became apparent that there were more seals who had hoisted themselves up onto the wooden framework below the wharf.  We watched as this seal tried his best to do the same.  However, the tide had gone out, and that much prized resting place he was after was now out of reach.  It didn't stop him from trying though, honking noisily in the process, and his large family group honking back.  Translation, "I told you not to dilly-dally matey!  You have to wait for the tide to turn now with the rest of your brothers and sisters."  And the raft was getting larger.  Lots of dilly-dalliers that day apparently.

I read about rafting behaviour at this site.  It said, "Often sea-lions will sleep in small or large groups, a behavior called rafting, with only a flipper or tail visible to regulate their body temperature.  Periodically a nose will pop out of the water briefly for a breath and then disappear.  It is an unnerving sight to those unfamiliar with this behaviour."

You can find out more information if you go to the link I have provided above.  


"Too late to get up here now son, go join the raft and wait for the tide.  And don't dilly-dally next time!"


A little further along you could look down in the middle of the wharf and see the rest of them snoozing, or honking.


We have seen a lot of seals in California.  I truly believe we have been given a gift.

 


There is a great site here telling you all about this beautiful animal.



Here is Gregg wearing his Bombay Hook hat.  He has had comments about it at various stops all along our route since leaving Virginia.  They always peer at the embroidered mosquito and look a bit puzzled.  He has fun with the conversations it starts.  (We are looking forward to another trip to Bombay Hook NWR very soon.)



This is Gregg's sister and her husband.  



Time to get back to the car and enjoy the rest of the day.


We stopped at a lighthouse next, or it may have been to watch the kite surfers.  Not sure of the sequence now but I will start with the lighthouse.



There is a major fund raising campaign to restore the lighthouse, which is crumbling due to its exposure to the elements over these many years.  It has been closed to the public since 2001. 



Gregg and his sister.



We walked towards the back of the lighthouse...




and the views were amazing.


This is a very pretty spot for gazing out at the ocean.




The lady in the red coat told me it was a great place for whale watching.



There is a hostel here also.  You can stay in one of four houses.  They have a wonderful display of healthy geraniums in front of one.



And other pretty flowers.



We also had a great time looking at the kite surfers when we went down to the beach.  


Gregg's sister and her husband have been to watched them several times, but had never seen this many before.  What I thought were tents on the beach turned out to be more kites.



It was certainly an impressive sight.


After this they took us to the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay.  We were dressed very casually and a little concerned about our clothes, but we needn't have worried.  Apart from a large company party going on where everyone was dressed up in cocktail attire (you can see all the tables set up in the center of the photo below) everyone else was like us, and some wearing shorts like Gregg.  



On the far side of this photo there is a patio where we had to wait for a table.  By the time we sat down the sun was getting lower in the sky.  My sister-in-law ordered us each a glass of Prosecco, then another, and we also ate hors d'oeuvres.    


It is interesting to see the golf course. There were a few still playing.   



Gregg and his sister.



While walking to get a better view of the sunset, one of these went by.



The place is very interesting and there is, of course, more people watching, one of whom I recognized.  Hello Gregg!



My brother-in-law plays golf, neither of us do.



It was idyllic watching the sun go down, and to herald this event, a bagpiper.  I haven't heard a bagpiper at an event since we gave a party for a group of friends from Gregg's ship back in the 80s, and one of those friends brought his bagpipes.  He was an American with Scottish heritage, and an excellent piper.  We made sure our neighbors were aware as we had an inkling beforehand. He was great and the neighbors were okay with it, even told me how much they enjoyed hearing them.  We had a much bigger yard back in those days, the sound was diluted somewhat, but of course the pipes can carry a ways.  It also brings back memories of a bagpiper at a friend's wedding many, many sunsets ago, this being a few years before I met Gregg.  

 

So here we are hearing them again and it was marvelous.



We made sure we had photos taken with that beautiful golden orb as our backdrop.



We can rely on one constant in this world, the sun sets and a new day will rise.





I don't often mention the many sad events happening in the world.  I read about them daily, in the morning and at the end of the day.  The latest news of what went on in Manchester is heartbreaking.  My heart goes out to all those who were the victims of this terrible act, and to those families and friends who have lost loved ones.  I will never forget you, or any who have suffered because of this kind of conflict.  

36 comments:

  1. I have never seen more than 3 or 4 of the kites in the air. that is a lot of surfers. all of these photos are just so beautiful. love those sea lions and the loud noise they make.... I don't eat lobster or crab or oysters of any kind... bob was just talking at lunch today saying how he loved oysters on the shell and he has had none in many years. mother and daddy loved them, raw, steamed or fried or in stew....

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    1. Thank you Sandra, maybe next time you go out to eat, Bob will order oysters :) I remember Florida having the most wonderful seafood.

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  2. Denise, glad you didn't worry about your casual attire. I think you all look great, and Gregg's sister is lovely. I love the photo with you enjoying the steamed clams, you look so relaxed and happy! I loved the videos, especially of the seals, and their sounds. It looks like a gorgeous place, one that I would definitely love to explore myself! Would you believe I have never tried lobster? I have tried mussels, though, and crab meat, but the crab was in a salad, and it was quite tasty! And the melted butter must have been delicious with the lobster! I have had shrimp with garlic butter and I loved it. :) Thank you so much for sharing, I learn a lot from your posts and I really enjoy your travel photos and experiences, as well as videos. :)

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    1. Thank you Linda, for all your sweet comments. I have never eaten mussels and melted butter seems to go with everything, lol. So happy you continue to enjoy my posts.

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  3. Such a wonderful and interesting post today! I thoroughly enjoyed it! We have lived in Virginia for almost 50 years. And now I am wondering where you live. Maybe we can meet sometime, if we live nearby!! Do you see our Blue Ridge Mountains? Well, I have never heard seals barking before, so noisy! And the rafting, this is new to me. In fact, in your picture of it, they all look dead! I was glad to know they were alive. Is that giant oyster shell real; surely not! The food all looks so good! The Ritz Carlton is very famous, I have always heard about it. How special! And the sunset is gorgeous, how beautiful you both are in front of it. I would never have guessed about the crumbling lighthouse! The house part looks very well kept up. The golf course picture is sure beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Ginny, I am very happy you enjoyed the post. We drive about an hour and we reach Thornton Gap. Sure would love to meet up sometime. Those seals can be so still that people call the wildlife people reporting they are sick, the same when they are in a raft.

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  4. Great photos as always. Yes, so very sad about Manchester. I posted a condolence and feel like it has been only days since I posted condolence to London. I just watched a show about the 9/11 attacks. What hatred can do in unbelievable. Take care, Jackie

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    1. Thank you Jacqueline. All these sad losses will be with us for a lifetime.

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  5. Hello Denise, wonderful tour and visit to Santa Cruz. I love the seals, photos and video. The lighthouse is beautiful. Gorgeous sunset. Pretty shots of you, Gregg and his sister. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

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    1. Thank you Eileen and the same to you :)

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  6. Another brilliant day.
    Bagpipes always make me cry. Don't know why, but that do.
    And yes my heart goes out to everyone affected by this latest atrocity.

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    1. Hi EC, those do reach one' sinner soul don't they? Sort of mournful, like this awful news.

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  7. Oh my...the sights you have seen. I would be in all of seeing seals just laying around like that. Great trip and awesome memories you and hubby have made! So happy for you.

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    1. Thank you Pam, I appreciate your sweet comments.

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  8. Thanks for today's tour! I love oysters myself!

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    1. Hi Christine, you are very welcome. Maybe I will give oysters a try one day:)

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  9. your post is very interesting and I love your meal

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  10. Hi Denise! What amazing moments and photos of your trip! Loved watching the sunset with you & that was so much fun to see the seals!
    Best wishes
    Christine

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    1. Thank you Christine, happy you enjoyed it. Best wishes to you too :)

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  11. I too love bagpipes. Perhaps it is my 1/4 Scottish heritage. :-)

    Yes, horrible news. Which is happening, more and more, and more.

    Gentle hugs,
    Luna Crone

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  12. Thank goodness for cameras and blogs, without them some of us would never see all the beautiful places you visit. Thanks you, Denise.

    Yes, our recent attack was terrible. My heart goes out to the mothers of the children who died. Some of those in hospital are in a bad way and not expected to live. I really hate the way our world is going.

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    1. Hi Valerie, I am happy you enjoy our travels. Heartbreaking news and I pray for those who are still suffering.

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  13. Beautiful photos and it looks a great place. We love oysters, Saturday morning market here there are always fresh ones on sale at reasonable prices, yum yum.
    Yes so sad about Manchester, it is happening world wide. What is wrong with the human race that they can commit these mass murders of unknown people including so many children, so very, very sad.

    Take care Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane, so sad. Too much going on in the world I agree.

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  14. hi denise...i just love these posts you put together when you travel. there is much i would like to comment on, this looks like a lovely place, a great place to wander around. that lobster roll is amazing, the only way to eat a lobster roll. i don't enjoy them cold with the addition of mayo. they should be hot and with butter only!!!

    i would love to see all those seals in one place...i am so joyful if i get to see one. pretty lighthouse and beautiful smiles, you have a great smile!!!!

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    1. Hi Debbie, thank you so much! I agree totally about the lobster roll :) I love those seals too. You have a beautiful smile too Debbie, I have always thought so :)

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  15. we call those kite surfers, wind surfers. i have never seen so many in one place!!!

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    1. I think I have been calling them incorrectly ;)

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  16. The wharfs come in very handy to those seals.

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  17. Wonderful post. Santa Cruz is a lovely place.

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  18. Thank you so much for documenting your fabulous trip for us, Denise. It's so much fun to see all you and Gregg did.
    I do want to tell you that I really, really do not expect you to comment on all my blog posts. I'm commenting now only because I have a rare moment and I can't resist your photos and travel experiences and have to add my 2 cents. LOL

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    1. Very hapy you are enjoying all this Kay. I appreciate you letting me know about the comments, thanks so much!

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