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Amparo Bertram

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06:50 pm: Whale Watching Weekend
This weekend I happened to have three days off in a row, so mangaroo and I made plans to go to Monterey for a whale watching trip. She came and picked me up at my place and drove us two hours south to Monteray, where our first adventure was finding a place to park. Both the Google directions she had printed out and her Garmin directed her to a customer-only parking lot for a restaurant, and we had to stop for directions to public parking. Once we had found a parking spot, we wandered around a small art and craft fair, where we each bought some scented soap that caught our fancy. We then wandered Fisherman's Wharf looking for a place to eat. As we mentioned to each other that it was the wrong place for a vegetarian and a person allergic to shrimp, one of the shopkeepers overheard and brought out a vegetarian menu for us to peruse. The prices were expensive, but it was pretty much the same everywhere, so we wound up staying there for lunch.

After lunch we set out on our three-hour cruise in search of whales. The weather was nice, despite the ominous rain forecast that had worried us earlier in the week. However, this did not prevent several of the boat passengers from losing their lunches over the side, and that's not a sight conducive to keeping one's own stomach settled. The whales themselves were not very showy; they only popped up to the surface for a few seconds before diving deeper underwater. I did manage to see one flip its tail out of the water, though it was too fast for me to get a picture with my camera, particularly with the boat bobbing and other passengers standing in the way. This video was the best I was able to manage, and it should give you an idea of how difficult it was to see anything. After attempting a few shots, I wound up putting my head down to avoid the glare of the sun and napping until we got back to the wharf.

At least the sea lions and sea birds were out in full force, providing us with quite a bit of entertainment. On our way back to the car, we stopped at a shop that drew in customers with a display of pirates and bunnies. We thought it was the perfect store for wednesday_10_00.

We drove on to the nearby town of Pacific Grove, where we checked in at our bed & breakfast, The Centrella Inn. The inn itself was nice enough, though sadly their wireless internet signal was too weak to provide a useful connection. We both got up early Sunday morning, and the hosts of the inn set up breakfast ahead of schedule just for us. We sat by a window facing the garden, where we watched blue birds lured by tempting peanuts. We went for a morning stroll along the ocean, where we crossed paths with many pet owners walking their dogs. On our way back, we walked down the town's main street, where we gazed at kitties and bunnies through a pet store window.

After we checked out of the inn, we drove down to Cannery Row, where we had another adventure locating parking. (There are no left turns in Monterey!) We got to the aquarium soon after it opened and leisurely explored the exhibits. I snapped many photos, particularly of Kit the baby sea otter. Once we left the aquarium, we had lunch at a lovely Thai place across the street. Then we browsed the Cannery Row shops, where I spent way more money than I should have. (But...but...sea otter socks! How could I refuse?)

We drove back safely, and I was tasked with planning an activity we can do for my next long weekend coming up in April. The stipulation is that it must be vomit-free.

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[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:March 8th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
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But...but...sea otter socks! How could I refuse?

HOW INDEED. The aquarium, yay!

(Have they given up the feeding show where the otters try to break their frozen food on their little chests? The last I heard, the smarter otters figured out it was more efficient to bang their food against the glass window, and that was pretty much that.)

The one time I went whale-watching, I got a sunburn that nearly put me in the hospital. It was the night before my college interview at Bryn Mawr. Good times, good times.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:March 8th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC)
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There was a note beneath the window of the otter exhibit, explaining that the otters were no longer fed shelled food in the display area because they scratched the glass by breaking the shells against it. Mostly, though, there was no scheduled feeding time on the Aquarium's visitor's guide. Possibly because only two of the Aquarium's 6 otters were on display (Mae, who is a companion and flotation device for the new pup Kit). So we didn't get to see them feed, but we did get to see toy time, which -- while not as natural -- was better. Earlier, we had seen Mae and Kit being cozily adorable while napping on their backs in the water. When the toys came out, we saw Mae's devilish side (Tub mine. I do not share tub. Get your own tub, scrawny.) and Kit learning (Must get into blue bucket like Mae in tub. Why is the floor on the back? Stoopid bucket!).

I want an otter. It could live in my bathtub.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:March 8th, 2010 07:00 am (UTC)
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Dramamine helps some people.

Maybe lunch would have been better after the three hour cruise--soda crackers used to help me when nausea was an issue. Tomato juice helps me on airplanes. This is just in case you end up with another moving adventure.

Actually, I could see the whale in the video. That was pretty cool. The other sea critters were cute, too.

I'm glad you had nice weather, no sunburns, and a good time. It was too sad about the internet, though.

I'm looking forward to seeing the sea otter socks.

[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:March 8th, 2010 09:25 am (UTC)
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I had tomato & ginger soup as an appetizer for lunch at the wharf, two ingredients that your comment makes me realize are designed to combat nausea. Although I must have been prone to seasickness due to the swells, I think I would have been able to ignore my stomach completely if we hadn't been sitting at the back of the boat, where the queasy passengers were instructed to go to be sick. While s_vamp napped outside (impressive), I moved inside to nap and pray I would end the trip without going over the side. Next time (and I want to go again for the showier whales of the summer): no food before the trip and I'll race for the front of the boat.

Congratulations on your successful raid! I know s_vamp is looking forward to being able to accompany you on the next one.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:March 9th, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
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Thanks. I have the best, supportive guild imaginable. I'm such a scaredy-cat baby on a raid or quest. It was fun, but, again, when it was over, I found I had been holding my breath. I never remember to breathe. Everything happens so fast ( I die quickly, too.)
[User Picture]
From:manga_crow
Date:March 8th, 2010 10:17 am (UTC)
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Yay! I'm glad you had a good time on your trip =) It's too bad you can't just upload all the pictures of your trip; I'm a huge sucker for vacation pics^^

It sounds like (nauseous sea-goers aside) your trip had more than its fair share of adorableness, though. Pirates, bunnies, kittens, otters... I think all you're missing is a bishie cat-boy for cuteness overload ;) Good luck on planning something with less emesis in April.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:March 10th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
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It's too bad you can't just upload all the pictures of your trip

Well, I can save them to CD and mail it to Michigan.

Good luck on planning something with less emesis in April.

Thanks. I know, I know, it's a tough requirement, but I'm sure California must have something fun to offer that isn't nauseating... ^_^
[User Picture]
From:manga_crow
Date:March 10th, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Actually, that would be really cool, if you have time where it's not a hassle.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:March 8th, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
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Ugh, I don't blame you and mangaroo for wanting a vomit-free trip. I am not prone to seasickness at all, but that would definitely make me feel ill. :/

But yay for otters and bunnies and kitties! Sounds like you had fun.

sea otter socks

For some reason I read that as "sea otter rocks" and was going to ask what that was until I looked again.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:March 10th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
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It was a good trip. I'm sorry you aren't closer, it would have been great if you could have come along.

I did take a picture of the future Yaoi Con hotel in your honor...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 17th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
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How's Cannery Row? Any Steinbeck-era feel?

David Bertram
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:March 20th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
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How's Cannery Row?

It's a lot of shopping. There are some placards up explaining about the sardine cannery that operated there, and the rest of the area is packed with small shops. We didn't have much time to explore, we only walked about two blocks, though we did catch an interesting procession of vintage cars.
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