Tag Archives: aquariums
The California adventure continues! Yufei and I headed down to Monterey for the weekend (2 weeks ago), on the Greyhound, which we both agreed we’d never take again since it was awfully delayed (not the first time it’s happened). Anyway, I’m going to skip over the unpleasant business of getting there and say that we did eventually arrive at the bed and breakfast we were staying at late in the afternoon. It was the Martine Inn, which sits by the ocean in Pacific Grove, a beautiful Victorian abode. From the moment we stepped inside the house, we knew we were somewhere special. The place was impeccably decorated, gorgeously warm and welcoming in every way. Here’s the lovely living room:
And the beautiful garden:
They even had a little games room:
The whole place was just so quaint and charming – we had a clawfoot bathtub! – I just loved it! Props to my awesome boyfriend for picking such a perfect place!
After we got settled in, we were right on time for the daily afternoon hors d’heuvre and wine in the dining room (can I love this place any more?). Having satisfied our palates on the delectable treats, we set out for a trek along the beach on the seaside trail. It was a rather grey day, but not windy and therefore not as chilly as it was in San Francisco. Quite pleasant, actually. We passed by some harbour seals along the way:
Then we made our way down to Cannery Row and walked around the shops and attractions, and where I felt very compelled to read the Steinbeck novel for which the street was named after (in fact, I think I shall soon). As it was starting to get dark, we walked over to The Sardine Factory, where we had dinner reservations.
We had looked up the place on Yelp and made a reservation earlier that afternoon in a rush, and I was in no way expecting such a fancy place from a name like “The Sardine Factory”. But fancy it was indeed, and I felt under-dressed, but oh well. Though we were half an hour early for our reservation, we were seated right away in a nice little corner by the window. Warm bread (love that!) along with butter, seasoned olives, and a bean spread, was brought to us promptly:
The bread was so fluffy and warm and delicious that we had to force ourselves to stop eating them lest we stuff ourselves before the real meal even begins. We started out by sharing the Salinas Valley Salad, which was very good:
For our main courses, Yufei had a steak with a side of mashed potatoes:
And I knew I had to get some sort of seafood, and I opted for the seafood pasta:
We were both very impressed with the food so far, and even though we were pretty full by the time we finished (or in me case, attempted to finish) our mains, we wanted desert. After taking a look at the dessert menu, we decided to have the ice cream bonbons. We had no idea what that actually meant, but it was supposed to be “served dramatically with dry ice”. And indeed it was:
It was so dramatic that it elicited “oohs” and “ahs” and camera flashes from the table next to us! Turns out the bonbons were strawberry ice cream on a stick covered in chocolate, served with caramel sauce and crushed peanuts for dipping. Delicious! Overall we had a wonderful experience at the Sardine Factory and went home with happy stomachs.
The next morning we got up in time for breakfast served in the dining room overlooking the bay. French toast with berries and sausages, coffee, and apple juice – all served fresh (this place is seriously awesome!).
After breakfast we reluctantly left the lovely B&B (they gave us homemade banana bread upon departure!) and walked towards the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where we spent the better part of the day. We saw lots of colorful fish:
Strange sea horses and sea dragons:
Beautiful yet deadly jellies:
And lots of other fish, rays, coastal birds, penguins, sea otters, starfish, crabs, lobsters, and tons more. Here’s me sitting in a clam!
By the time we were finished with the aquarium, it was already afternoon, so we hopped on a free tourist bus and went to downtown Monterey to walk around a bit before catching another bus to Salinas. And having vowed to never take the Greyhound again, we went to the Amtrak station and bought train tickets back to SF. And thus ended our weekend in Monterey! Sigh… I want to go back already!
After spending 5 days in Toronto, it was time for me to be on home turf in Vancouver. (To be honest, this whole thing was beginning to feel a bit like the hometown episodes of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette).
First stop was Queen Elizabeth Park, where Yufei was fascinated by a macaw in the conservatory:
Next we went to Van Dusen Botanical Gardens several blocks down. I’d never been there before and found it to be a really nice place! We didn’t have a lot of time that day, but I would imagine that it would be a lovely place to spend a day.
The sun was starting to shine, finally! We did the hedge maze :)
Granville Island was our next stop, one of my favourite places to spend the day!
Yufei found lots of interesting statues to pose with:
UBC was next! Enjoying the sun on the Knoll:
Fun at Science World!
English Bay (I think this may be my favourite picture ever):
It’s Imitate The Statue Day!
Treetop Adventures at Capilano Suspension Bridge:
We had planned to do the Grouse Grind, but no one even thought about the possibility that it wasn’t open yet, which was the case. But we talked to some hikers who were coming down and they told us that there’s a different way to get onto the path without going through the locked fence gate. So we did that! Even though we weren’t supposed to. Because we are hardcore like that.
We were exhausted when we got to the top (gosh I need to get in better shape), but the view was breathtaking:
The grizzly bears were being exceptionally playful that day!
The day after we took it easy and went to Metrotown, where we went to the arcade and took Japanese photobooth photos! As always, no one there knew any Japanese and a frenzy resulted from attempting to use the machine. But we got our shiny photos in the end!
I’ve never had this much fun in Vancouver in such a short time before :)
“Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It’s a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. It’s the cool North American sibling.”