Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Pacific Grove, California is a lovely small town on Monterey Bay. It has a very beautiful rocky shore line. To your left, on my sideboard, is a photograph of waves crashing on a rock. I took that in Pacific Grove.
Each April or May, the entire shore line becomes a purple carpet of flowers. I believe they are called ice flowers. Don't know the proper name. They are not native to California soil, but this import has become part of the scene, all along the coast. Pacific Grove is famous for the purple carpet along Monterey Bay. It stretches for four miles. It seems to have become a family tradition to have a picture of Isaac among them each year. These, of course, are my daughter's pictures.
Pacific Grove is also famous for Steinbeck's Cannery Row, now a tourist attraction, known throughout the world.
At one end of the Row sits the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a fabulous place, and an absolute must see for tourists, and a leisure time spot visited frequently by locals. If you visit, plan to return to the aquarium a few days in a row. You will never be able to view all of its truly fascinating exhibits in one day.
As you may have guessed, I really love the aquarium.
These pictures are from their computer site, not from my own album.
At the other end of town, up the hill, is the butterfly sanctuary and educational center. Like Cape May, Pacific Grove is a monarch butterfly destination during their annual migration to Mexico. In Pacific Grove, the monarch is indeed king. They hold an annual monarch parade, in which small children march, wearing huge butterfly wings and headdresses . There is also a large iron butterfly statue on the shore of the bay. You'll recognize the sign from my post a couple of days ago.
My youngest daughter's wedding took place in Pacific Grove, at the Old Whaling Station gardens. It is a charming little building, set in really beautiful gardens. The weather cooperated perfectly. Their wedding took place out of doors. When they went inside following the ceremony, their friends whisked away the chairs and set up tables on the patio. There was plenty of room for dancing, which went on into the night, under a full moon. Perfect.
So, you see, I have sentimental attachment to the town, as well as admiring its many charms.
Unfortunately, this is not the ideal time to visit there. The air quality is very bad and I'm told that ash from the many forest fires is falling on homes and gardens everywhere. The beautiful Big Sur country nearby is burning. We can only pray for rain and lots of it. Ironic, when not all that far away, people are praying the rain will stop and they can start trying to recover from the flood waters.
OK - My daughter, Kathryn has read this post,and informs me that both the Old Whaling Station and the Aquarium are really not in Pacific Grove, but in Monterey. They are close to the border of the two, so I was under the impression that they were in Pacific Grove.