Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove, California is a lovely small town on Monterey Ba
y. 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.


Judy said...

I just loved reading about Pacific Grove. The pictures are wonderful and purple is one of my favorite flower colors. It looks like a wonderful place to visit. Those flowers are just beautiful.

nonizamboni said...

Well, I want to move to Monterey! And I can see why you love it and holds such wonderful memories for you. As always, your post made me smile.

Bear Naked said...

The purple flowers look stunning.
How long a period do they bloom?

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

I loved reading this and the pictures are gorgeous. The shot of the child in the flowers is beautiful. I love California. If it were not for the cost of living there, I would move in a heartbeat.

kenju said...

The purple flowers are so gorgeous; I'd love to see them in person. I have always wanted to go to Cannery Row - ever since I read the book.

Dianne said...

such a lovely part of the world, I've been there a few times but never took photos as good as yours

I wish for rain for them!

bobbie said...

bear naked: The flowers bloom for approximately a month.

I've added a paragraph to the bottom of my post, since Kathryn has now told me that the Aquarium and the Old Whaling Station are both actually in Monterey, on the border with Pacific Grove. Sorry I mislead you. I thought they were in P.G.

Anonymous said...

Monterey looks so beautiful. I'd love to be there myself right now.

me ann my camera said...

I think the parade where children wear butterfly wings sounds wonderful!!

Weary Hag said...

Beautiful area! I love the purple flowers pics... and the wedding pics are so pretty too.

You know, my last job was at Mystic Aquarium. We were closely associated with the one in Monterray Bay. We each used to do live video feeds for one another for our guests to enjoy the "other coast" marine life! :)

Miss that job like CRAZY.

Bonnie Story said...

Pac Grove is a favorite of mine too. My Dad and stepmom always rented a cabin there in the Summer and we would go down for a visit. Did you ever see the Tor House? Pretty cool. Did you ever eat at the Fishwife? Yum!! Carmel Beach is lovely and such a haven for dog lovers. Lots of fun down there. But, like you said, not the best time to right now. That's too sad about all the fires.

Unknown said...

I loved my visit to San Francisco and a bit north of. We went last year to visit W.P's daughter. When we go back I would love to visit Monterey.

That purple is so gorgeous. I became visually lost in its splendor for many minutes. I want to see the real thing!

Peace and love,

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

all the photos are great - I can't believe the purple flowers though - it looks like heaven!