January 23, 2007

Well our time in Monterey California will end tommorow as we head south to Vandenberg Air Force Base.  We have enjoyed our stay here and love the friendly people we have met.  It has been a great time – still love it as much as I did 30+ years ago.

We did a few neat things in the last week or so – one day we went to Vision Quest Ranch.  You get a 1 hour tour of the wild and exotic animals, most used in movies.  We got to see Joseph the lion, used in Lion King, one of the baboons was in Born Free.  We also saw the tigers used in the  Exon Gas ads.   Tim and I were lucky cuz the day we went no one else was waiting for the tour so we had a private tour.  They have monkeys, kangaroos, zebra, elephants, lions and tigers.  It was really cool.  They have 4 cottages that they rent – imagine falling asleep hearing the lions roar.  In the morning your breakfast is served by the elephant.  They also told us they take the tigers to a private beach in Carmel and photographers are taking pictures as they come out of the water.  That would be a super site to see.  The owner of this place was a police officier and started a kennel.  It grew and wild animals were added.  This is in Salinas on River Road.

Another day we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  It cost $24.95 to get in but well worth the money.  The aquarium was opened in 1984.  They have done a fantastic job of showing you the ocean wonders.  They have penquins, jellies, kelp forests, sea otters, octopus and all kinds of fish from the ocean.  It is laid out really well and so imforative.  I never realized how beautiful the ocean floors are.  Tim used to scuba dive here in the early 1970’s and tell me they were beautiful but I had no desire to scuba dive at that time.  They even have areas for kids to learn which I thought was super.  We really enjoyed that day.

Today our last day in Monterey we decided to return to Point Lobos State Park.  We hiked all the trails and got to see sea otters, gray whales, sea lions, loads of birds and just beautiful scenery.  Tim will be putting picuters up on the web shortly.  This area is just breathtaking and really makes you appreciate nature.  We were in awe almost the whole day. 

Sunday we took a ride up to Pleasanton for one last visit with Amanda and Joshua.  We enjoyed that greatly – do not know when we will see them again as we are heading back east.  They are both doing good and will be missed by us. 

On Monday we went to the Naval Postgraduate School – I wanted to see the grounds and buildings  as I had read this was the first high class hotel on the west coast.   The buildings and grounds are just beautiful.  Think this is the prettiest Navy Base I have ever been to. 

We have seen alot – had lots of down time and really have enjoyed our stay here in central California.  it is now time to move to another area.  Will write again soon.