On the first day of our holiday we traveled from Los Angeles northwards to Monterey.
Very hungry we get up in the early morning….ummm…we packed the baggage quickly and run to the restaurant with a hope. A hope I would say, for a continental breakfast…(not an American Breakfast). We were sitting at the table for some time, and no waitress comes. Well, let me ask her then. I got a big shock ….the waitress threw us 2 stony muffin of yesterday with 2 cups of coffee of yesterday as well. That was not so impressive for my first breakfast in United States. Anyway! Better start the journey. We took the car and drove towards the Highway no 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway, PCH), the scenic pacific coast route. Then we reached the Santa Monica beach. It is the one of the most famous beach of California because of the 3.5 miles of broad sandy coastline, good for biking, swimming and surfing. Children can enjoy the amusement park at the pier. You can stop for a few minutes at the beautiful green park on the hill to catch a view of the beach when u stands up there. Here you have to find your own way to make a left turn to PCH, other wise u could keep straight and end up at somewhere in the village or go back to town. We kept following the PCH pass Malibu beach. This beach is not so interesting for me, just cold, but some people could see it is interesting to suffer themselves on the surf board. At Malibu we got some view of golden canyon covered with dry grass on the right and the Pacific Ocean on the left. Today the ocean was hazy and cold, and looks a bit sad as the stony muffin of this morning.
We kept driving until we were arrived at the Santa Barbara beach which is more or less half way to Monterey bay where we were going to stay tonight. Santa Barbara is such a cozy and peaceful beach. The first sight that caught my impression is the small beaches lined with palm-shaded greenery lawn. The sea here is clear and has a blue color. I would say it is the good place for a holiday after hard work. It must good for sun bath, volley ball, swimming in case u are not afraid of cold, or even just walk and sit and relax or whatever you can think of. There are two nice restaurants with several kind of sea food.
After lunch we hit the road again heading to the Hearst Castle, at San Simeon, to see the enormous house which had belonged to the very rich person before. There are 115 magnificent rooms for the main house, plus guesthouses, pools, and 8 acres of cultivated gardens. It is pity that we were at the gate just too late. The schedule on the gate show that the last film representing the castle already had started. Not bad! I saw the car in front of me give a sorrow look to the gate. Anyway I come after him….better keep go on maybe we still can see some thing on the road side with the remaining light of today. We drove a few miles north of the Heart Castle. This road is very fantastic, it makes several curves, left then right, and up then down. Sometime I see only the hill, sometime I see the sea. Along the roadside we saw several sign board showing scenic byways, but when we stop to look it is just the beautiful view. It is just too much till I don’t feel excited anymore.
At Point Piedras Blancas we saw a few cars stop so we decided to check what is out there? Nothing is special here, I think, no beautiful view even! Wait… I hear something I never heard before, we follow that sound. On the beach we saw a lot of enormous creatures laying there. They look very heavy to me.
They were the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris, which is an extraordinary marine mammal. There are about 15,000 animals that stay here. They spends 8-10 months a year in the open ocean. They can dive 1,000-1,500 feet deep for periods of 15 minutes to 2 hours. And they migrate thousands of miles, twice a year, to its land based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting and rest. Since July, all of the females seal had moved up to Alaska to give birth and nurse their pups. So you should come here in the fall. This area is open for viewing every day of the year
Soon after sunset we arrived in Monterey where we had booked a hotel to spend the night and to be right on the spot for tomorrow's visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Goto Day 2