Vacation – Day 2

The next morning I had an absolutely delicious quiche for breakfast, along with coffee, potatoes and fruit salad. Yum! Then it was off for a 1/2 mile walk to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There I met Tracy, the daughter of a former colleague, who now conducts the public education programs at MBA.

Tracy is a miracle herself. Several years ago, she fell on a run she was doing in Arizona, falling about 20 feet onto rocks, if I remember correctly, it was only because other runners were nearby and saw her fall, did she get the kind of advanced medical treatment that she needed in a timely manner. Because she was in fantastic shape, she overcame massive injuries (her jaw was wired shut for months, other broken bones, etc). Today, she is a confident almost-30 something who runs a program at one of the premier aquariums in the world. Tracy got me in for free (Thanks!) and she showed me some of the behind the scenes stuff. One of the items was the “thermal recovery unit” (hot tub) for the divers who clean the tanks and feed the fish. It didn’t get funded when put into the budget as a hot tub, but passed when given a bureaucratic name. It’s coyly hidden behind a screen:

An essential piece of equipment

She also showed me the “tuna-bago” which is a large tank that can be driven on the freeway – often with tuna for the other critters, sometimes with a white shark that is sometimes allowed in the MBA. I saw the photos of the folks who feed the otters that will be released later – they wear garb to disguise the fact that they are people so they don’t bond with folks. We joked that these otters will always come to Darth Vader.

Then I went off on my own to see the Seahorse exhibit. It’s wonderful and I highly recommend that you see it. Here’s one of a couple of baby Seahorses:

And this is an awesome critter – I wish I had that camoflage:

Some wicked camoflage

After lunch, I left and saw that the economy is hitting even a reliable tourist destination such as Monterey Bay — this location is not 40 yards from the MBA:

Cannery Row For Lease

Fortunately, Tracy said that the MBA is holding its own in this economy, partly because they were never lax and fat, and partly because they are awesome!

After a quick nap (and a couple of cookies from the B&B cookie jar), I left to find the yarn store nearby. If you are ever in the area, do stop by Monterey Knitting and Quilting. Joan has lovely fiber, yarn, and spinning and weaving supplies. Really, she’s got things I have not seen in Bay Area stores, and apparently will ship if you need something. I was warmly welcomed, we chatted about projects, I sat and knit a while, and bought some lovely fiber too:

Monarch Knitting

Afterwards, I found a local coffee place to hang because I wasn’t heading back to the B&B for reasons discussed in a previous post, and then asked for a recommendation for a place to have a casual dinner. When I go to a place like this, I’m not into dressing up. The place recommended was Pepper’s Mexicali Cafe in Pacific Grove – good food and very strong margaritas. I was glad I only had a mile to drive home, even though I had just one margarita!
Back home it was more Dexter, and staying up too late knitting and spinning.