Day 3 - Sunday 28th October 2007,Monterey, Carmel & Big Sur
Got up about 7.40 am V Sunny Clear skies Good Sleep, no real jet lag, Sherree & Trung drove us in TRN2 down to Monterey. Took about 1.5 hours to drive there. Saw eagles circling in air alongside highway. Lovely place. Lots of sea life – sealions, sea otters, cormorants, pelicans. Monterey is a 1900 old fishing harbour with now many new posh yachts moored. Used to be sardine capital of the world, which were processed by canning factories. Walked along the sea front having seen fisherman’s wharf and tasted the countless free offerings of clam chowder They hollow out a loaf and put it in there if you buy the full deal. Walked along Cannery Row which was a street next to the shoreline where the sardine canneries used to be (John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row). Had a quick bite in McFlys and then walked back along the sea front. Many posh hotels. Then drove through Carmel and onto Big Sur via CA Highway 1 A superb road. Carmel was quaint, individual shops along a busy main street with a small sandy beach at the end. Lots of tourists here. Sherree said that the houses were very expensive in Carmel even though they were very small old fashioned bungalows c 1920. Further along Highway 1 we stopped at Carmel Highlands area at a hotel and went in the Pacific Edge bar. Had fantastic 180 degree views of the ocean from the bar which was set on the cliff edge. Stopped at bar/restaurant at Big Sur coastline and had dinner under the stars. This restaurant is mentioned in book 1000 Things to See Before You Die. Lovely sunset. Would like to come back again sometime and see it all. Returned to Sherree’s around 10.30pm very tired and went to bed.Talked to the waitress in the restaurant about a old RHCP’s song that mentions Big Sur, reminder to K look it up sometime. Dinner under the stars at restaurant along Big Sur coastline. Watching sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
Day 4 - Monday 29th October 2007, Morgan Hill, CA
Got up about 7.40 am Did some stuff on the PC mostly photos and updating the Website,Off to Santa Clara County Quicksilver Park. Walked about 2.5miles along trail to quicksilver mine where mercury was produced from 1902 to 1976 when it closed down. Sheet metal factory was dilapidated and rusty (took photo). Great views of Californian landscape which looked tinder dry. Sherree and Anne saw a small snake, about 12 inches long and as thin as a pencil. It slithered away from us among the leaves. Unfortunately Keef had the camera and he was too far ahead of us so did not take photo. After the walk we drove round the road near a reservoir and saw two deer and what looked like wild turkeys crossing the road. The houses at the edge of Santa Clara Park were small hick properties with chairs by the porch and rusted cars dumped out front. Other houses that we saw around the area were palatial mansions in contrast. Took photo of a field full of pumpkins on the road back to Morgan Hill. Then had a late lunch and well earned cold drink in a Mexican restaurant. Returned to Sherree’s house and chilled.Saw a small snake and wild deer. Mexican meal in downtown Morgan Hill. Great Burrito Fajitas Keef had beef, Anne chicken ohhh and we watched an Eddie Murphy Disney movie that Keef snored thru. Sorry! Loved Humming Bird, Santa Clara Park Walk
Day 5 - Tuesday 30th October 2007,Morgan Hill, CA
Got up about 7.40 am Did some stuff on the PC mostly photos and updating the Website, Sherree took us out for an American breakfast wow, ham, eggs (sunny side up) hash browns, stack of pancakes with maple syrup and cream and endless coffee.boy oh boy just too much food. Then as a first 2 times in one day we went to a Sushi bar for our evening meal. Very nicesushi, sashimi, tempura and teriyakisee we know them all, went in the Jacuzzi Keef had a beer and the ladies some Napa valley Chardonnay. Went to the Henry W Coe State park here in Santa Clara County. Twisty road that climbed the hills away from the Morgan Hill valley – stunning views. Saw another reservoir where people were fishing and waterskiing. Keef took photo of an eagle soaring. There was a campsite at the end of the one way road where there was a sign warning campers that raccoons can bite, but we did not see any, only some blue jays and squirrels. Only saw one other car there so the camp area was very quiet. Again, the grass looked very yellow and tinder dry. From the camp area you could see for miles across hills/mountains and valleys. Tried sushi for the first time. The little plates went round on a miniature Amtrac train. Very nice. Sherree told us that further north in the county two joggers were attacked by a mountain lion/cougar.
Pictures of Chickens outside Scrambl’z, Drive up past Leroy Anderson reservoir and Dam plus Henry W Coe park with views across the hlls and valleys.
Day 6 - Wednesday 31st October 2007,San Jose->LAX, AirNZ
Got up about 8 Did some stuff on the PC mostly emails Packed and got ready to go back via San Jose to LAX and then onto Nadi, Fiji Sherree told us that there had been a earthquake in the San Jose area measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale. Not big but a quake none the less Must confess as we were driving back with S from the Sushi restaurant we never felt a thing.Sherree delivered us to San Jose airport Terminal C. They have both been most kind to us and we really enjoyed staying with them. Then via Delta Airlines 7772 we flew back to LAX terminal 5. LA is HUGE spreading in neat little boxes their grid system spreads from coast to hills as far as the eye can see. Have to say it would be most intimidating to live there. Pushed luggage, we now have it under control – 2 X 23kg bags, the laptop bag and the flight bag. In US you have to take laptop outta bag and shoes off for security checks. Got trolley for luggage and walked from T5 to T2 (Air NZ) Quite a way. Departures are top level at LAX and arrivals below. Flew out of LAX at 11.15pm on a slightly smaller plane than the NZ1 flight (we were on NZ21) but that was cool as we tried to sleep. Met check in guy at Delta Airlines SLC. We were over limit and they wanted 50 bucks per bag, took out one jacket and a jumper respectively and saved $100. Saw tramway alongside Highway 101 on the way into San Jose. Keef saw the HOLLYWOOD sign in the brown hills well away from the coast as the Delta Airlines flight came in. Alas not quick enough however to take a photo of it. Took some final photos of Sherree’s to show her Jacuzzi/ pagoda-pergola
Day 7 - Thursday 1st November 2007,LAX -> Nadi,Fiji
Whole day ‘Lost in Translation’ or is it flight, weird. Basically to do with crossing the International Date line. Note we also crossed the Equator for the first time into the Southern Hemisphere, what we saw or didn’t – Evan Almighty was on the wide screen (no back of seat entertainment) this time but it was tricky to listen / see
including Morgan Hills, Monterey, Carmel & Big Sur