In the morning the sky was still dull gray and the wind was ferocious but at least it had quit raining.
We purchased some discount tickets for the Monterey Bay Aquarium from the lady at the motel's desk and on her advice headed for a nice little breakfast cafe down on Cannery Row.
We were pretty jazzed about visiting the world class Monterey Bay Aquarium. They currently are featuring a jellyfish exhibit that reportedly is "to die for" and a young great white shark. Plus there are always the sea otters, manta ray petting tanks, sunfish, etc., etc., etc.
The aquarium sits right on the rugged Monterey shoreline and some of it is open to the outside for a nice blending of man-made and natural elements. We couldn't help but notice when we moved between the indoors and the out that the storm was still with us...eek!
Becky was especially taken with the outdoor exhibit on shore birds, especially the American Avocets.
I liked the "under the pier" stuff and took the opportunity to startle Becky with my "the barnacles ate me" routine.
We stayed at the museum for many hours until we started to tire and the crowds started getting pretty oppressive.
At some point while we were indoors the storm had suddenly vanished. We strolled off down Cannery Row under sunny skies (albeit still a bit blustery) in search of adventure.
I found a statue to one of my personal heroes, John Steinbeck. He did some of his best work here back when Cannery Row really was the fish canning part of town.
And we found a shop devoted to pirate stuff.
Crews were scrambling everywhere to deal with the aftermath of the storm. Lots of trees were down but amazingly we never lost our electrical power.
The city offers a free "cable car" (without the cables) shuttle service around town. We made use of it to travel a few miles north to the town's main working wharves.
Here, we had been told by reliable resources, could be found the world's best bowl of clam chowder. A worthy quest indeed. Our resources were correct. The world's best bowl of Boston-style clam chowder can be found at the London Bridge Pub in Monterey California.
Becky had their chicken soup, which was equally wonderful. The secret is in their seasoning. Go there, eat some and we think you'll agree.
We spent the rest of our afternoon walking around the Fisherman's Wharf area that includes Monterey's historic downtown. A highlight of the area is the first Custom House built in California (1827) and the site where the American flag was first raised claiming the territory for the U.S. Heady stuff.
We caught the shuttle back to Cannery Row, ate an "okay" (and expensive) Mexican supper at a restaurant recommended by a woman we had met on the shuttle, that was just down the block from our motel. By the time we finished it was starting to get late (for us at least, 7 o'clock or so) so walked back to our room and settled in for the night.
Tomorrow we're back on the road and heading south.
To continue on to Day 3 of our trip please click HERE!