John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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CA Trip 2005 Report -- #5 of 6

Well, everybody and their brother informed us that "Thou shalt do Monterey Bay," so off we shalted! After catching the tail end of the Courtyard breakfast (and they were mighty surprised to see us, too), we piled into the Thirsty Escape and popped down 880 S - 17 S - 1 S to see the place.

Well, I say "popped," but that's not entirely accurate. More like "drove and drove and drove some more." Somewhere we'd got hold of the idea that Monterey was a short jaunt down from the San* area, something akin to 30-45 minutes range. In fact, you'd have to add at least an hour and more like two to that estimate ... so by the end of the trip we were in quite a state of worry that we'd missed the place. Laurie dug out the AAA map and found "Sand City," the next exit up, and realized that we were almost there. Finally!

So anyway, we arrived, parked, and headed for the waterfront. The first order of business was lunch at a tongue-in-cheek dive by the name of "Linguini Louie's," which was actually very good, but cost about $10 more than it should have, by virtue of being in a tourist trap. We then started poking around the beachfront stores in hopes of finding some long-sleeved shirts -- it was positively chilly when the wind was blowing. We didn't really find any we liked, but the good news is that by the time we'd given up looking, the sun had burned off the haze and it was pleasantly warm anyway.

At one point we happened upon a happy-looking jazz keyboardist, banging away, selling his CDs for $20 apiece with the help of an accomplice, and making a fair amount of cash via the tip jar. Given that it was Thursday lunchtime, he was doing pretty well, I thought. If he'd been there on a Saturday, I can only imagine the cash he'd be raking in.

We lingered over the Stienbeck Cannery Row Wax Museum, but finally decided to give it a miss. Laurie was shocked to find out that I'd never read any Stienbeck ("I didn't think they'd let you get away with not reading Stienbeck," I believe her exact words were). Well, I haven't read Stienbeck. Heck, I've never even seen Lon Cheney, Jr. in "Of Mice and Men." Heck, I never even saw "Rain Man." So, while it will probably lose me Literary Geek Points, I completely passed by all the Stienbeckana, on the grounds that I just didn't care.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon at the acquarium, ogling sharks, otters, and rays, as well as watching cormorants fly around the bay. It was neat and cool, but a pricey way to spend the day at something like $22 each for admission. 0.o We also found the shop where camstone had picked up Laurie's "Hairy Otter" t-shirt. :)

We then forced ourselves back onto the road and made for Santa Clara, to have dinner with Kerry and Mako at "Armadillo Willy's," Kerry's favorite BBQ joint. It was good stuff, but neither Laurie nor I fell to with any real gusto, just because we were both so tired. From there we all repaired to Kerry's house ("Casa de Ethernet" as she calls it), because we'd been told that level_head was going to be in town on Sunday and I wanted to do a sketch for Mako to deliver to him.

Turns out the ol' dragon decided to come up Friday instead, and will be at the Moss Beach dinner tomorrow, along with the lovely and wise lady_anne, which is great news! I haven't seen them since the first Further Confusion I attended (2002?), and it'll be great to sit and eat and schmooze with them again. If we can keep Kerry from secreting away the bill, I'd like to buy them dinner, in thanks for all those breakfasts and dinners they supplied me when I was having so much difficulty supplying them for myself.

-The Gneech
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