Sunday, August 10, 2008

We'll Be Playing and Having Fun

What are we on now? the fifth day? I think so. Anyway, the fifth day was a really good day. We had slept very well at our Motel 6 and only had a couple of hours to drive until we reached Carmel. Here's what I can tell you about Carmel - we totally hearted it. It was a really cute, small town full of rich people and white sand beaches. The only bad thing I can say about the town was that I couldn't find Clint Eastwood anywhere. I even texted FMDM to let him know that Clint was hiding out on me. FMDM told me to check the mayor's office. I didn't go that far, because on our way, we ran into this lovely little mall full of really expensive shops. Coadster and Stinky went through a bunch of them and looked at all the stuff we couldn't afford. I'm not super big on shopping for things we can afford, so I distracted them by getting some chai and muffins at a coffee shop.

After that , we walked to the beach and this is how much we loved it.

Each photo of us was spazzier than the next.

I think we could easily have set-up our tent and lived at this beach.

But California being as dangerous as it is beautiful, meant that I got a text from FMDM who works at a radio station and hears the news right away, that there was an earthquake in L.A. We honestly didn't feel it.

After Carmel, we moved up to Monterey. We could only do free things, so we skipped the aquarium, and hit the pier. We encountered lots of marine life anyway. The girls saw many live starfish, which they both loved, but we combed the beach and rocks for a dead one without any luck at all.

We did see lots of seals. Stinky was a little disappointed at how annoying and violent they were. In this photo, two seals were fighting for a rock and the one got shoved back into the ocean. We also saw a sea otter happily floating on its back eating abalone off of its belly, but it was too far away to photograph very well. Then we tried to eat sandwiches on the beach, but were chased away by pushy seagulls and geese, of all things.

We headed toward Santa Cruz, but we all agreed that we were way too tired to stop. Instead we went straight to the Motel 6 in South San Francisco where we would stay five fabulous days and nights before heading back.

The first day in San Francisco was spent orienting ourselves and figuring out the Samtrans and Muni bus systems. I was smart and remembered the buses only took exact change, so I brought a roll of ones and quarters. I ended up helping all the European tourists who didn't seem to understand the concept of exact change or our monetary system, or both.

We headed downtown the first day, and I was struck by how much the city had changed in twenty years(duh, I know). I went to the lower level of Macy's where I used to tend bar, and it was all name branded-out. The restaurant was now a Wolfgang Pucks and there were all kinds of other little chain coffee shops and juice bars. I was a little sad that they lost their own restaurant and lounge and deli and bar. There was also a gigantic mall where the old Emporium used to be. My girls were totally thrilled and Coadster finally got to spend all her hard earned cash on school clothes and a homecoming dress from a store that we don't have in Iowa. Stinky was just happy that they had a Hello Kitty store with pink guitars even. Again, it wasn't how I would have chosen to spend a day in San Francisco, but this trip wasn't just for me, so we all had to do a little sacrificing here and there.


Mr Atrocity said...

Day 5 and still no infanticide or matricide? Wonderment turns mind-bogglement. I think the trip looks like it was worth it just to see one seal shove another off a rock. Oh and sea-otters are outrageously cute.

Remiman said...

California sun and shore is the best!
Lots of smiles all around.

evil-e said...

violent wildlife and the incorporation of San Francisco...this is quite the travel log you have going here....

so far it looks like the trip went well...there have been no reports of girl fighting even after being in a car together that long

Tara said...

That beach and the water is beautiful, I want to be there right now.

Chai would distract me from shiny, expensive stuff too. So tasty.

sissy said...

Sorry today was your first day back to work. Hope it wasn't too awful. I had to go in from 10 to 4. Back to full time hoo.
The pictures are great.

Tera said...

Is that you scratching your butt in the first photo at the beach?

booda baby said...

Your pictures are GREAT!!

Some day, everyone will have loads and loads of money for the entry fees, but I say we all gang up and get really happy that there's so much free stuff that rivals the not free stuff.

That's pretty good of you to suck it up for their first experience. Besides, in the end, the experience is doing it together. I know that sounds pretty gooey, but, for me at least, it's true.

As you're looking back on this trip, are you sort of re-evaluating? Moments that were NOT fun then, are they becoming way more entertaining now that you're home safe and sound?

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

it looks more like you were at the zoo with the animals being pushy and shovey.. Except they were on the loose.. still I'm amazed that you all survived this trip..(lol) Glad you had a chance to spend it with your girls.. Cause before you know it.. They will be doing the same thing with their youngin's and wonderin' how the hell you ever did it...(lol)

Poptart said...

Sea otters! And I can't wait to see C in her Homecoming dress that she got in SF!

What an awesome trip. The parts about figuring out transportation and finding the lay of the land are my favorite parts of traveling - a friend called it urban spelunking, which I think is apt.

Churlita said...

Mr Atrocity,

It was kind of weird, but we did all get along for the most part. We certainly had better days than others. I love otters.


My girls and I all love the beach and the ocean.


The girls definitely picked at each other. Luckily, it didn't blow-up into anything particularly unpleasant.


I wholeheartedly agree with both statements.


My first day back to work was way better than my first day driving back home.


No. That's my youngest daughter pulling at her shorts that got wet from the waves. I'm the spazzy one in the green and white skirt.

Booda Baby,

It is amazing how much you can do for free if you make a point to look.

Our good experiences definitely outweigh the bad.


I think it takes doing it, to appreciate the energy it takes to plan and take a trip like this.

laura b. said...

I am so impressed with the way you guys worked it all out with each other.

If I had more moola I would love to live at the beach.

*Renee* said...

Very lovely pics of the beach and a HELLO KITTY STORE?!?!? HECK YEAH! Hello Kitty *R@CKS* :)!

Churlita said...


Urban spelunking is perfect and you'd be amazed at how good Coadster is at it. I almost teared up watching her maneuver around the city with so much poise.


Sometimes it was tricky, but I told the girls we'd all have to suck it up and deal at some point in the trip. And so we all did.


Thanks. It's hard not to take a good photo at the beach and my daughter would love you just for saying that Hello Kitty rocks.

Anonymous said...

Aw! I was just in Carmel and Monterey last month! I bet I missed you by a few days. Yeah, and I totally felt the earthquake, it wasn't terribly bad, Thank God.