Having a great time in Monterey

We've been having a really great time in Monterey, though without internet access at the marina - turns out the wifi hotspot for the marina/fisherman's wharf was provided by the State Historic Museum, which is closed until 2011.

Still, we haven't missed the lack of internet since we've been so busy. We'll write up more detailed blogs later with some pictures and stories, but for now this update will have to suffice!

Been lots going on in Monterey since we've been here. A big car show with lots of really neat cars. An Italian festival, where we could hear the music ashore, which was nice. As I write this there's a band up on shore somewhere playing a mix of jazz, Jimmy Buffet, Men At Work, Sade, etc - and the sound is wafting nicely through the marina.

Our first night here (Thursday) was at Fisherman's Wharf, as there were no end-ties available. Since it's a public pier, we had a lot of looky-looes and had to avoid sea lions on the dock. It was nice when space in the marina opened up on Friday and we were able to move. Much closer to the showers and bathrooms, plus we don't have to walk through all the tourists and restaurants to get to them.

Saturday we rented a car (actually a minivan because they were all out of cars) and drove to Los Gatos/SF Peninsula for a BBQ with San Jose Sailing Club, a Lobster feed for Jacob's Sea Scout Ship Challenger. Then Sunday had lunch with friends and a trip to our storage unit before driving back to Monterey.

Sunday evening we had a great BBQ with Scott's aunt+uncle, cousins, and family members. Was really great seeing everyone as it's been far too long since the last time, despite living so close!

Monday we made good use of the rental van doing laundry, getting propane cylinders filled, and a trip to Costco and the grocery store. Having the minivan turned out to be quite handy as we did a pretty good job filling it up! In the afternoon was arts+crafts time - our cousin Mariko owns a ceramics studio - www.10thstreetceramics.com - in addition to selling her own creations and artwork, she has a really unique do-it-yourself aspect to her studio. You select a piece of unfinished pottery (many of which Mariko casts herself), and paint it. It is then glazed and fired in her kiln, and a few days later you have a handcrafted mug, plate, decoration - any of hundreds of different designs. More on this in a future blog.

Today (Tuesday) we have a list of boat projects to complete. We'll meet up with family again at the Farmer's Market and pick up some more produce for the trip.

Wednesday we plan on visiting the aquarium.

Thursday we'll finish up any remaining projects before casting off in the evening, weather permitting, to time our passage around Point Conception to be in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

So it's been a busy week here in Monterey already, with more to come! Stay tuned for more stories and pictures soon. You won't want to miss out hearing about all the jellyfish, reading "The Tale of Two Harbormasters", and of course seeing the pictures of our creations from Tenth Street Ceramics!

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