September by the Sea

Choking on oxygen, we have come down from the thin air of mountainous Mammoth Lakes to spend the month of September in the seaside town of Monterey, California. After performing the Heimlich maneuver on each other, we are ready to inhale the attractive antiquity and enchanting ecology of this segment of the California coast.

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Our home for September

Our base of operation for the month is an over-the-garage rental apartment with a partial view of the Monterey Bay. From here, it is a short walk down the hill to Monterey State Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Cannery Row.

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The Cannery Row Monument in Steinbeck Plaza

Ever since I neglected to read The Grapes of Wrath in high school, I have questioned all the fuss about John Steinbeck. In the past year, after finally reading Grapes and a couple of other Steinbeck novels, I have joined his legion of devotees. This month, I am excited to learn more about this great American author, who was born and raised in Salinas, 25 miles inland from Monterey.  

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The Doc Ricketts Memorial at the site of his train tragedy

Cannery Row, another Steinbeck classic, is set in early-20th century Monterey, and memorializes the author’s best friend and marine biologist hero Ed “Doc” Ricketts. Following in the footsteps of Doc’s rubber boots, we are eager to wade into the area’s natural aquaria, teaming with the remarkable organisms that subsist between the Pacific tides.

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Marine wildlife in Monterey Bay

Just offshore from the thriving tide pools of Monterey lies the Grand Canyon of the continental shelf. Known as the “Serengeti of the Sea”, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a frenzied feeding ground for seals and sea lions, and blue, humpback, and orca whales. In the days ahead, we wish to learn more at the celebrated Monterey Bay Aquarium, and go whale watching above the largest and deepest submarine canyon in North America.


The 7th Green at Pebble Beach Golf Links (photo credit:

Back on dry land, a month on the Monterey Peninsula would not be complete for me without a pilgrimage to the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. Later this month, other pilgrims from the Senior PGA Tour will gather here to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open. I have volunteered to serve as a walking scorer at the tournament, for an intimate inside-the-ropes view of one of the world’s greatest golf courses.

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McAbee Beach along Cannery Row

From its fabled golf links to its profuse marine life, Monterey, California has inspired artists, athletes, scientists, and even a Nobel Prize winning author. With our lungs full of oxygen-rich air, we intend to breathe it all in, during the fresh new month of September, by the sea.

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Lizzie sitting pretty (for a treat naturally) in Monterey

14 thoughts on “September by the Sea

  1. Hey Joe. Jeff and I LOVE Monterey! Be sure to take Esther to Lou Lou’s on Fishermans Wharf for breakfast. I wrote about it here… Get there before 9am since it is a local favorite. It’s one of those hole-in-the-wall places with a delightful owner and fun atmosphere. If you dare…order “the hubcap”. Also, check out The Cottage in Carmel for their award winning artichoke soup! Have fun. Wish we were there!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Deb, Es is having a birthday next week. Maybe I’ll take her out for a hub cap. After hiking Mt. Whitney, she could use a few extra carbs. Artichoke soup…now you are really making me hungry. Thanks for the foodie tips. We’ll be thinking of you as we stuff ourselves.


  2. Monterey, Carmel, and Salinas are so beautiful and have such wonderful histories. Moss Landing is a fun place to poke around (and take pictures). Of course, you can’t miss the 17-mile drive… and maybe a trip up to Santa Cruz… and dinner at Passionfish in Pacific Grove. I went to UC Santa Cruz for my first two years of college and enjoyed exploring that whole area. And, of course, I’ve been back many times. Have fun!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Monterrey is such a great town to spend some time in! It is the place where we decided to sell our first sailboat a few years ago and that meant being “stuck” there for five weeks. Perfect! 🙂 Enjoy your stay, the wildlife, the atmosphere and the sea vistas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahoy, Liesbet. What a wonderful place to be “stuck”. We will always cherish these amazing sea vistas and fresh ocean breezes. May the wind always fill your sails.


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