King of the Coast

 

 

Pacific Grove is a small town that lies on the California coast, between Monterey and Santa Cruz.  Boyfriend and I have visited there every year, for the past…eight years, I think.  It's calm and friendly and beautiful – what you'd like a good friend to be. 

The buildings there are lovely, many dating from the late 19th century (even the liquor store is built in a pseudo-Victorian style), there are bike paths everywhere – which made us wish we'd brought our springer-seat beach cruisers along, kittehs – loved and content – come up to greet you as you walk by, all streets lead to the ocean…the atmosphere is happy and creative.

BUT.  Pacific Grove's claim to fame is Butterflies.  Millions of monarch butterflies undertake a remarkable migration to the warmer climates in California and Mexico every year starting in the Autumn.  No one really knows how they know to make this flight – they only live long enough to make the migration once.  One of their favorite stops is in Pacific Grove.  How can you not ADORE a place that has an annual Butterfly Parade?  Local school children dress as butterflies, march in butterfly formation, carry signs and banners welcoming the butterflies…THAT's good stuff!! 

There is also a Butterfly Sanctuary there, where the butterflies congregate.  When the sun shone through their wings, they looked like little pieces of colored glass.  I saw two meet in mid-air, and they spun in a circle, as if they were dancing.  I can't recommend this place enough.

 

Just outside of the town is Asilomar Beach.  Boyfriend is a surfer, so he had to try his luck.  Personally I don't like it, because the waves can be trecherous and there's no lifeguard on duty, but I guess that's just me being all concerned and girly.  Anyway, this is a picture of him, making the lonely trek down the beach, so the rip current will carry him to the spot that he really wanted.  I was so terribly relieved when he was done… because we could then have breakfast.  

What?  I was hungry!

 

 

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5 responses to “King of the Coast

  1. Husband and I stopped here on our San Fran to Carmel trip last Christmas. The waves were insane–they were making me nervous just standing on the beach!

  2. Years ago, boyfriend's (one day he'll deserve a name) surf leash broke while he was out there – it was the nearest he'd ever come to drowing, and at that time he'd been surfing for 25 years.

  3. I love parades. The idea of kids dressed as butterflies makes me smile. I recently visited a butterfly sanctuary in San Diego. I was excited to check it out, and it turned out to be so cheesy and lame. I could have, would have, done so much more with the generous donation they received. Instead they just seemed to want free rent. They sort of ushered us in, said a few words, then had us go out into their minimal garden. Sigh. I'll have to try Pacific Grove sometime.
    How long have you and the beau been together?

  4. I went with a now-ex down deep in Mexico so he could surf. He wore a helmet–that's how rough nature was with the ones who ventured near. She had already tossed the lifeguard tower and numerous pieces of wood and metal to shore in a heap of debris. He loved it. We slept in a tri-level palapa, no walls, shower open in the jungle. I was so proud of myself for not being prissy. The mosquitos, even with a tent at night, ate me alive. I came home with 80 or so bites–I was polka-dotted. My immune system suffered, and I got shingles, but my body just healed them quickly without aid of any meds or treatment. Ah, what love makes us do. Or capable of doing…depending on how you look at it.

  5. September of next year – the 6th or 7th – will be our 10 year anniversary. It's hard to believe that we've been together for so long…we're so very different in many ways, but perhaps – as Mr. Monk would say – that's a blessing and a curse. He's the one I'll be staying with, I know that for sure.

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