Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Strawberry fields forever

8/7 Day 27 - We woke up again to sunshine. Hooray! It was great given that I was sore from head to toe from my fall. We decided to get a super early start so we could have plenty of time to explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We've been looking forward to it for a long time. :] We charged our phones and uploaded some more blogs and left at about 8:30.

We went a few miles then stopped to get some Icy Hot for my shoulder and knee. After that it was kinda hilly but not bad and then it flattened out. We knew we were going to go through some crop lands, which is why it was so flat. But when we got to the area we immediately noticed a strong smell of strawberries. We looked out and for ever and ever we saw fields of strawberries. It was heavenly. We immediately started singing Strawberry Fields. It was one of the best rides we've had yet.

That first 30 miles went by really fast. We stopped once for a snack, once at the best fruit stand we'd ever seen (we got a bunch of strawberries and some green peppers), and once for lunch. We had already gone 30 miles by 12:30 and we were super excited to get to Monterey which was only 10 more miles. After we ate we headed out.... Directly into the wind. It was horrible! We struggled the whole way.

We were on a bike path, which was great. It was an awesome and convenient path that took us right into Monterey, but the wind was terrible. Eventually we made it to Monterey. Unfortunately our troubles weren't over. We decided to go to the campground first to claim a spot because we had read that the campground fills up (even the hiker/biker sites) pretty fast. But the campground is at the top of a hill basically in the middle of the city. So we had to ride up and up and up to get to the entrance. Then when we got to it we had to go up and up and up to get to the campground.

Although it sucked we were glad, for a while at least, that we came early because there were several tents already set up. We set up our stuff and packed it all in the tent. I changed into my "regular clothes" and we headed back down hill to the aquarium. It was really close, which was nice and the bike path took you straight there. There were like a thousand people though walking the path, which makes it difficult to navigate. Anyway we made it to the aquarium without hitting anyone, but we needed snacks first. We grabbed some peppermint patties and goldfish from the grocery store nearby.

As soon as we walked in there was a sign that said "no food or drinks." I really don't know why we thought they would be ok with bringing food in, but we took it in anyway. We snuck some patties here and there. We're so sneaky. :] Anywho, the aquarium is right on the bay like Shedd, but they had docks you could walk out on to see wild life in the bay. It was pretty cool. We walked through all the exhibits and spent a lot of time watching the jellies. They had a lot of them and while they don't do much other than squish around, they are magical and we like them.

We saw what you usually see at aquariums. Otters, penguins, seahorses, crabs, sharks and really big fishes. We also saw some eels that were really nasty looking. It was pretty cool, although in our opinion Georgia's Aquarium is still the best. They have whale sharks. It's hard to compete with that.

After the aquarium, we walked down Cannery Row (Steinbeck wrote about it... I felt silly for not knowing that). It was neat, but very touristy. We were craving something sweet as usual, but everything was so expensive. We came to a Johnny Rockets though and decided to get a shake. Right when we walked in "Here comes the sun" started playing. It was fate. We found a table and ordered fries and a Ghiradelli dark chocolate shake. We ended up eating 3 plates of fries because refills were free and devoured our shake. It was delicious.

After that we decided to head back up the hill to camp. It was a lot easier without all our stuff, but we still ended up walking some of it. When we got back to camp it was even busier then when we left. There was a pretty big group of boys there taking up a few regular campsites (we later found out that they are boy scouts who decided to ride 250 miles of the coast together... They have someone towing their stuff. Cheaters.), and a few more bikers had set up camp.

We decided to shower because they were free and who knows when the next free shower will be. When we got done there was a guy with his kid taking a bunch of stuff out of their car and setting up camp at the hiker/biker site. More cheaters. I don't mind people doing that, but when you bring kids into the situation it becomes a completely different story in my book.

Anyway, the guy awkwardly asked us to help him so we did a little, but then we needed to make dinner. He also asked if we smoked weed. Ummmm no. This is getting ultra weird. So we started making dinner when this obnoxious conversion van pulls up with all this crap hanging off it. The guy pulled up to the bathroom and got in the shower. After a few minutes we started hearing singing. It got louder and louder and after about 5 minutes the entire campground could hear this crazy man singing from the shower. It was without a doubt the weirdest thing we have encountered on this trip.

After about 15 minutes of the loudest singing ever, people started complaining. He stopped eventually after several people approached him. We're still not sure what his deal was and I'm not sure we really want to know. He stopped singing and that's all I care about. Early to bed tonight. We have a very hilly day tomorrow. :-/

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