Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to reality

I'm quite sure that the worst day of the year is the last day of summer vacation.  It's melancholy to think that I won't be spending any more time in the sun or gallivanting off on trips with our family for the next while.  Sigh. That plane ride home is always a somber time.

I arrived at work on Monday to over 180 emails.  This made me want to throw my computer my third story window.  This also made me want to turn right around and leave for another week.  Of course I did neither, but that didn't prevent my having an internal monologue all day where I griped to myself about life's hardships.

So, to pep myself up I'll recount our California trip and relive it through pictures.  I realize that this will provide entertainment to no one but myself, but so be it.  Feel free to click on through to a more interesting blog where you can peruse less grainy photos.

Day 1-ish: Pacific Grove
We arrived at the Monterey airport (late) and waited 45 minutes for our bags.  This may not seem significant, but let's take into account that we were the only flight arriving that night and that we had brought carry-on suitcases. 

Why would we need to wait for our carry-on bags, you ask?

Good question.  The plane from Denver to Monterey was so small that we had to gate check our carry-on bags.  We were assured that we'd be able to pick them up on the tarmac when we exited the plane. ("Within 5 minutes").  We waited 10 minutes on the tarmac and then were told that they didn't have the man power to get the gate-checked bags off at that time and that we'd have to wait at the baggage claim.

After waiting 20 minutes at the baggage claim we looked around for someone to give us a status update.  THERE WERE NO WORKERS TO BE FOUND IN THE ENTIRE AIRPORT.  15 minutes later someone came in to say that they still didn't have the manpower to get our bags, but they would be coming soon.  Let me include here again that our flight (about 25 people) was the only arrival that night and that the distance between the plane and the baggage claim was probably less than 50 yards.  At this point I was so frustrated that I would have offered to lug the bags off the plane - and if I could have found an airport employee, I probably would have.

Our (carry-on) bags finally arrived after 45 minutes, and we took off for our hotel.  This made our travel day an even 12 hours.

Thanks to a steal of a deal on Priceline, we snagged a room at the Centralla Inn in Pacific Grove. My parents weren't arriving until Sunday, but it made more sense for us to fly out on Saturday, so we stayed the night in this charming bed and breakfast three blocks from the ocean.

Our room was the one in the top right with the bay window.  It was so charming.  It also came with a full made-to-order breakfast.  I had a feta and bell pepper quiche and potatoes, scones, fruit etc. on the side.  I ate 8 scones and came away feeling exactly like this gopher looks: (yes, it was worth it).

We spent the morning walking around Pacific Grove and Lover Point Beach.  I was unprepared for 57 degrees and fog, but it was otherwise very pleasant.  My parents picked us up around noon and after making a stop at the grocery store, a Mexican joint, and a Bagel shop we all headed to the house in Pebble Beach.

Day 2: Big Sur
The four of us (Blake, my parents and I) drove down the coast to see Bixby Bridge and Big Sur.  The PCH is gorgeous, but hilly and topsy-turvy, so it was lucky I had such great scenery to stare at out the front window as I tried to keep my stomach in check.

My Dad waited for a lull in traffic and ran out into the middle of Bixby, but I stayed safely on the road and away from any edges.  [Side note: I am terrified of heights.  Not really the heights themselves, but more the fact that when I'm standing at the edge I get an urge to jump - just to see what it feels like.  It's this urge that scares me most.  Judge me how you will.]  The picture below includes Blake, me, Bixby bridge...and my Mom's finger for good measure.

The fog broke as we drove up the coast and we had the most beautiful blue sky.  We ate lunch at Ventana and the view of the ocean was incredible.  (The food was delicious, too!). 

...more tomorrow so that this doesn't become the longest post of all time...


  1. Beautiful coast photos, and that airport story is horrible but hilarious!

    Also, I totally relate to your fear of heights/jumping! I have had SO MUCH anxiety walking across bridges for that very reason, even when there has been a big guard rail in place. Have you heard of the "high-place phenomenon"? Apparently we aren't totally crazy, and the fear of jumping is a real, researched thing! This isn't the most credible source but it does explain it pretty well:

    1. That article totally describes me! I had no idea it was an actual thing - that makes me feel way less crazy.