I love San Francisco but we decided to take the opportunity for a side trip to Monterey Bay as I had never been. It was unexpectedly touristy and Steinbeck's gritty Cannery Row has long ago been replaced by t-shirt and ice cream shops jammed with throngs of sunburned tourists with strollers and flip flops.
We stayed right on the water and had a balcony that perched twenty feet over the bay. Every morning I would grab the binoculars provided in the room and enjoy the sunrise as light crept across the water. I saw otters float by with rocks clasped to their chests, teen-aged seals bobbing their heads in and out of the waves in rapid games of tag and many a bird diving for their breakfast.
Of course we had to visit the very highly rated Monterey Bay Aquarium. Usually I am not one for zoos or aquariums but this place had me riveted for a solid two hours.
The 28 foot tall aquarium holding the kelp forest is unearthly. The sun-lit kelp, which grows up to four inches a day, sways gently in unseen currents as silvery schools of fish dart in and out of its feathery fronds.
But the very best part was the darkened room with the huge tanks of jellyfish. Below is a short video I took of the largest jellyfish. One small tank held countless tiny, tiny ghostly jellyfish from an inch to a quarter of an inch
in diameter which were amazing in their miniature perfection.
But these, which were over two feet in diameter and were a marvelous glowing orange colour, were simply moving to view.