One of the things that saddened me the most about moving away from southern California, was saying good bye to the ocean. A day trip to the beach was part of my routine growing up, now I have to make special plans to see the sand and surf. Thankfully we have the capability of traveling anywhere we like, so we make it a point to get to the ocean every now and then.
Going on a vacation to a place you really love can be very therapeutic, trust me. I’ve been having some health issues this year, mostly due to stress and tension, but I’m managing with medicinal help. This isn’t really good enough for me. Although I value the medicine I know it’s just a crutch, or a mask. My goal was to get this thing licked in six months and get off the medication entirely, but like all my other deadlines it passed by with a rushing breeze. So, I have to be patient. In the meantime, to remove some of the stress and decompress, Paul and I traveled to one of my very favorite places on this earth, and surprisingly not too far away from home: Watsonville, California.
Watsonville may not sound like a recognizable name to you. It’s a small agricultural town between Santa Cruz and Monterey. We stayed on the Pajaro Dunes along the coast, right on the Monterey Bay. This is a where the magic happens. Pods of dolphins swim and play and surf the waves. Otters search for whatever it is that otters search for right between the breakers. Shore birds are numerous. I love watching them, they remind me of me running away from the waves trying not to get doused.
This is a gorgeous morning view. I felt an instant calm, in fact, I’m feeling an instant calm just looking at this photo!
We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to vist the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a beautiful and awe-inspiring experience. The special exhibit is Tentacles, and I have to say it is very cool.
The penguins are always a lot of fun to watch.
I will be honest, the otter feeding is my absolute favorite part! Otters are the most adorable creatures I’ve ever seen. Did you know otters have one million hairs per square inch? That’s one house cat in one square inch! Amazing.
Not to be missed are the tide pool areas, including the sandy shore and aviary.
These gorgeous creatures were in the touch pond area. Although we weren’t allowed to touch this little shark and stingray, we could pet the bat ray’s. I managed to touch one and he (maybe she?) was so soft and velvety, a little smelly though, like sulpher, not sure why. I guess I should have asked, there were plenty of volunteers only too happy to explain things.
We made it back in time for drinks and a stunning sunset.
A definite must-see excursion is whale watching. We were told by so many people that they saw whales in abundance. We just had to see this for ourselves, so we headed to Moss Landing to begin our adventure. We managed to see quite a few tails, spouts and humps as the magnificent creatures dove deep, but no breeches. I did see the most magical rainbow in one of the whales spouts. I wish I had a picture of that…We still had an awesome experience and I recommend it to anyone!
I would have liked to see a whale up close, but we saw many many seals and birds!
And did I mention how mesmerizing the ocean is by moonlight?
I couldn’t get enough of this view. I never felt more calm in my life. So, if you can go to the ocean, do so, it is a wonderful balm for the heart.
“hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…”
– Van Morrison