2017 Aug 06 | Parents in Monterey, lighthouse, Hearst Castle, San Jose Renaissance Festival

Ogii picked up the parents in San Francisco and they ate at Benihana.

Ogii cooked us a meal at home.

And then breakfast.

We went to Monterey on Friday. First stop was the Custom House, the oldest government building in California.

The tree marking the beginnings of Monterey.

Some jellyfish floating by the wharf.

Lots to do in the water: scuba, kayak, and sail.

Watching some sea lions.

Under a huge palm tree.

By a sculpture.

Another one of dolphins at a hotel.

Lunch time at El Torino.

Onto the aquarium.



A microscrope zooming in on some plankton.

Sea turtles.

Mom and Ogii behind some fish.

A petting pond.

A tiny snail walking on me.

Moray eel.


They'd dive down to look at people.

Sea anemone.

Neon-colored fish.

A Lionfish.


One swimming right by Ogii.

Swimming near the bottom.

You can sign up to have the aquarium text you when they see a whale. We saw the spout of one way out.

A list of recent sightings.

Taking the free trolley from the aquarium back to the wharf.

Wandering around Carmel; there are lots of little areas like this hidden behind the stores.


Eating at Lugano Swiss Bistro.

Some celebrities who have been there.

We tried taking the back road home, Carmel Valley Road, which is a more direct southerly route than the 68 and 101 highways, which take you north. However, it's much curvier and smaller, so it actually takes longer.

Although we did see some people swimming in the water near this bridge, so we might have to check that out.

Birthday cake for Ogii.

Opening presents.

So many presents.

We went down south to the coast the next morning. Ogii and mom are comparing pashminas.

The squirrels weren't very scared of people.

There were lots of elephant seals hanging out on this beach.

They throw sand on their backs to help control their temperature.

Next stop was the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. It was national lighthouse day so many of the workers were dressed up in old clothing.

This guy on the tour with us had two cameras.

Dad listening to our tour guide.

They had binocular to help look at the rocks far away.

Walking to the next stop.

Whale skeleton.

The lighthouse.

Dad and me.

The women ringing the bell.


Another view of the lighthouse.

The lighthouse keeper explaining the history.

Self-changing bulbs.

The different lighthouses have distinct patterns and timings.

Looking up.

The keeper and his house.

A lecture at the fog horn building.

Changes to the horn over the years.

A book with all of the lighthouse and foghorn patterns so sailers knew where they were.

A lecture on wildlife.

Different furs.

The original light was taken down, but it was in the nearby city of Cambria.

Some tall houses there.

Lots of shops on Main Street.

The San Simeon Pier.

At the end of the pier.

Fishermen filleting their catches.

Zebras below Hearst Castle.

A long drive up in the tour buses.

The castle at the top of the hill.

You have to book your tickets far in advance; they only have a few single spots available for the most popular tours.

Intricate details.

The Neptune pool.

Main entrance.

Ogii and me.

Ogii relaxing in a pose similar to the last time she was there.

Some amazing sculptures.


Dining hall.

Sun room.

Intricate ceiling.

Movie theater.

A beautiful view to the ocean off this deck.

And from a bit farther down.

The four of us.

The Roman pool.

Gold leaf.

Group shot.

180-degree shot.

Dinner at Dolce Galleria in Paso Robles on the way back.

Sunday we went to San Jose for the Renaissance Festival.

A guy with a whip out front.

These people were making fun of attendees who didn't dress up.

Lots of food.

Sword fighting lessons.

Ogii shooting the target at archery.

Little games.


Ogii with a hawk.

And mom.


Fights with foam weapons.

I like this guy's executioner outfit.

It has to be super-hot in that all-metal suit of armor; I'm overheating in a t-shirt and shorts.


Protect your ears.

Giant turkey legs for lunch.

This girl wanted to be the princess for this knight.

Giving her a flower.

Putting a spear through a ring...

... and then throwing it at a target.

Although that's just a warmup to why we're really here: the joust.

Tie on this run.

You could feed the horses carrots afterwards.

Mom petting one.

And feeding it.

A sailboat hat.

Lots of vendors.

A fighting tops game.

I'm not sure how original it is, but kids seemed to enjoy it.


Sword fighting.

A big pirate ship.

That bird has a huge beak.

Bird show.

A hawk.

Flying around.

Coming back. There was actually a native hawk they had to keep an eye on, too.

A butterfly on mom's head.

Petting the owl.

They can really turn their heads.

Wings out.

The royal court.

A bagpiper.

The parents stayed at Aloft near SFO for their early-morning flight the next day.

It's a neat place: video games...

... a bar and lots of seating...

... and cell phone booths.