2019 Apr 01 | parents here for Monterey, Solvang, Santa Cruz

$432.76 worth of groceries? Are we feeding a small nation?

Nope, just the parents for the weekend.

We stopped at the Longhouse Restaurant on the way to pick them up.

There were a ton of cars in the parking lot.

Ogii was in the mood for steak.

Cutting it up.

A big fish in a tank.

Setting up for some live music.

Stopping for some snacks. Never heard of this root beer; better try it.

Playing "guess which suitcase is theirs."

Ogii thinks this might be a winner.

Dad grabbed the right one.

Ready to go.


This is not an optimal fighting position.

Shopping at the local dollar store.

Picking up some wildflower seeds.

Reading sunglasses. Makes sense.

A chiropractor moved in.

Only here a few days a week, though.

Lunch at Taste of Monterey.

A nice view.

Lots of kayakers and divers.

Another restaurant below.

Lots of little bites to share for lunch.

Like kids in a candy store.

Glad we walked by here; I didn't know about this event.

A goose snacking on some grass.

Paddleboats. A family with some kids got the last duck.

So we had to settle for a swan.

Some geese checking us out.

This couple had a bird catching a ride on the back of their boat.

A nice day for a paddle.

Except it was rather windy and we had to paddle quite hard to get back to the dock.

A video.

Mom taking a little break.

We made it back onto land.

The lake.

At Lovers Point. But wait, what's that in the background?

Another swan boat.

A sand volleyball net.

Pretty flowers.

A statue of a child with a sailboat.

Mom feeding the squirrels.


Hoping for more.

The ocean.


A group of painters.

Mom and Ogii by some flowers.

Mom by some more.

Visiting the Point Pinos Lighthouse.

But first, some lemonade.

Mom looking into the light.

Lots of prisms.

It uses a fresnel lens.

Which is pretty big.

You can see it from quite a ways.

The basement.

With a history video.

And information on shipwrecks.

Watching the movie.

The lighthouse keeper's kitchen.

And living room.

The lighthouses up and down the coast.

Ogii ringing the bell.

In front of the lighthouse.

There are often deer on the golf course.

They don't seem too scared of people.

Watching some big waves crash onto the rocks.

Nice palm tree at this house.

Checking out an open house.

It's a bit out of our price range.

Although there are wild turkeys wandering around.

The onto the Monterey Zoo.

A tortoise.

A hyena.

A view of various cages from higher up.

A tiger.

A white one.

Lots of meat.

To feed the tigers.

Mom feeding one.

And Ogii.

Just don't get too close.

Gobbling it up.

Zebras and water buffalo.


They like carrots.

Their skin is quite rough.

The ends of their noses are like hands.

A video of the feedings.

A leopard taking a nap.

A baboon.

A camel.

Mom and the camel.

A llama.

Ogii's great dinner.

And also breakfast.

Nice variety.

Then a drive down to Morro Bay.

To check out the rock.

A statue.

A beach across the bay.

With some surfers.

In front of the rock.

A lady feeding some squirrels.

Ogii and some flowers.

Divers practicing in the bay.

And also some otters there.

They like to lay on their backs.

Looking at us.

Holding hands.

With a baby.

A kayaker and paddleboarder watching them.

A video of them.

Over by the stores.

Dad and mom as sea creatures.

Ogii and me.

This photographer has a few new shots, like the dolphins jumping.

A Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle.

Lots of windows on this house.

A large marsh.

Morro Rock from the south.

At Point Buchon.

First a steep walk down the road.

It's private land.

Be cafeful; lots of poison oak around.

A little welcome hut.

Lots of things to watch out for.

Hiking the trail.

A little lizard posing for a photo.

Ready to run.

Nice day out; mom won't need to put on her coat.

A little cove.

Hiking down.

On the beach.

A little stream.

Jumping across.

Ogii walking at the water's edge.

A cave.

Ogii in the cave.

Ogii out of the cave.

Some more.

A larger cavern at the end.

Me inside.

Dad, Mom, and Ogii at the edge.

Ogii getting a bit wet.

Walking back.

The stream is wider here.

Gotta run across the rocks.

Mom found a narrower part.

Still dry.

Ogii just walked through.

Hiking back up.

A purple flower.

A red-winged blackbird.

A huge sinkhole.

Some info on it.

A rock outcropping with lots of birds on it.

Ogii with some poppies.

Purple and yellow and orange flowers.

Lots of yellow flowers here.

All the way out to the edge.

A cove on the other side.

With a lookout point at the top.

A view of the plain from the lookout.

You have to sqeeze through these poles to take the trail back.

Thankfully Ogii fits.

Beautiful trail to walk.

Ogii with a big flower.

A patch of poppies.

Many other kinds of flowers.

The entire road north of the area was pretty full of parked vehicles.

Back into Monterey for lunch.

The shark wants a hamburger, too.

I'm thirsty.

The onto Solvang.

The Danish capital of America.

All of the main shops are in a few blocks, so they're easily walkable.

A neat older building.

Carriage tour.

Our guide.

A bakery.

Old styling.

A windmill.

Not many cars on the streets.

Different building styles.

And old tower.

Another bakery.

With the horses.

Little homes for gnomes.

These benches look like butterflies.

Time for some ice cream.

So many choices.

They actually make the cones by hand here. First they put batter in the waffle iron...

... and then they roll it into a cone.

The elf cone is cute.

Eating our ice cream.

Riding on the carriage and watching the ice cream cones being made.

Hans Christian Anderson statue.

Nice park.

Wine and liquor.

Many bells.

The carriage going by.

Neat gallery.

Lots of cool items.

The prices are quite reasonable as well.

In front of a windmill.

In a phone booth.

A bakery.

With lots of goodies.

We bought some cookie tubs to take back to our coworkers.

All different colors and styles of buildings.

A courtyard with a few businesses.

The entrance.

Nice statues.

And a fountain.

Hans Christian Anderson museum.

I love the name of this gift shop: The Mole Hole.


That's neat.

Nice wooden carving.

Some dragons.

One of the first buildings in Solvang is now a restaurant.

Good food there.

Fun roof.

The parents were a little worried when the estimated gas left got down to 3 miles before we reached the gas station.

I'm not a fan of getting my blood drawn.

Ogii with her new sapphire necklace.

The next day we went to Santa Cruz to visit the Roaring Camp Railroad.

An old boiler.

Old buildings.

A train.

We were a bit early for our train ride so we went to check out the redwoods.

The tree is a bit bigger than Ogii.

This one is bigger than the three of us.

Some tall ones.

There's a nice little guide..

Which points out things to look for.

The trees are very resistant to fire.

I don't see any four-leaf clovers, only three-leaf ones.

Dad looking up at the trees.

Ogii dwarfed by a big one.

It's as high as a 25-story building.

Checking out a big hole in this tree.

It must have been rough surveying here in the 1800s.

A banana slug among the clovers.

Another one.

A memorial for William T Jeter.

A visitor's center.

A central area with a fireplace.

A history movie.

How the trees here got saved.

Animal pelts.

Interactive exhibits.

Why the redwoods grow here.

They have two types of leaves.

All kinds of pine cones.

Back to the railroad.

A long line for tickets, which are all sold out.

Here comes the train.

The engine.

Filling up with water.

Ogii is ready to go.

Around the bend.

Looking up.

Ogii touching a tree.

This girl in the black coat didn't seem to want to be there. She kept her head down most of the ride. Although later on she looked around a bit more.

Some tall trees.

Looking straight up.

Vines on a tree.


I don't think we want to go to the left.

This trestle was burned.

Lots of smoke.

A little break.

Everyone listening to the conductor about some history.

The group with the panoramic camera.

And with the normal camera.

Looking up with the panoramic camera.

And the normal camera. The panoramic definitely makes you feel more in the picture.

By the engine.

You can get lunch boxes in the morning.

And have some food on the trip.

Headed back down the mountain.

Backing up this way.

Some little plants on this tree.

Big trees.

The conductor changing a switch.

Blowing off excess steam.

Us as a cowboy and cowgirl.

The general store.

Horehound sounds nasty.

Good old stick candy.

Lots of old drug store items.

A little movie area.

A toy train above the entrance.

Setting up to pan for gold.

Playing cornhole.

A blacksmith.

Ogii found a moth.

On my finger.

Next we went to the Mystery Spot.

Nice license plate.

Can you really grown a giant sequoia out of this little sprout?

There were a lot of people there so we had to wait over an hour for our tour. That's fine; we'll just nap in the car for a bit.

A history of the mystery spot.

A comic about it.

Watch out for banana slugs.

Headed up.

The billiards ball rolls up the plank.

As does the water.

Inside the house.

Everyone is tilted.

Ogii on the table.

Hanging between the rooms.

In the next room.

Along the wall.


Dad's the tallest.

Now they're pretty even.

Comparing the height of the two kids.

Ogii with her Mystery Spot bumper sticker.

Me with mine.

Then onto the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Some pretty flowers.

Dad caught mom.

Some volleyball players.

Some surfers.

Looking back at the boardwalk from the pier.

Sea lions under the pier.

Dinner at Oyunaa's Mongolian Cuisine.

The goulash was excellent.