Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monterey and Carmel

Today as I was enjoying my coffee, I noticed a big dark cloud forming outside. I was saddened because I was hoping to enjoy the beach today, and didn’t want to deal with rain. 

At one point, I walked out to the car to grab River’s bag of food for the day. Only to discover some of the maintenance crew had pieces from another room laid out on newspapers in the parking lot in the space next to my car. “Are those in your way?” One of them asked. I told him that it wasn’t, grabbed the bag of food and went back inside. It was a nice day, so I left the door open. Soon afterward, I heard a spraying sound and noticed that they were spray painting the items. So I went and moved my car to a spot well out of the range of the over-spray.

As I moved the car I noticed that it was covered with ash. It was then that I realized that the cloud I saw wasn’t actually a rain cloud, but a huge cloud of smoke. I later learned it was a controlled burn at Fort Ord to clear space for a veterans cemetery. The whole town smelled like a camp fire all morning and the sun shining through the cloud was a really cool bright crimson color.

After coffee, we headed to Carmel. Carmel is about ten minutes from Monterey, and there were plenty of dog-friendly beaches there. The first one I passed looked really interesting, so we stopped and got out to play at Carmel River. Which wasn’t really a river at all, but more like a bay. And quite a deadly dangerous one at that.

We played for a good two hours at that very entertaining beach. I learned that the reason River was licking his leg last night was not due to a musculoskeletal injury, as I had suspected, but because of an abrasion. I would be willing to bet it was a combination of the sand and the nylon leash rubbing against his leg. It can be brutal, as my right hand will attest.

After the beach, I was hungry, so checking my Bring Fido app alerted me to a Bistro in Monterey with outdoor seating. River chilled on the ground as I had an incredibly delicious burger with mushrooms, roasted red bell pepper and jack cheese and a side of carrot ginger soup. We got plenty of compliments by fellow diners and even by the waitress on how well behaved River was.  I was proud. Or, as a friend of mine put it, River was proud of me.

While we were playing at Carmel River, I dropped my phone on the rocks. It was submerged in the sea water for a few seconds and the glass cracked on the rock. So I asked Siri and found out that there was an Apple store less than three miles from me.

We spent well over an hour there at the Apple store, only to eventually be told that I could replace the phone. The price they quoted me was more than I originally paid for the phone, so I decided not only not to repair the phone, but to not buy another iPhone. I started asking my friends for their recommendations on good phones I could use instead.  So far it looks like I’m mostly interested in the Galaxy S 4 Active. It’s rugged and waterproof and seems to have all of the same functionality of the iPhone. Or at least the parts that I care about.

So we made our way back to the room and I slathered both River and I with coconut oil. My skin was feeling dry and River was itching and licking his legs. I don’t know about him, but I felt wonderful afterwards. Coconut oil is so refreshing.

I had one last meal left in my cooler, so I ate that, but I don’t think it was big enough. I feel like I could eat another meal. Maybe I used up a lot of energy playing at the beach and being frustrated by technology.

I haven’t taught a Nia class in over a week, now. I’m missing it. I’m also missing home, which I haven’t seen in over a month.


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