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To Monterey and Return

I want to go back.

There is so much of significance in the area, that I am now–merely a few days from being there–wanting to return to Monterey, Ca., for I tell you frankly; I did not get my fill of the place. In particular I want to leisurely walk about and visit:

Cannery Row

The bountiful museums in the city

Fisherman’s Wharf (again)

Thomas Kinkade National Archive

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The history of Monterey boasts numerous artists and writers who have resided there, the most notable being John Steinbeck who fairly immortalized the town with his novels Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat and East of Eden.

Monterey had long been famous for the abundant fishery in Monterey Bay. That changed in the 1950s, when the local fishery business collapsed due to overfishing. A few of the old fishermen’s cabins from the early twentieth century have been preserved as they stood along Cannery Row. The famous Cannery Row has now been turned into a tourist attraction, with restaurants and shops in the historical site. It is also the location of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Many of Thomas Kinkade’s original works can be viewed at the archives in the delightful town.

Taken from city promo

Last week, our tour of the Pacific, the bay, and the peninsula area both began and ended in Monterey. On Saturday we traveled from Oakley with Don and Abby O’Keefe, had settled into our motel room, and then met with Jim and Bobbie Shoemake for a great meal at Fisherman’s Wharf.

We poked around a bit then after the Shoemake’s left us, we scrambled into the O’Keefe’s car and raced away to a spot where we thought to observe the sunset on the Pacific. We were too late, for the sun had dipped below the horizon.

We were not too late, though, to take in the twilight scene, including the bed and breakfast facility Seven Gables where once the O’Keefe’s church had sent them for a mini-vacation. Through each of its numerous wide uncurtained windows could be seen a glowing lamp.

On Sunday we took the magnificent 17-Mile Drive, then returned to Monterey for an early dinner before we would head back to the O’Keefe’s home in Antioch. We were scheduled to fly back to Ontario on Monday morning.

El Torito is a chain of modestly-priced restaurants which feature Mexican food: I have eaten in many of them throughout the years, but I don’t recall any sporting such a view as did this one. The booth to which we were led looked directly into the Pacific ocean, where as we ate our delicious meal, we viewed birds, sea lions, scuba divers, sail boats, canoes and other sailing vessels. It was a spectacular ending; a too-short visit to the Monterey Peninsula.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

3 replies on “To Monterey and Return”

Hey Shirley,
my mom grew up in Pacific Grove in the 1940-60’s.
She told me stories of my grandpa going to work at the cannery every day, sometimes graveyard, the whistle blowing, the constant “fishy” smell in the air and the wonderful family all around.

Now it is a bit different. The TINY 875 sq ft home my great grandpa built in the 1920’s sold recently for over $2million!

What? Are you kidding. If this is the truth, I know now why you always seem so prosperous.

It’s an artsy fartsy crowd now, but oh well the view is still the same.
When I was a boy, I used to ride in the glass bottom boats in the harbor, go walk out with grandma to the rocks and talk to the seals, swim in the kelp and hand abalone to the otters! It was grand!

Bill: You fed the otters by hand?

There used to be a swimming pool on the beach and when we got too cold we would go to the pool.
My only regret, again is that the “families” have been pushed out by the yuppies and hippies and the culture has changed tremendously.
My grandpa ran the Shell station in the 1960’s in downtown PG and he let me ride the lift up and down and every Christmas the firehouse was all lit up with moving characters and my uncle was the fire chief and he let me slide down the pole, and sound the siren on Christmas day.
What great memories.

Great memories, indeed. What a place.



Some fond memories for me too as I read your posting about The Monterey Peninsula, I’m glad you also enjoyed this part of the world and thanks for the kind comments.

You have a well-done blog. I enjoyed reading and looking there.

We are in agreement about the Monterey Peninsula…a stunning place.


Much better views than Galveston, at the present.

I guess so. Dean, those pictures you e-mailed me were astonishing. I have never seen anything resembling such a sight. So sad.


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