Friends Life My Family Photography Recreation Travel

Paradise, Ensenada, and a Day at Sea

Two Flying, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

During the night as we steamed toward Mexico, I looked through our window and saw thousands of lights glittering in the distance, and presumed we were passing San Diego. When morning dawned, our view out the window gave to an enormous red, white and green flag–the flag of Mexico. We were in Ensenada.

I wanted to prowl about a bit on land, but Jerry didn’t particularly want to, and our friends weren’t too eager, so we stayed aboard ship for the day. What an elegant, relaxing, talking time we had. We watched birds swarming and swooping, and seals turning and languishing in the surf. We ate and slept and walked and gazed and lounged and blinked and nodded and ate and watched people and gazed and blinked and nodded. In the evening as the huge ship pulled away from land, we stood on deck and watched as the lights of Ensenada receded, until finally they were no more.

Our final day was one at sea. In the evening after a day of absolute relaxation, and more than abundant food, we four proceeded to the library where for awhile we played a game with dominoes. We partnered–men against the women. Ask me sometime who won. 🙂

Jerry In Paradise Library by you.
America Food Friends Photography Travel Weather/Nature

Hanging off Catalina

Hanging off Catalina, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

It is only 26 miles from Long Beach to Catalina, but yet it was morning before we anchored off the lovely town of Avalon. Even moving very slowly, it could not have taken that long: Throughout the dark night, we must have circled sharply within the western waters of the blue Pacific.

At one time on Tuesday morning, as I sat on the tail section of our ship looking toward the island, I saw as many as five of the yellow boats ferrying passengers from the Paradise to the charming and very popular island. When the time came that we had agreed with our friends to go over, we found that the lines to board the yellow Catalina boats snaked a long distance through narrow hallways. As Jerry and I walked.. and walked.. to find our place at the rear of the line, we asked the people we were passing how long was the wait. Disgusted, one lady–about half way back–said she had been waiting half an hour already. We kept walking, finally coming to the conclusion that our wait would be at least an hour and a half. Not worth it, we both agreed.

We left the line, circled back and there was Elaine, motioning to us. “Come this way.” We did and within a very short time were aboard a yellow boat, and in mere minutes were standing on the dock in Catalina.

“What happened?” I asked her. “How did we get in that line?”

“I don’t know,” she replied. “We were standing in that ugly long line when someone came for us, saying, ‘Get in the line here.'”

We spent an hour touring the fabled island aboard a 4-place golf cart. It was delightful. Back at the dock we quickly boarded a boat that took us to our ship…found our way to the buffet for lunch…slept much of the afternoon…then dressed for dinner, where lobster was served on our elegant plates. I tried to figure out the silverware, but couldn’t identify the use for so much; each place setting consisted of eleven pieces!

Gold Carts Tour Catalina by you.
America Friends Life Photography Social The World Travel

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.

America Life My Family Photography RV Travel Travel Weather/Nature

Retreat to Rincon

Because it was 4:30 on Tuesday afternoon before our motor home repairs were finished, Jerry and I debated whether to stay another night in San Bernardino or head on up the Pacific Coast. Our annual church camp meeting convenes next Monday in Santa Maria and we had planned to spend a couple of days in Rincon, a regional beach park near Ventura. The issue with going in the evening, is that it is not possible to make reservations at Rincon and it is difficult to exact a spot during the summer. Usually those who leave a site do so early in the morning, so by 10:00 am, most spots are gone for the day.

Onward! was the decision and luck (or God or something) was with us, so that a few minutes before 7:00 as we slowly moved down the camping strip, peering about for an empty spot, a motor home pulled onto the roadway.

“Get out, Shirley. Run over and save the spot.”

I slid my feet into shoes, crossed the highway,  and while Jerry drove to a place where he could turn around the rig, I stood our piece of ocean-front property.

From our open motor home door after we had set up, I viewed and photographed the sunset. Shortly after dark, Jerry and I plopped exhausted into bed, windows open, the cool ocean air wafting over our faces as we slept.

On Wednesday morning after breakfast, I scrambled down the rocks and walked along the beach for a couple of hours. Magnificent and a’roar with power.

At the place where I had to turn around, I spotted this limb whose curve and sandy position attracted me (and my camera, I could tell.) I crouched, snapped two shots and just as the third view was in my lens, the branch began moving, was knocked down by a crashing wave (as you can see) and rushed me, so that the lower part of my body was drenched. I think I’m not the best judge of the essence and trajectory of ocean energy.

The tide was definitely coming in, I decided: I could see the beach was narrowing. Wisely, I headed toward our rig.


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