This week I’m wandering along the California coast line, to the town of Monterey. Almost half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Monterey has been a fishing village and cannery, both the Mexican and the Spanish capital of Alta California (during the Mexican-American war), the only point of entry for taxable goods in California, the place where a guitar god created his legend (Jimi Hendrix at Monterey Pop), home to California’s first theater, the backdrop to a Star Trek movie, and, nowadays, a popular tourist destination.
Monterey is set on a coastline teeming with wildlife, where you can watch sea otters and dolphins as you eat breakfast, the clear blue waters home to sharks, shellfish and delicate kelp forests. Ancient shell middens found along the coast speak of a rich hunter gatherer culture before Spanish settlement, the Rumsen Ohlone tribe hunting and fishing the plentiful waters .
I’ve been to Monterey twice – once in 1985 and once in 2015, almost thirty years later to the day. And it doesn’t seem to have changed much in that time, at least as far as I can remember. The famous aquarium is still the same, as are the charming streets. A building I remembered as being blue is now painted dark red, and I would imagine quite a few of the shops have changed hands. It’s still a lovely place to stay, perched midway between the cool of the North and the heat of the South, with that particular feeling you get on the Pacific west coast, a sense of pine and water and nature crowding at the boundaries, just waiting to take over once more. and the coastline beyond is beautiful, sea mists and mountains meeting water, the views some of the best in the world.
But that’s a wander for another day… Thanks for coming on this week’s Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!
If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.
I love this! And I love Monterrey! What beautiful pics. Last time I was there was about 7 years ago and I used to go as a kid. I love the otters and the aquarium too!
Hey Kristin! How are you? I’ve been thinking about you lately, hope all is well. Sorry I’ve not been across to visit for a little while. Thanks for coming to see me. I love Monterey too, it’s a magical little place, I think. Would love to live somewhere like that 🙂
I almost did live there – and many other places in CA! I’m great…how are you doing?? Miss you much!!
Glad to hear you’re great! I’m all good too, thanks, and I miss you too 🙂 Lucky you, getting to spend all that time in CA – it’s a great state…
Yes it is lovely!
This is lovely Helen. Don’t you just love places that never seem to change.
Thanks, Miriam. I really do 🙂 There’s a little town in Wales I visited as a child – and it hasn’t really changed at all. I put it in a book, I liked it so much 🙂
I seem to remember a Nick Nolte film called Cannery Row that was wonderful. It was based on a Steinbeck novel.
Yes, I think I’ve heard of that. I’ve not seen it though, wonder if it is set in Monterey?
Yes, looks like the same scene.
Cool! I’ll have to check it out 🙂
Cannery Row! A wonderful place. Glad you liked it.
It’s great, isn’t it? I loved it, would like to go back to that part of the world again 🙂
I really like these posts you post!
Thanks, Wally! really glad you’re enjoying them 🙂
That is such a fun spot. Lots of places to sit and watch the circus on land and in the waters.
Yes, definitely – a great way to describe it! 🙂
I was there is 2010, so missed you by 5 years, Helen 😀 Did you visit Carmel-by-the-Sea? That was my favourite place and close by (I seem to remember).
We didn’t get to Carmel this time, though I seem to remember going there on the 1985 trip. This time we were only in Monterey one night, passing through on the way to my brother’s wedding further south. I’d like to go back again, though 🙂
I’ve only been out to California once, but the weather was beautiful and I hope to go back.
Yes, the weather’s a big part of the appeal, I think. There’s something about that whole west coast i just love…
Ah, yes, Monterey, another item on my… No, I won’t say it, I won’t say it!! 🙂 Actually, seriously, I’d like to go to there because we have a friend who farms in the area. Who, incidentally, is another indie author.
I’ve been to Silicon Valley and San Fran, and loved it. I agree, the weather is beautiful.
Don’t say it! 😀 I loved San Fran too, but then I love that whole Pacific coast – there’s just something about it…
I know, the Pacific is wonderful.