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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Start of my Birthday Week

Suzi & Bob's Pear arrangement
Back in August I decided to celebrate my birthday with my favorite birthday activities, not with a birthday party, but with quietly anticipated pelagic birding trips. I booked a Monterey Bay and Half Moon Bay pelagics. Therefore, a couple of days ago I headed to my buddy Barbara's house for a few days visit. She now lives in a pretty, one room studio, that stands on a hillside near Watsonville, California. Unbenownst to me, she told her sister Suzi and Suzi's SO Bob that my birthday is pending, and they decided I was in need of a birthday luncheon. Yippy!

Barbara and I met up with them at their current home in Carmel Valley. Its a beautiful valley surrounded by oak woodlands. I enjoyed a tour of Suzi & Bob's digs.

Barbara, Suzi and Bob on the back porch
the Carmel Hills in the distance
 Then we all headed off to a nearby Corkscrew Bistro.

Restaurant & International Hobbit Hovel: the Corkscrew Bistro

It was such a lovely day we took a nice shady table on the Corkscrew's back patio. I was something of a pain-in-the-butt, taking photos of anything and everything back there. I mean, how could I not take a quick shot of this horn-blowing cherub in that stunning stetson?

Tiny bit of Alamo-esq masonry at the back of the patio
Wine Fountain
Our lunches were delish; I had the pulled pork sliders and
 half those fries - hey, a girl could pop if she isn't careful!

As we ate and yakked, Suzi pulled out a birthday prezzie for me! It was a beautiful kaleidoscope that once belonged to her mother who was both wonderful & kind to me. The kaleidoscope was secreted in its own velvet pouch. Suzi knows how fond I am of such fanciful things. You know I had to spend some time photographing a pretty rainbow of crystals within.

Following our luncheon, we stopped  at a plant nursery up the road.  

The Plant Nursery
Oh temptation! The nursery had a great collection of Gesnariads, the African Violet family. I no longer have a north facing window as I did at my work office - the only thing I miss from my working days. No point in buying the plants which would only roast and die in my west facing picture window. I did get an old favorite, a 'string of hearts' which is a great little succulent that even a black-thumbed type like myself has no trouble growing.
Beautiful two-toned Streptocarpus
Suzi and Bob O suggested Barbara take me for a drive on the 17 mile scenic road that is located in Monterey, and is home of the famous Pebble Beach golf course. Seventeen mile drive is a pay-per-drive area littered with even fancier homes than those in Carmel Valley, but it's best attribute is its view of the Pacific. Plant shopping completed, we headed for the 17 mile drive. It was a typical over cast sky over the shoreline drive.

We stopped to view China Rock, and to listen to sea lions barking. I of course reported what birds I saw to eBird.
Sea Lion-coated island off shore
Close up of the hundreds of Sea Lions, cormorants wriggling about on the island
The Lone Cypress on the edge of the sea
Well it was a long, long day, and a nice one that kicked off my birthday week.

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