Apr 292008
 

Well, it’s official.  We’re back from our honeymoon.  Let the long years of married life begin!

Our honeymoon started in San Francisco.  We took a few days to see the city (best tips: ride the city’s 1940s streetcars, and check out the food stalls at the Ferry Building) and met with several friends, including the lovely and talented Mrs. Eggplant.

Unfortunately, I was under the weather part of the time, and Mr. T had to go to one dinner without me.  He took this pic to show to the other couple, lest they accuse him of having made up the whole wife thing:

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After picking up our one-way rental car at the Oakland airport — oddly, much cheaper than if we’d picked it up at SFO — we headed down the coast to Santa Cruz.  Which was mostly a one-night stopover for 2 local attractions that I wanted very badly to visit:  First, the elephant seal rookery at Ano Nuevo State Reserve (not a super-telephoto lens; we were really that close to the elephant seals!):

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…and then the giant redwood trees at Big Basin State Park:

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Our next 3 nights were spent in Monterey.  Actually, in the next town, Pacific Grove — a charming little town with a dramatic rocky shoreline.  Mr. T and I are trying to figure out how we can relocate there ASAP!

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We’re nuts for animals (says the person with 5 pets), so of course we adored the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The Aquarium is justifiably well-known for its otters and its penguins, but just about every exhibit was memorable.  For example, the jellyfish were psychedelic:

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And this huge tube of anchovies swimming in a circle was oddly mesmerizing (and tasty!):

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We tried to go whale watching one day — a longtime dream of Mr. T’s — but sadly the boat had to turn back because of HUGE waves in the bay.  But on our way south through Big Sur, we fulfilled one of my own longtime dreams — riding horses on a beach:

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As for Big Sur itself, nothing to say except SPECTACULARLY GORGEOUS!  By the end of the day, we were actually blase about stunning vistas.  (“Oh, hm, another dramatic green cliff dropping into the turquoise sea?  Been there, seen that.”)

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(Bixby Bridge, built in 1932)

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(McWay Falls, in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park — the waterfall path was closed, but there is this dramatic view from the highway above)

There aren’t many many places to stay — at least many affordable ones — in Big Sur, so we overnighted in Cambria, just south of Hearst Castle.  The next day, we toured the Castle itself.  I’m not usually big on “fancy building tours,” but everything from the setting to the house to the decorative details were absolutely amazing.  I’m now fascinated with William Randolph Hearst and can’t wait to read his biography.

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Last stop, L.A.  We didn’t do much city touring, but did spend an afternoon wandering Santa Monica and attended a taping of Real Time with Bill Maher.  (And we finally got to try the famous In-N-Out Burger, but I’ve got to say these outsiders didn’t understand the hype.  DC’s own Five Guys is so much better!!)

In a world with unlimited time and funds, my dream honeymoon might have been Bali or the Greek Isles.  But all in all, we really enjoyed our time in California.  It was beautiful and relaxing, we didn’t have to travel halfway around the world to get there, and it didn’t cost a fortunte.  Which is not to say we can’t go tropical someday, but I’m rather glad we tackled something a bit lower-key just after the wedding….

Is anyone else staying in the US for your honeymoon?

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