Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I have to say it again. I have THE BEST husband! Ladies, feel free to pass this blog along to your guys, but don't tell them where we live. I don't want anyone hunting down Brian. He has set the bar pretty high this time. He planned our anniversary trip to the beach, entirely himself, with a big surprise for me. We had an amazing weekend.

We started out our trip at the car rental place. He had reserved a convertible for our trip. This was the part that I suggested. We usually rent a car for road trips, so I thought it would cool to cruise Highway 1 (the coast highway, which runs right along the beach) with the top down and wind blowing in our hair, reminiscent of the 50's beach movies. Well, we get to the rental place and the person who had last rented the convertible that we were supposed use, never came back. It was a MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE. How cool would it be for a 30-something couple to cruise the beach in a mutang convertibe? So, we didn't get a convertible. Now some people would see this as a bad omen for our trip. Not me, I said, "If this is the only hiccup for this trip, we are in for a great weekend." I am a "glass half full kind of girl." They gave us a nice discount on a full size car, which was just about enough to pay for the gas for the weekend.

We arrive at our hotel prominently located RIGHT ON THE BEACH! The views from the lobby were amazing. I just stood at the window (by the fireplace, because it was a bit chilly) mesmorized, while Brian checked us in. He handed me the room key and dinner vouchers for both nights. He had requested the "romance package." Ooh la la.

Then we went to our room. We had champagne, chocolate truffles and bubble bath confetti. The room was so pretty.

This was the view from the bed!
This was the view from the door.
And if you looked the other way...
We strolled the beach the first day. Then we went to Target (yes, they are everywhere) because Brian forgot his swim suit. We soaked in the hot tub and relaxed. It was amazing after the crazy few week I have had. Then we went to dinner.
This was dinner the first night.
I have had a dream ever since I was in 5th grade and watched Voyage of the Mimi. Why yes, that was Ben Afleck at 13, lol. I have always to go whale watching. I think I was mentioned it on just about every trip to the beach in our 10+ year together. Well, for our anniversary (last Thursday) he gave me the reservations for our whale watching tour. I was SO excited! Sunday morning we boarded the boat for our tour.
While there is no guarantee of seeing whales on any given tour, humpback whales feed in the Monterey Bay on a regular basis. There were people in the bay in kayaks! I told Brian, I would freak out if I were out the in a kayak and a whale spouted near by. They were close enough to get whale snot on them (Sorry about that visual, lol). We were not far out at all when we got our first sighting. Humpback whales! They were close enough the could have been seen from land with binoculars. COOL! They were really hard to get photos of because by the time they spout and you turn your camera to where they were, they were going under again. And you never know when they are going to come back up.
I got several photos like this, just the fin as he going back under.
This is why they are called "humpbacks." They hump their backs as they go under. The tighter the hump usually means they are going for a deeper dive and that they are going to "fluke" their tail up. There are two whale fins in this photo.
Of course, everyone wants to get the fluke picture.
Not bad. Notive the white on this tail? It's like a finger print for a whale. No two are exactly alike.
Killer whales (also known as orcas, such as Shamu) are occasionally seen in the bay, but more often in the deeper waters outside the bay. The tour guide said there is about 15% chance of seeing killer whales this time of year. So, I wasn't getting my hopes up. The seas were very calm on Sunday and she said that increased our chances of seeing killer whales...to about 20%. Still not getting my hopes.
Guess what? Killer whales were spotted by another whale tour boat, so we went out to where they were and got to watch a pod of killer whales. There was on big male and several smaller ones (females? babies? not really sure. Don't really care). These guys were really hard to photograph. Again they are fast, and like the humpbacks, by the time you see them spout, they are going back down. They are recognized by their tall dorsal fin.
I got alot of photos like this as they were going back under.
Here's another, and there a couple in the background.
I love this one!
Here is the pod. I love this one too!
Mental note to self: Next time you are taking the boat ride of a lifetime, remember to charge the battery for your camera. My battery died about halfway through the tour. I did get some good photos and I'm happy for that. I will just have to remember the rest of my whale friends.
This is us on the boat. The last photo before my camera died.
The hotel restaurant provided an awesome view. I took these photos at dinner Sunday night (after charging my camera), of the sunset over the ocean. I just love how the colors changed as the sun went down.

Oh, remember that mustang convertible that we didn't get? Well, this car was at our hotel and seemed to always be parked by us, like it was taunting us. Could it have been the missing mustang? Well, I wouldn't have wanted to come back either.


Aimee said...

Nice!!! I'm jealous of your whale sightings. How fun. WTG, Brian!

nora said...

Sheri and Brian, what a lovely trip! You'll always have those memories... sometimes it's okay to let go of the camera and just live up the experience!! Kudos to you Brian!!

Anonymous said...

How fun!! What a great weekend. And I am such a dork, it never occurred to me that you could go out and see "Shamu" whales in the wild. Very, very cool.

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

Beautiful photos! It's so nice to get away and rejuvenate!

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

Thanks for the post to my site about my son with Asperger's! Really appreciate it!