Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

We enjoyed our stay at the Spindrift Hotel on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA. June 24-27. We went to escape the revelers for gay pride weekend where Dolores Park is crammed full of celebrants all weekend.

Our hotel was right in the midst of the tourist laden Cannery Row. John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name made the area famous. Now the end piece is the large Monterey bay Aquarium with a wonderful collection of fish, seals and coral. Speakers and guides make the visit interesting for most. We were there on Monday morning June 27 and the place was packed by noon. Getting there at opening time meant we did not feel too crowded. Whole and partial families walked through the exhibits. Children aplenty stared in wonder at the   30 feet high tanks of fish of all sizes and colors swimming idly around being gazed upon.  I had a feeling of sadness that the fish were in captivity, like the zoo animals.

I did notice that there were many people of color and ethnicity different from baseball games, the opera and symphony.

We walked for a half hour before we went into the aquarium, partly to keep warm on the chilly morning. After an hour in the Aquarium I got quite tired and even bored once we had made a good round the major exhibits. I went for coffee and a bun while Ann pursued her interest in other aspects of the institution.

Many people raved about the feeding of the seals to take place at 11 AM. We stood for 15 minutes to watch a couple of seals surface and chomp on bread and meal. As usual I thought it was highly over-rated. It takes a lot to excite me much less interest me mildly. Ann of course is interested and excited about all things in nature. She is so wonderful that way.

The hotel room 403 had a watery view of the Monterey Bay.  Blue water, sail boats, foggy mornings and sun in the late morning and afternoon. The room was colored in browns, tans and white trims. There was a fireplace, two easy chairs, a footrest in front and a large TV above the fireplace. We never turned on the set. Oh, yes a king sized bed.

I lit the gas-generated fire and had not opened the damper enough and we had a smoke filled room and a noisy alarm excite us. Shane, a bellhop came, opened the windows and shooed the smoke away from the alarm. After a few minutes the smoke diminished and things returned to a smelly smoke normal breathing air.

There is a print in the room with diametric forms that looked like a turkey to me. It was done in browns, dark reds and whites. It was pleasing and provocative to look at, as one could never be sure exactly what it depicted.

Each morning we had a continental breakfast served in the room. It features hard boiled eggs, raisin brain, orange juice a fruit plate with pineapple, melon and berries, coffee, cream milk and some delicious brown moist muffins.

After breakfast we took a walk up and own the three blocks of Cannery Row and we walked a ways together and Ann went on to hike a longer distance.

We were delighted surprised how good the food was right along this touristy walk. In Lalla salads with seafood, at Linguini Louis we had delicious fettuccini with fresh clams in a wine and lemon sauce.  The first night we ate in The Sardine Factory, an old style, very expensive Italian place that is a veteran on the area. I had abalone with way too much creamy sauce all over it. Ann had scallops, which she liked. They pride themselves as having resisted California Cuisine and it showed. Our final dinner was in a take out restaurant with tables. We sat down and had quite good chicken, spinach and cheese dis Panak Paneer.

I loved it that we could walk right out of our hotel into a busy people strewn street with shops and restaurants nearby.


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