Saturday, August 11, 2012

California Road Trip Day 3 Monterey and the Unfortunate Incident

Okay, I'm back.  I needed to take some much needed time off from blogging to regroup, spend time with family, refocus grief to fond memories and take some time for me...walking Buddy, reading, some extra sleep and a refocus on diet and supplements in order to regain some semblance of balance, health and well-being.  Let's continue on with our road trip adventure to California.

On the third day we woke up and enjoyed some sunshine by the pool. In the early afternoon we jumped into our SUV and headed to Monterey. We were surprised how much cooler it was closer to the ocean. Considering we live next to Lake Michigan and it is always cooler closer to the lake we should know better but you always imagine that California is sunny and warm year round so you just don't think about an ocean affect.

We started out by walking down Cannery Row. Cannery Row is the waterfront street in the New Monterey section.  It is the site of a number of now-defunct sardine canning factories.  The last cannery closed in 1973. The street name, formerly a nickname for Ocean View Avenue, became official in January 1958 to honor John Steinbeck and his well-known novel Cannery Row.  The street is now full of little shops, restaurants and a large aquarium on the North side.  Sam enjoyed listening to music played by the street bands. The girls loved seeing the seals hanging out in the harbor.

As you walk along the boardwalk you can hear the seals barking which of course Sam enjoyed barking back at them and somehow a few Pirate "arghs" got thrown in too. Boats, seals and pirates...they all go together.

It was a little foggy but there were a few seals that really seemed to want to be photographed. This one was waving to Danielle.


The seals could be found lounging on many of the rocks and swimming throughout the harbor.

Like most of the Mayer boys, Sam likes to keep moving.  He was thrilled with the harbor, seals and boats as long as we kept walking along the boardwalk.  He isn't a let's stop, relax and take in the scenery kind of guy...he's more like...let's keep going...what else is there to see. We did stop to take some pictures along the way.  After all this way our first time hanging out on the Pacific side of the states.

Sam allowed a few pictures to be taken.

And here are a few he took with my camera.

Dave and the girls chilling and a picture of me too although I had to fit myself into the picture or so I thought at the time.

Another picture of Sam chilling by the Pacific.

And then one of my favorite pictures.  Errr...just ignore the child's butt on the rocks next to Brooke's head.

Everything was going great as we walked along Fisherman's Wharf and checked out the shops, people watched and just enjoyed being somewhere new.  We came upon a man with a whole bunch of parrots and various birds at the end of the Wharf.  I brought Sam over to see the birds not realizing that this man's sole purpose in life it seemed was to plop these birds on children and adults for pictures.  I thought Sam would like to see the birds with their vibrant colors and interesting calls at a distance due to the fact that Sam has sensory issues and the thought of a bird with clawed feet sitting on his arm would be the equivalent of a bengal tiger tearing through his skin.  I guess this man (I won't refer to him as a gentleman) has never happened upon on child with sensory issues or for that matter any special needs.  The sequence of events happened quickly but I could have predicted the end before it ever occurred.

We approached cautiously and slowly.  You can already see Sam's beginning descent into distress about the pretty green bird.  I was standing back taking pictures not quite prepared for what was about to happen.

Suddenly the man began to try to put the parrot on Sam and as you can tell Sam was not impressed.  I told the man "I wouldn't do that, he has..." and I never got the next words out before he grabbed Sam's arm.

Plopped the parrot on his arm and in one swift motion...Sam batted the parrot off his arm and to the ground.

I felt sorry for the bird, angry at the man and sad for Sam.  Why would you even attempt putting an animal on a child that is screaming, flailing and showing distress much less grab the child's arm and force the interaction???  I hope the bird was okay...we decided to walk away...quickly.  Well that's 1 for Sam, 0 for the parrot.  Another lesson learned...a child will not suddenly lose their sensory issues when a new experience is forced upon them. YIKES!!

Earlier in the day I had received a text from my son Ben letting me know that one of my best friend's husband had passed away from complications related to cancer.  There is a helplessness that comes with that type of news when you are so far away.  I wanted to be there to comfort my friend, hug her, listen to her and let her know that I cared.  I broke away from our group and dialed her number and while I sat on the rocks watching the Pacific Ocean come and go I added my tears to the tide.  I knew I couldn't be there, but I could listen...I could comfort and I could promise to get together when I got back. As a person who can be eloquent with words it was so difficult for me to find the right words to say and honestly it was difficult for either of us to say much through the magnitude of emotion we were both feeling...her loss and my sadness listening to such a dear friend go through that loss.  We hung up...I prayed and I looked out to the ocean and said "Rest in Peace, over Lisa from above and I will promise to keep her smiling and laughing here on are loved and will be missed.  Goodbye and God be with you."  I dried my tears and headed back to the group and we headed back to our house.  That night we enjoyed the hot tub and the fire pit while making smores.

Take a look at that physique. Probably not the best picture of Sam.

But he was loving that hottub and his hip was probably loving it too!!

Just look at the view we had while sitting in the hottub.  Gorgeous countryside and at night beautiful, peaceful silence except for the occasional animal running by but we didn't mind as we viewed all the stars and thanked God for blessings received, comfort given and lives cherished.  Stay tuned for Day 4 Pismo Beach!!


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful time! I'm jealous! :) When we lived in California, we headed up to Monterey and Carmel several times - it is one of my favorite places! The aquarium is fabulous!

    1. Hey Penny, We had a great time, love that area of California!!