Dillon Beach

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I thought it would be a nice day for a little trip to Dillon Beach. You know, to shake off the holidays a little and prepare ourselves to get back into the routine next week. It was cold but bright and sunny out and it has been way too long since I've been to the ocean. It was beautiful! My photos don't really do it justice. I only had my little point and shoot. There were some die hard surfers out and although the waves were not steller, I had to admire them for their commitment! Seagulls are always fun to watch for some reason. I'm always fascinated at how they ride the air currents and how they don't seem to be afraid of people. One seagull captured a poor crab who's unlucky day it was. The seagull guarded his prize with gusto against the other seagulls and though interested, none tried to interfere. Equally fascinating were the birds with the really long beaks (what are they called?) that stuck their beaks in the sand looking for treats every time the waves receded. 

Dillon Beach is really not far from where I live, so I will have to make time to visit every so often, especially when the weather gets a little warmer. 

My Weekend in Monterey

 This is one of the beautiful quotes on the wall at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

This is one of the beautiful quotes on the wall at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

This weekend I did something I don't normally do. I spent a weekend away by myself. I needed some recalibrating, some rejuvenating. I needed a break. As artists, (as anybody) it's important to fill your well. We can't expect ourselves to be healthy and well and do good work if we're running on empty. I spent a wonderful couple of days at Asilomar in Pacific Grove. It is absolutely gorgeous. Part forest, part ocean beach, all stunningly rustic and lovely. The first time I visited here, several years ago, I felt that my soul had come home. So, this is where I wanted to recalibrate. I felt the same this time. A home away from home. I knew it would be good for me to be by the ocean, it always is. :)

The first day, I stopped off in Monterey to visit the Aquarium. I've always wanted to see it and I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. {I'm saying "yes" to opportunities that come my way like this. Especially if it requires courage, getting out of my comfort zone, doing something new, or doing something that I don't normally do.} The Aquarium did not disappoint! There are wonderful exhibits showcasing the unique sea life on the Monterey Bay Peninsula. I found myself just sitting in a couple of places in the darkened room just watching the fish swim in their giant tanks, mesmerized by the swimming and swaying, fascinated by the variation in sea life. By far, the best exhibit was the Jellies, which unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any shots of since my battery had died by then. You'll have to go see it for yourself! It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. All the jelly fish are in large tanks with black light so that you can see their beautiful colors (did you know that jelly fish came in a array of colors? I didn't either). Some of them are so tiny and practically invisible that you wouldn't be able to see them at all if it weren't for the black light. Here are some of the shots that I was able to get:

 One happy sea lion.

One happy sea lion.

 I wish I could remember what this is called. I'm terrible at remembering names of things!

I wish I could remember what this is called. I'm terrible at remembering names of things!

 Aren't these incredible?!

Aren't these incredible?!

My time at Asilomar gave me time to reflect, take long walks on the beach, drink tea in the lodge by the fireplace while I wrote in my journal and most importantly, rest. As per my m.o., I planned to "get more things done" than I had time for. But this time, I said "yes" to rest because by the afternoon of the first day, it was clear that I was exhausted. So, I took the opportunity to feel nurtured by resting in such a serene place. Here are a few more photos:

 There are many black tailed deer roaming the property and vicinity.

There are many black tailed deer roaming the property and vicinity.

 Sunset

Sunset

 The dunes are home to a number of plants that thrive in the sandy environment. You can even take a self-guided audio tour.

The dunes are home to a number of plants that thrive in the sandy environment. You can even take a self-guided audio tour.