Hello Friends and Family,

Pacific Grove

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

During my Nostalgia Tour of Northern California, I could not skip a visit to Pacific Grove. It is certainly true that Monterey, Carmel, and Pebble Beach receive the majority of the accolades but I have always enjoyed the quiet ambiance of this delightful little town sandwiched between Monterey and Pebble Beach. Even this day's marine layer did not diminish the astonishing beauty of this lovely spot. In fact, if I were to chose a coastal California town in which to live, I honestly think that I would put Pacific Grove at the top of the list.

One of the delights here is that most residents are within easy walking distance of the ocean. The pathways along the shoreline are well-planted and well-maintained — leading many residents to take a daily constitutional along the coast. When you are so close to perfection, how can you not enjoy it to the fullest.

Here is an example of an area well landscaped with ice plant, the variety with small succulent leaves and tiny flowers. But oh so colorful!

Rock formations covered with multiple varieties of lichen provide a rich contrast between the flower show on land and the beautiful ocean vista beyond.

Even the spiky leaves of agave provide additional contrast of Nature's beauty for those of us who welcome a variety of flora.

Then when you throw in a little fauna such as the cormorants on the offshore islet, well, life just doesn't get any better than this.

I have long been intrigued by the historic bed and breakfast establishments found in Pacific Grove such as the Green Gables Inn. If you look at their website, you'll see photos of the wonderful traditional decor that attracts the visitor to days of yore. In years past, I have considered staying at one of the fine B&Bs for a short stay but was surprised to find them a bit expensive for my modest budget. But, if you got the dough, these are the places I'd recommend for an unforgettable stay.

Another ocean-front boutique hotel caught my eye, the Martine Inn. I found this interesting tidbit on their website, "Originally the home of the Parke family, of Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals, the Martine Inn features museum-quality antiques in every room, even period-perfect wallpapers. All of the art displayed throughout the Martine Inn is authentic, many in the plein-air tradition."

One of my favorites over the years (viewed from the outside since I have never stayed at one of these fine establishments) is the Seven Gables Inn. Apparently, I am not the only one who feels that way — per their website, "Seven Gables Inn has been designated by American Historic Inns as 'One of the 10 Most Romantic Inns in America'. And voted #2 in the USA Today’s voter poll of the Most Romantic Inns in the US. Each of our boutique hotel accommodations features a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay, CA. Our luxurious rooms include a complimentary Generous Continental Breakfast in Our Oceanfront Dining Room, afternoon wine and cheese featuring wine from local Monterey County, Napa Valley and Carmel, California wineries, complimentary high-speed wireless Internet service and evening turn-down service. Experience for yourself why we’re one of the Top 10 Romantic Inns in America." Gotta put it on the bucket list!

Here is another scenic stretch of Pacific Grove coastline. I think I could sit here all day — so beautiful and relaxing.

Last for today is the huge splash of an open ocean wave hitting the rocks off Ocean View Boulevard. Imagine what the spray would look like when the big waves roll in. Yep, I'm ready to return. I hope you can make it too sometime.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com