Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Pacific Grove Feast of Lanterns

Well here it is, almost the 100 centenial anniversary of the Pacific Grove Feast of Lanterns. I remember as a kid, we would plant ourselves at Lover's Point, in the sand, with our little white lantern on a stick. When it became dark, there was a parade (that I dont recall seeing too much of) and then fireworks. I never really saw the culteral side, nor did I know of the whole list of activities available.

This year, Im going to SEE IT ALL. And of course, dear Blog, will report with my own unique POV.

What is the FOL? This link to the official website tells the story of 2 lovers kept apart by fate, who are reunited and turn into Monarch Butterflies. The festival celebrates the legend quite well, and there is even a Queen Topaz contest, plays and a re-enactment of the Legend.
:D How exciting! I cant wait!
And there's is a site that contains pictures and more pictures of previous Feasts. There are a few "broken links" here, but if you stay in the picture section I think youll be ok.

Friday, July 22, 2005


77 Great Hikes Journal

In the beginning... June

For some reason, I have caught a bug - its the Big Sur hiking bug. Im flush with the fever! This is around June/July.

I recently purchased a book called "77 Great Hikes" by Robert Stone - get it, get it??? listing all these local little day-hikes, which some I knew about and some that are new to moi. In this section of my Blog, Ill chronical my adventures, organised under each hike number, and Ill try to put a date or something.

hikes 65-69 - sample

First I started with a little "taste" of Andrew Molera, which is the largest park here in this area.
According to Mr. Pebble, er, I mean Mr. Stone (who doesnt have a website by the way), this park is the largest park in the Big Sur state park system, at over 4,,800 acres (no not 5,000), and over 15 trails. I walked past the ranger station, where there is a really nice clean bathroom, and took the Creamery trail. lots of people are walking this area, and there are some that are campers, some randome walkers/bikers and some that are barbquers. I crossed a stream on a wavy bridge. For some reason, I felt like it was a "haunted trail" - was it because it was late afternoon? the cloudy sky with dark clouds? The wind creaking through the trees, making them squeak and squeal and moan? All of the above?

I have done some of the walks in Garland Ranch, most of the ones in Point Lobos, and many in Toro Park. So I feel like I am good to go. Ill use this section of my Blog to chronical all the cool places to hike in this area and all the things that are around this time of my experiences and my point of provide you with entertainment.

Hike #59 Sobranes ocean (west side)
This one is sweet - its flat and easy, right on the ocean and there are a few really great "zen places" to go and just have a great THINK. I came to the trailhead and took the right side pathway, which according to the tip given to me by a local at the photography shop, is where I get to see the "secret waterfalls" that no one typically fnds. I saw crashing waves, lovers intertwined on rocks, little streams, and a drainpipe carrying water under the highway. It was nice!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Thats a spicy Meat-a-ball!

Well things are looking pretty darn good for this butterfly. Myself and my fellow BFG are going to Vito's restaurant tonight at 8, where the men are men and the women are appreciated.

I have spent several hours dancing the night away with Mr. Vito, and lets just say he knows how to "cut the rug"!!!

Check out this review, and I'll tell you what happens during my dining experience. I dont know If I can clear my plate, however.


(That Night) Well I arrived with my GF, who was wearing a skirt up to here with legs up to there, and we were recieved warmly. And dare I continue? Vito's little girl A*, recieved us. At about 8 or so, and 3 1/2 feet, she greets us at the door like a little oompa loompa man. Except shes very bent on her "tasks". We must be seated. Whether or not we enjoy the experience is not her concern - we will be seated, so we can eat and pay our check and leave a tip. Its very simple.

Well, the waittress took over and it was much more pleasant. An hour of girl-talk, and then we were joined by the owner, his little boy A* and A*. They are both gymnasts headed for Olympic gold, and I was bullied into paying my check quickly so that I could leave, both by my accomplice and the "helper".

What ever happened to "girlpower"?

The restaurant - its ina strip mall in PAcific Grove, off of Forest, and it has a giant Mural of Sicily (I think) on one wall, and a fireplace next to it. Other than that it is a room with tables and chairs, in a strip mall.
The People - mostly locals, and retourning guests. Everyone is jovial and happy, and they range in age from 25-65. All YUPPIES. You have to at least have a job (or 2) to be able to afford the meals (at a minimum plate cost of $15.00).
The Food - we shared a few appetizers, starting with the Ceasar salad. (it was good - but I like lemon. There was no lemon.) Next we tried the manila clams in broth - we didnt like that too much...but the next one was "aaaahhhhh". Melt-in-your-mouth Gnocci with a red sauce (you cant get two sauces in one dish to try them - its all of one or the other, BTW), which is the house specialty. Then Calamari cutletts, breaded thickly and spiced. Those were really really good too. But back to the gnocci! We never did get "free refills" on our empty plates.
After dinner fun - After the calamari we were offered a dessert by the owner to try - a Special homemade Tiramisu, with a secret recipe (RUM! OOps) - it melts in your mouth its so moist, and has a little "punch" of sweetness.

So, alls well that ends well - it was a pleasnt if short evening out with the GF.

love - your favorite butterfly girl

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Oh say can you see (through the fog)

My first Independance day in Monterey! I guess that I can celebrate Independence because Im still single. But thats a conversation for another time/day/century.

- I spent it with a local Italian family, watching a parade in downtown Old Monterey. The lady was a little upset because she was typically invited and this year, someone's boyfriend was driving the car instead.

Passing right near our noses were restored cars, mayors waving, and then of course bands playing the star-spangled banner (which always brings a tear to my eye).

After the excitement of the local parade, I joined a large party on a renovated party boat in the middle of the bay, with fireworks popping over my head and the fog dense in the sky (typical!). It was a family affair, so my friend, his young son, a hord of multi-aged kids, and the few adults converged on the roof to light our own 'crackers and watch the city of Monterey show its stuff. Which was a good thing because this year Salinas had nothing to offer. (see articles explaining the ins and outs of why - its too complex and depressing to explain here)



This year, prior to the fourth of July, I began my weekend with a family reunion in Cayucos. One big eat-fest is what it was. People came from near and far - "some came from Swtzerland, and some came in motorcars". We began with a small dinnner at aunt M*'s house, eating cheese and drinking chmpaigne, then Saturday was the big she-bang under tents and tables in an apple orchard. Home-made apple pie ala mode . (yum!) Barb-q-ed meats of all kinds. Cookies and cakes. Wow. All this in a cayucos backyard.

The night after the big party, I cackled while my crazy cousin J* drove us on a "Mr Toads Wild ride" through foggy wooded canyons to an even wilder little bar called the "Saloon". I laughed until I cried -both ways.

The Saloon was crammed to the top with people, all dancing to a mix of hard rock and country - everyone was wild with the excitement of impending illegal fireworks. Including the Portagees that hovered near my two lovely cousins. One gave me a smack on my rear and a comment that he could "do some nasty sh!t to my A$$". I sense a redundancy here. I think I smacked him right back. He was only 6 feet 2 inches tall. Sitting down.

I left the next day after breakfast. It was short and sweet. Plus I had big plans for my first fourth of July in Monterey Bay. (see next blog)

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