Anniversary in Monterey

Monday, October 5, 2015

G and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary last week. We're usually content having a cozy dinner at home by the river, but this year Greg planned a getaway to the place of our first date 16 years ago - kayaking at Elkhorn Slough, at Moss Landing, in Monterey County, California. 

From Wikipedia: 
"Elkhorn Slough is a 7-mile-long tidal slough and estuary on Monterey Bay in Monterey County, California. The community of Moss Landing and the Moss Landing Power Plant are located at the mouth of the slough on the bay."

Back then, I was living in San Francisco, and Greg was living in Coloma, CA. What I remember most is 
1. Having no idea what to wear
2. The sea otters and sea lions swimming so close to our kayaks
3. How cute this kayaker guy is!

The weather in Monterey was perfect- ocean air and just right temperatures.

We had a nice anniversary dinner at the Alvarado Brewery followed by laughs as we walked on the beach. It's a trip to think of our journey together this far. We both feel pretty darn grateful to have each other, and to live the lives that we do. To me, it doesn't seem like marriage is "work", but more of a beautiful design project. Anyway... where was I? Oh yeah, kayaking...

The next morning we headed to Kayak Connection to rent some kayaks and gear for our date. We have kayaks and stand up paddle boards of our own to use, but it didn't make sense for us to travel with them this time, since we'd be coming from Las Vegas. 

Succulents at Kayak Connection

 Before we headed out in our kayaks, Matt had us watch a quick video and then gave us an orientation. He reminded us of the imporance of respecting the marine life and keep a viewing distance of at least 100 feet. He also said that at times, even when you are keeping a distance, a sea otter may swim over and investigate you, even try and climb on your boat- at which time you should very gently use your kayak paddle to "gently shoo" them away from boat. Whaaaaaat?!  Well, I always say G's spirit animal is an otter. Wouldn't you know, I look over and this little guy is wishing G a happy anniversary! 

Anniversary wishes from a sea otter

Then the sea otter decided he might like to hitch a ride on the boat, so he started to climb aboard...
Of course we followed the suggestions given earlier, even though it was hard to not do what my imagination wanted to do, which was to make make that little sea otter my new best friend! Sea otters are a beautiful reminder to be playful together, that's for sure. 

Even though we didn't want our kayak time to end, after a couple of hours and following the tide, we headed back for the shop to return the boats.

If you love birds, sea otters, and sea lions, you will love a day kayaking here. Be sure to check the tides in advance, and give yourself time to get back as the wind comes up. The staff at the shop can help you with the planning.

G's rental boat

Having a spray skirt was nice to have to keep fairly dry. Life jackets are mandatory and they will provide you with them. They have spray skirts too. Having a hat for shade is nice. 

Spray skirt and life jacket. A hat is good to have too.

Vapur water bottle, binoculars, waterproof case, and sunglasses

I brought my collapsible water bottle, binoculars, sunglasses, and waterproof case for my phone. I'd recommend putting a small microfiber cloth in the case to catch drips when you open and close it. You may want to invest in a waterproof case for your phone so you don't have to worry about it. Make sure to clip the case to your boat if you keep it out, above your spray skirt.

As for what to wear, I wore surf shorts and a long sleeve rash guard on top, they are both quick dry and comfortable. I've come a long way in those 16 years, with many multi day river trips with G, I'm happy to say!

We came back to shore with big smiles on our faces! Thank you, Kayak Connection!

I bought a small artwork at the little art gallery next door to remember the dates we had, and will have at Elkhorn Slough.

We then decided to head down the highway to another favorite place, about 35 minutes south, Point Lobos State Park.

It was an amazing anniversary, and we can't wait to do it again. It's my turn to plan the next one, and I'm already thinking of many possible destinations. My oh my, it's amazing how time flies...


Susan said...

Really lovely! I too would have considered (briefly) scratching that little otter on the head!

Kristiana Spaulding said...

Thanks, Susan!
It was hard to take that level of cuteness up close!

Outside Inn said...

Love the photo bomb!

Kristiana Spaulding said...

Thanks! Me too. Two cuties in one photo! 😊