11.10.2009

california - day 4 {monday}

good morning monterey!

monday (btw, this was 10/26/09) i attended the keynote for the conference with my coworker (CW) after we had a bite to eat at pino's "italian" cafe. then we hit the aquarium!

it SO didn't disappoint.

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check out these crazy fish! they were swimming in this large circular tank above our heads and along the wall... swimming... swimming... then WHAM, their jaws would break open.

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very impressive! little pac man fish!

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in the seahorse section, CW noticed that one of the male seahorses had given birth! those little white flecks in the water are thousands of tiny babies.

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here's vincent being eaten by a giant clam.

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while not huge, the aquarium had a lot of really great and close displays. for instance, this little bird was in an aviary and was fluffing itself not 3 ft from me! i almost exploded with excitement over how cute it was.

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for kicks, i may be releasing my nicer photos over time as desktop/iphone wallpapers. i have NO CLUE if anyone would be interested, but i kind of want to set this stuff up anyways to learn how photoshop actions and batch actions work.

after purchasing requisite gifts of stuffed animals for nephews and nieces, we had crepes at the monterey crepe company. "meh." not so fantastic. if you've been to the creperia in ybor, you're golden. the creperia blows the monterey crepe co. out of the water.

CW and i, at this point, really had to get back to the conference, so we booked it back to the conference center where we spent the rest of our day. vincent, however, went to some wineries, if i'm not mistaken, and walked about the wharf.

we all met up later in the afternoon, had some wine in the hotel room and then walked to the wharf to watch the sunset.

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sea lions! vincent had tracked these lazy bums down earlier in the day by following the sounds of their barking. they were still hanging out when we got there, just sleepier.

here we were also accosted by a slightly creepy guy asking us, all low and inviting, if we wanted to get on a boat to see the area. while it would have been nice, 1) we were trying to not go overboard on spending $$ and 2) did i not mention he was creepy?

it was like he said, "hey... guys... psst... wanna come to a party? IT'S IN MY PANTS!"

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after this, i got the others to decide on a restaurant for dinner! i had done a teensy bit of research on restaurant week in monterey and was intrigued by 'fresh cream', partly because it was somewhat french. i have no idea what french cooking is like - all i remember about foodstuffs during my time in paris in high school are delicious street crepes and 1.5 bottles of super cheap shitty wine (followed by the floor and embarrassing photos). (man, remember those days of drinking with NO HANGOVER the next day?! getting old blows.)

also, i had made the call on the crepe company and felt the need to redeem myself in some way by going for a good restaurant.

success! this place was amazing!

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we got a delicious bottle of wine, (one of) my favorites of the trip. also, buying wine at restaurants SUCKS ASS. i'm realizing now that it's better to buy a bottle of $30-40 wine and pay the $12 corking fee rather than buy it at the restaurant's insane markup. effing lame. anyways.

[update: hm, maybe not. i just looked up the year and the 2006 vintage is a bit more expensive than the 2007. the price for the 2006 seems a little more reasonable for what we paid. ignore me. thanks.]

[update: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME?! yes. buy the wine at the store and pay the corking fee. the markup IS insane. jesus effing christ, i mean, i even have a picture right there telling me that we drank the 2007. not the 2006. we drank the "cheaper" 2007 and paid a lot for it. i don't regret it in the least, but now that i know it's delicious, i'll just buy it and bring it! *ahem* i'm a freak, people.]

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our amuse bouche had something with black caviar. it was delicious - that's all i remember.

soup was a cauliflower soup with heirloom tomatoes, olives and dill. SO good for a creamy soup made of a plain white vegetable.

my appetizer was GAMBAS ET SES LEGUMES DANS SON PANIER CROQUANT - ginger plum glazed prawns with asian vegetables in a crispy wonton basket with a sesame vinaigrette.

CW had CHAUSSON DE HOMARD AU DEUX CAVIARS - raviolis of lobster with lobster butter, black and gold caviar. adventurous for a non-seafood eater!

vincent went for the PETITS GALETTE DE CRABE A LA MODE DU CHEF - pacific dungeness crab cakes with a roasted red bell pepper beurre blanc.

here's my entree of alaskan halibut with chive whipped potatoes, sweet onion sauce, cabernet reduction and infused oil.

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vince had loch duart salmon with balsamic butter (can't find the official description) while CW had the BOEUF GRILLE SAUCE MADEIRE ET CHAMPIGNONS DES BOIS - grilled filet mignon and roasted portabellas with truffle madeira sauce.

CW's dessert was incredible! a SAC AU CHOCOLAT - chocolate bag filled with a mocha milkshake and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. our server informed us that many "man" hours went into making this little beauty. it involved a waxed paper bag, melted chocolate and a paintbrush. i loved that you could see the actual folds of the paper bag.

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vince went for the PALETTE DE SORBETS - assortment of fresh fruit sorbets while i tackled the MADAGASCAR VANILLA BRULEE - basically just exceedingly tasty creme brulee with fruit.

this had to be one of the best meals ever. afterward, i was so stuffed! we walked back to the hotel and dropped off CW. still sickeningly full, vince walked with me around the block a few times until we settled at the crown & anchor, conveniently located right across the street from the hotel. we had a drink each and then had to crash. tons of library peeps were still going strong - i felt like such a wuss.

1 comment:

Janine said...

Your pictures are gorgeous. I mean, they are so crisp and clear- it is almost like being there. I really want to take some photography classes so I should get on that ASAP. What am I waiting for?