The day started with a continuation of an almost from yesterday. Pee Wee was in the room and I was at the continental breakfast when he got through to Alcatraz and they said they had two cancellations for this morning. He rushed down to see if I wanted to take them but by the time he got to me the tickets had been sold. So another near miss on Alcatraz.
We left the San Francisco area and drove down to the scenic Pacific Coast Highway at Monterey. We drove a big chunk of the 17 mile stretch and it really is a great drive. Monterey and Cannery Row was first, then later we stopped at the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and had lunch at a cafe they have looking out over the first hole. The four or five foursomes we watched tee-off were loaded with golfers no better than us, and that's not saying much - I was expecting more. But when we went in the pro-shop it was what I was expecting; men and women from Monterey or Carmel or some other well to do place doing some shopping and never once looking at a price tag. The woman in front of me at the counter spent over $300 on a couple of items and answered yes when she was asked if she wanted it on her account. When it was my turn I told the cashier I would just pay cash for the one golf ball I bought. It's a cool golf ball though - it says Pebble Beach on it.
Then we drove approximately two hours more on the PCH, and it really is an amazing ride. Just when you think you've seen an overlook that could not possibly be topped, God sends you around another curve loaded with his handiwork. I wish we had the time to ride, put out some lawn chairs at a spectacular spot for a few minutes, fold them up and go to the next great panorama, bring the lawn chairs back out, and so on. Maybe some day.
We tried to get to San Simeon in time to tour the Hurst Mansion or Castle or whatever it's called, but we didn't make it. So Sir William Randolph Hurst is going to have to wait until tomorrow while we stay in a cheap hotel in San Simeon. But it's not that bad and we can look out the window and see a full Pacific Ocean view. But we did make it in time to see the elephant seals just a few miles from our hotel which is near Cambria, CA. There was a volunteer guide present by the name of Otis (from Columbus, GA) who educated us about the monster creatures. There had to be 60 or 70 young adult males laying and resting on the beach. The females and older males are out feeding near Alaska and then they all come back to this very area in November and December. The young adults are molting which means shedding their skin. It looked to me like they've got it all figured out. They put in some work, and now they just lie around while they wait for the teenage females to come home. I went back by myself after we had checked in and saw a few of them becoming a bit more active as they bellowed and sparred with each other.
Just one good deed today - we were the first car stopped at a dangerous area on the PCH by a highway worker having to control traffic that needed to be slimmed down to one lane. While he held up his stop sign I got out and asked him how long the wait would be. When he told me it would be 10 to 15 minutes I started to have a conversation with him. He told me he works on a road striping crew and he had been away from home for a few weeks. It was near the end of the day and when I found out he was hungry I gave him some fruit and some water. But I think he liked the conversation the most because he's alone a lot on his job and I could tell he was a little homesick. And guess what - he's not alone. Like always, this trip has been great; we've learned a lot more about our country and have seen some amazing things. But nothing is as amazing as your home and your loved ones and we'll both be glad to be home with loved ones in a few days.