We woke up to a foggy day in Monterey, but the sun rose to the occasion later and chased the clouds away.
They have done a very good job here preserving their past. And a complex past it is, from its Indian to Spanish to Mexican to American story, which included the Chinese abalone fishermen, the Italian sardine fishermen, the Japanese whale fishermen, to all the other nationalities who saw this place as the home for all their dreams of a better life.
We started with the Museum of Monterey (MOM, of course) and saw some interesting artifacts.
Next the Pacific House Museum, just 20 yards away. The attendant there sniffed and said that he hadn’t been in MOM for years, with the implication that one really shouldn’t bother. His museum was cute, but slight, and we did it all. Lots on the famous who passed through Monterey, like Robert Louis Stevenson (more later) and William Tecumseh Sherman, our old Civil War buddy, before there was a Civil War – just a Mexican one.
And then there is the gorgeous vegetation that is just simply everywhere. Amazing what grows here and how lush it all is. Birds of Paradise? They’re a dime a dozen!
And now a quick tour of some of the many historic buildings which have been carefully preserved. Most of them were closed, as budget cuts in California have hit deeply into state museums and parks. But they were pretty from the outside. Colton Hall is the major civic building wherein the California constitution was drafted, which admitted it to statehood.
Oh, and there is still the house that Sherman was quartered in. Very well-preserved.
The one we really got to see was the hotel dear Robert Louis Stevenson stayed in while he was waiting for his beloved Fanny to get her divorce. While we have also seen his homes in Edinburgh and Saranac Lake, this one was the beneficiary of many wonderful personal items after his death in Samoa.
All in all, a lovely day in a lovely part of the world.