Coastal Views and Valley Scenes

I mentioned here that I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium four times thus far this year. On one of those trips I decided to document our drive home, mainly because we were stuck in traffic.

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What I like about the drive from Monterey to the East Bay is that you get to see a lot of agricultural/farm scenes; the central valley after all this area is known as the salad bowl of the state, if not the country.

And since the traffic on Highway 1 was barely moving, if at all crawling, we decided to take the first opportunity to escape the highway and enter city streets.

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And because we saw the fields in this area were planted with artichokes, we knew we could only be in one place - Castroville.

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The main drag of Castroville - the artichoke center of the world. They grow a lot of artichokes here.

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Owing to the fact that we were driving rather slowly and the fact that we wanted to see what the little city where once upon a time Marilyn Monroe was the artichoke queen during the artichoke festival - which happens in spring every year - has to offer we spotted a little bbq place. Naturally we pulled over.

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The collection of license plates scored big points with me right away. I like kitschy decor.

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The interior looked tired and almost empty. The former I find quite charming and the latter owed to the time between lunch and dinner.

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They smoke their own bbq - it was good. We got a dinner plate to go.

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This farm is one of my favorite sights in this drive. I never fail to photography this place. It feels so peaceful to me even though it's by the busy freeway.

One reason or another we found ourselves back to the coast, which is dotted with many state beaches. However, I know for a fact that the waters in these parts are very cold, but that doesn't stop people from sunworshipping on the beach even on a hazy, foggy day.

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One of the beaches along Hwy 1.

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The rugged jagged California coast that I find truly splendid.

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Don't know how to get down there.

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Other people knew how to get there.

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And before I put the camera back to its case, I have to photograph the lighthouse. Finally got one that's decent, given that drive by shots don't normally produce a presentable image.

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  1. Terrific captures!!! I do love the ones of that rugged coast line! Breathtaking!! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your weekend!!

  2. Wonderful series of photos ~ Love the magnificent photography of the California coast!

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  3. The California coastline is just gorgeous..And I love the lighthouse.. Lovely images, thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend and happy skywatching!

  4. Fantastic sky and landscapes and I also enjoyed the street shops and scenes.

  5. What a wonderful assortment of images!! I have never seen artichokes growing, so that was a real surprise for me!! I love the lighthouse, and all the beaches!! Looks like you could walk for miles beside the water!

  6. I love the California coast and would like to explore it. Nice shots!

  7. Fabulous scenery and lovely beaches!

  8. One of my fav drives! Hwy-1. And I had never seen how artichokes look on their plants! Lovely post!

  9. Such beautiful photo's and the sights are super. Love that diner.

  10. Oh wow that is so beautiful!! Now I get curious of Hwy-1. ^_^

    Thank you for joining Water World Wednesday

  11. I was interested in the first picture of the vast field of farm land; funny the state is called 'the salad bowl of the state' :-)
    Never tried the 'artichokes', p;)

    BEAUTIFUL coast pictures, my friend.

    Sincerely from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  12. Wow! Beautiful coastline shots.

  13. You make a slow trip beautiful where it would annoy a lot of people. I love that about you ;>)! Of course it helps that you are wending your way slowly through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Thanks for the shares and the (too long ago) memories!

  14. Wow i've always loved your shots on those little visits, and they inform me too. I didn't know that artichokes can be farmed in so wide areas, to give the place the monicker! Amazing.

  15. Love the artichoke shot. Beautiful sea photos too.


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