I had one of those weekends that was just about as close to perfect as possible, for myriad reasons. The rundown:
Started Saturday off with a patio brunch at Angelica's in Redwood City - a new-to-me destination with excellent chilaquiles (my current of-the-moment obsession). Dave and I met Bita and Leia...
...and enjoyed bottomless mimosas and puppy paparazzi-ing for several hours.
From there, we ran a few errands before heading for the East Bay to meet up with Ray for SPORTSBALL! This week's game of choice? The Red Sox-A's game, which was very exciting for Dave and Ray as Chris Sale was pitching.
Little did we know at this point that we were about to witness Sean Manaea's no-hitter...
...although as the game progressed Dave (and the bastion of other Sox fans we were surrounded by) got more and more despondent. Aside: There were SO MANY Boston fans at the Coliseum, which is a total dump...Dave christened it "Fenway West" which made me laugh. A's fans were seriously outnumbered 4-1 in our section (right off the first baseline). It made the defeat feel that much more ignominious!
Post-game, we took Ray back into the city, picked up Dave's cousin Francesca, and ended up having a little mini-beer tasting party at our place - I had picked up a bunch of Russian River sours when Kelsie was in town, and we worked our way through three of them, along with our favorite Alpha Acid IPA.
We hit the road bright and early Sunday morning to head down to Monterey - visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium had long been an item on Francesca's bucket list, and with stunning weather and whale migration season, it seemed like the logical time to go. It's funny just how gorgeous California is as soon as you get out of the Bay Area - not that I don't like it here, but getting to see the rolling hills, fields upon fields of produce, and then the Pacific Coast still blows my mind.
Also blowing my mind? The aquarium! Situated in an old sardine factory in Cannery Row, it's home to thousands of different animals, and is stunningly designed and positioned right on the coast. Personal faves:
THE PUFFINS. I freaked out inordinately when we got there, and we had the most enchanting time watching several of them go completely batty up by the glass for a solid ten-ish minutes. I've been obsessed with them since before we went to Iceland, and this did nothing to lessen that fixation.
Also high on the list of "adorable ocean animals doing adorable things" were the sea otters. We saw them first of all the animals, and I was utterly enchanted by the cutie pies playing with their plastic toys, turning loops, and waving their little paws in the air. Later on, we spotted wild sea otters in the "Open Ocean" area, a protected part of Monterey Bay that is home to many of the species in the aquarium, and I about lost it completely. The little guy had wrapped himself in a kelp leaf like a blanket and was snoozing in the sun, floating around. My heart!!
Eels - total Flotsam and Jetsam moment...and creepy octopuses. I really don't enjoy the way that octopuses move - they really kind of gross me out - but seeing them up close was really neat.
And the jellyfish! We spent way too much time in the jellyfish exhibit and it still didn't feel like long enough. I loved watching the way they floated and marveling at the different kinds in the exhibits - beautifully designed and lit, and utterly mesmerizing.
Also, penguins. Dave and I flipped for them - and I cracked up looking at the lengths he went to in order to get as close as possible to this little preener...
The other pinch-me moment of the day was seeing seal pups and their mothers sunning themselves on the beach under the aquarium, and peeking through an observation spyglass to see wild dolphins frolicking just off the coast. If you would have told me this time last year that I would be seeing actual wild dolphins in the effing Pacific Ocean, I would have marveled...and still do today.
Post-Aquarium, Dave and Francesca made me snap a photo with my boy John Steinbeck - I may or may not have gone on a major nerd tangent as we drove through Salinas and headed to Cannery Row about how studying Steinbeck completely changed my mind on modern American literature, and got me super into migrant stories...
Once I had finished my nerd-freakout, we headed back into adorable downtown Monterey for the most necessary and delicious lunch at Alvarado Street Brewing - which Dave tentatively dubbed his second-favorite California brewery - and then hoofed it back to the Bay. I had a dinner planned with Mick, a dear old friend who I hadn't seen for close to five years, and we had a ball catching up over oysters and cocktails on the roof of the British Banker's Club before heading downstairs for bubbles.
And of course, the cherry on top of a perfect weekend? Royal Baby 3, Prince Angelface McSquishyCheeks, made his debut this morning! Waking up to royal baby texts from my mom and Erin was the perfect way to combat Monday blues - as was spending the first two hours of my workday with the Lindo Wing livefeed up on my second monitor!
Have the happiest week, campers!