Kayking Up Close To Humpback Whales

A Kayaker kayaking in the Monterey Bay got up close and personal with a couple of Humpback whales that were breaching the surface while feeding. This is not the first time that these whales have come so close to kayakers however this one was actually caught by a photographer. Paul Schraub was shooting photos for the Santa Cruz Tourism bureau. The photographer didn't even realize there was a kayak in the frame until he got home and saw the pictures later. As for the kayaker he had the sight and ride of his life and he's got picture of it.
     Wildlife officials recommend that you don't get this close to the animals in the bay but what do you do when they get this close to you. Well, hopefully if that happens someone will be there to take a picture.


The Moss Landing Marine Lab

Moss Landing Marine Lab- MLML
     The Moss Landing Marine Lab is located in Moss Landing California a few short miles from Monterey. The Moss Landing Marine Labs administers a Masters of Science program for a group of seven Universities is Northern and Central California. Moss Landing Marine Lab is known for it's in the field hands on Marine science research. It's location on the Monterey Bay certainly helps with that but if you look at their website and blog you will see that MLML students are doing research in all areas of the Monterey Bay and the four corners of the world for that matter.
MLML is known as a leader in the Marine Science field so if that is what you would like to pursue there is no better place to get hands on research training than here at Moss Landing Marine Lab. They have the instructors and the equipment and the support you will need to get you through this difficult but challenging Masters in marine science program. If you are considering this program you might take the time to come over to the MLML open house they have it once a year and it's open to the public and all the students show the public what kind of projects they are working on for the year. Pretty informative. There's even a puppet show.

The Monterey College of Law

The Monterey College of Law
     The Monterey College of Law is located next to California State University Monterey Bay. So it's in a beutifull location here on the central coast. If you are thinking of becoming a lawyer and would like to possibly live on the Monterey Bay while you are studying you should definitley consider the Monterey College of Law. For one they have small classes approximately 40 students and relatively low tuition for law school. Not to mention the fact that many MCL students are able to keep a job while going to school so this helps with that tuition. The classes are taught by many local and nationally known attorneys who are experts in their field. So as you are getting your law school applications sent out send one to the Monterey College of Law.

The Naval Postgraduate Shool

The Naval Postgraduate School- NPS
     The Naval Postgraduate School or NPS is a very unique institution of learning in Monterey. To get in you have to either be in the military or a foreign military or a state, local or federal government employee. The Naval Postgraduate School has many of the same programs as many Universities with an emphasis on the hard sciences and applied research as opposed to theoretical research. One of their better known programs is MOVES Modeling Virtual Environments and Simulation. This program helps to build better training for our soldiers in the field.
     The Naval Postgraduate School does a lot of applied research primarily directed to our military efforts however so much of that is also adaptable to the civilian sector. So this research helps all of us not just the military community. If you fit the criteria to enroll at NPS you should really look into it.

The Defense Language Institute

The Defense Language Institute- DLI
     The Defense Language Institute DLI is a very unique shool it is where our soldiers are taught the languages and the customs and cultures of people around the world. It is a college like no other in the Monterey area. As the students entire job is to learn a new language and custom of a chosen country or region. So if you see a couple of guys or girls walking around town speaking Chinese or Russian then either they are Chinese or Russian or they may just be students at DLI practicing their language skills. For a while it seemed a shirt that was popular with DLI students was I'm learning Russian so you don't have to.
     A typical day for a student at DLI is seven hours of language training and a couple hours of homework each night five days a week. So it's a pretty intense program. So if you are in the military and want to learn a language and a new culture DLI is the place for you to go.

University of California at Santa Cruz

University of California at Santa Cruz- UCSC
     University of California at Santa Cruz is located in Santa Cruz California. This is about colleges around Monterey so I couldn't leave out UCSC as they are leaders in many of their fields. If you are looking to attend a UC school on the Central Coast then UCSC is the choice for you. What does Santa Cruz have to offer? Well, a different vibe than Monterey. A warmer climate, as with CSUMB its got good surfing and good mountain biking all around. Not to mention UC Santa Cruz has been around for a very long time so they have a history and traditions that a new school such as CSUMB is still building up to. UCSC is known for their research and researchers and for their school mascot the Banana Slug. Which is a huge slug about 10 -12 inches long that you find in the Santa Cruz mountains.
     The degree programs offered at UCSC are many and varied and all of them are top notch programs that are often leaders in their field. Some examples are. Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Computer Science and Game Design, Economics and Film and Digital Media. This is just a small sample of the coursework that is offed at UCSC.

California State University Monterey Bay

California State University Monterey Bay- CSUMB
     CSUMB is a college in the California State University system it's located on land that was previously a sprawling military base known as Ft. Ord. There are still many signs of the distant past around campus from old deteriorating buildings all the way down to the street names. However this in my opinion would be a great place to go to school. You are minutes away from some of the best mountain biking in the country on Ft. Ord public lands and you are minutes away from some good surf spots at the many beaches around Monterey County.
     CSUMB offers many BA and BS degree programs in many varied fields including Biology, Environmental Science Technology, Global Studies, Psychology, as well as many more. They also offer  several minor programs in Chicano Studies, Computer Science, Outdoor Recreation, and Sports Management as well as several more.They also offer  several graduate degree programs.
     California State University Monterey Bay to me is the whole package it's got good programs in a beautiful setting with the things I like to do just outside my door.

Monterey Peninsula College

Monterey Peninsula College
     The Monterey Peninsula College is one of the colleges in the California Community College system. Monterey Peninsula College is located at 980 Fremont St Monterey Ca 93940.
     As a community college MPC is able to offer many different certificate programs as well as classes towards your AA degree or classes so that you can transfer to a four year college or university. One of the good things about a community college is the cost savings over a four year college or university.
Monterey Peninsula College Programs of Note
Monterey Peninsula college is well known for some of their programs most notably their very successfull and always full nursing program. So if you would like to go to MPC for nursing apply early and apply often it's that full. Also they have a Firefighter academy, a Police Officer academy and a Public Safety Academy.

Monterey Colleges and Universities

Monterey Colleges and Universities
     If you are thinking of attending one of the many choices of Monterey Colleges or Universities your choices are many. There is a very diverse mix of schools offering many different options for your coursework here in Monterey and what more beautiful place to spend your years in school than here on the Central Coast of California.  There is everything here from simple certificate programs or AA degrees  at Monterey Peninsula College to a 4 year BA or BS degree at CSU Monterey Bay  or get a degree at UC  Santa Cruz or the programs for the military. If your in the military and want to get a degree The  Defense Language Institute or Naval Postgraduate School is for you. Or if you have all ready done your undergrad work and want to get your masters or PhD in Marine Science then there is the Moss Landing Marine Lab an extensive marine science lab program to teach you how to do marine research. Or if you would like to become a lawyer the Monterey College of Law is the place for you.
     So as you can see if you want to come to Monterey for College there are many choices for you here. It's simply a matter of where you are in your college career and where you want to go with your studies. It could be a matter of starting out at MPC and transferring to CSUMB or UCSC and then going to Montery College of Law or the Moss Landing Marine Lab or whatever you would like to do or you may only make a stop at one of those places along the way it's your college career.


Big Sur Food And Wine

The Big Sur Food and Wine Festival
     The Big Sur Food and Wine Festival is coming soon in November. This is one of the premier food and wine events in the country. It showcases the local restaurants  and wineries and helps to promote Big Sur as a culinary destination. So come out in November and celebrate everything that is Big Sur. The Wine the food the people. Not to mention that this event is for charity so you can feel good that your donations are going to worthwhile causes in the Big Sur area.
Big Sur Food and Wine What To See and Do

Thursday Nov. 3rd
Gateway to Big Sur at Highlands Inn in Carmel from 6-9 pm. There will be ten different chefs and twenty different wineries at this event at the Highlands Inn in Carmel. Afterwords there will be a silent auction.

Friday Nov. 4th
Hiking with Stemware will be an event on a private property in Big Sur so this will definitely be a treat. The hike will feature wines from Byron Kosuge and foods from a local guest chef. There will be a choice of hikes from easy to hard so it's up to you whichever you choose.

Pinot Walkabout at the Henry Miller Library noon to 3 pm this event will feature 30 winemakers and several local cheesmakers.

Hiking With Stemware the Rancho Rico Experience This event is from 2 to 9pm and will feature wines from Chappellet Vineyards and an intimate dinner experience after in a local barn. This sells out so get your tickets.

Wine and Swine at the Henry Miller Library 6 to 9pm. This event will feature four preparations of wild pig prepared by local chefs. This event is followed by music and dancing the night away at the same location from 9pm on. So don't forget your dancing shoes.

Saturday Nov. 5th

L'Aventure Retrospective at the Big Sur Lodge 11am to 12:30 PM. Stephan Aseo will offer a vertical tasting of his great wines.

Grand Public Tasting at the Henry Miller Library noon to 3:30 PM.  Experience the wines of 40 wineries and the food of 12 different chefs. This event is followed by a silent auction, I'm sure there is something there for you to bid on.

Dinner With Friends A Gala Dinner at Ventana Inn and Spa 6:30PM onwards. This event will feature the food of Ventanas chef Truman Jones and several guest chefs. Not to mention the many wines for the event.  Get your tickets to this event space is limited.

This is a wonderful event in Big Sur and the Food and Wine industry so come out and enjoy it and donate to charity. get your tickets at Big Sur Food and Wine Tickets at Eventbrite.

Central Coast Cyclocross 2011

Central Coast Cyclocross 2011
     The Central Coast Cyclocross series is under way. So if you are looking for a race and are new to the area you have come to the right place. Here is the schedule.

Race 1 Sat Sept. 10 at Ft. Ord
Race 2 Sat Sept. 24 at Ft. Ord
Race 3 Sun Oct. 09 at Manzanita Park Prunedale
Race 4 Sun Oct. 16 at Manzanita Park Prunedale
Race 5 Sat  Oct 22 Toro Park
Race 6 Sun Nov. 06 Manzanita Park Prunedale
District Championships Dec. 04 Toro Park
Series Final Sun. Jan. 15 Ft. Ord

So, there you have the race series a couple races are already under our belts come on out and check out the racing or bring your bike and spend a morning racing. There is always a kids race at noon so bring the family.
Directions To the parks
Directions To Ft. Ord- Take the Lightfighter Drive exit off Hwy 1 just North of Seaside,
continue straight through two stop lights.
At the third stop light turn right onto Gen. Jim Moore Boulevard take Gen. Jim Moore Boulevard for one quarter mile.
At the first stoplight turn left on Gigling rd. Go straight on Gigling for 1 mile. After one mile on Gigling you come to a stop sign go straight and follow the CCCX race signs to parking 2.5 miles ahead. Note You must drive 25 mph or less the roads are very narrow it's important to drive slowly anywhere on the former Ft. Ord base.

Directions to Toro Park- From Hwy 1 in Monterey take Hwy 68 East towards Salinas for 11 miles to Toro Park. Stay on Hwy 68 east past Laguna Seca to Portola Drive. Exit Portola Drive, Toro Park is on the right side as you exit Portola drive then just look for the signs.

Directions to Manzanita Park- Take Hwy 101 to Prunedale which is North of Salinas and South of Gilroy. Take the San Miguel Canyon Rd. Exit off Hwy. 101 Take San Miguel Canyon Rd. 3/4 of a mile and turn left on Castroville Blvd. Take Castroville Blvd. 3/4 mile and turn left into Manzanita park.
These directions should get you to the races also check out CCCX series pages.

Visit Monterey In Fall

Pumpkin pileup by Valerie Everett
Pumpkin pileup, a photo by Valerie Everett on Flickr.
Visit Monterey In The Fall 
     Fall is one of the best times to visit Monterey. The reason for that is it's almost like our summer time. The temperatures raise a little and the fog comes in a little later. Not to mention you get to see the color in the trees. Nothing like the beautiful displays you will see on the east coast but hey they will do. 
The Best Thing About Monterey In The Fall
     The best thing about visiting Monterey in the fall is that the crowds are gone. You heard that right the crowds are gone. So if you are one of those people that don't like huge crowds and all the traffic and stuff that surrounds crowds you should visit Monterey in Fall. Fall is that time between the big tourist seasons in Monterey of Summer and Christmas times so everything kind of dies down a little bit. Some benefits of that are that you will get a cheaper hotel rate even at the Hotels near the MontereyMonterey Bay Aquarium. You will get to see the Sea Otters up close at the  Monterey Bay Aquarium and you won't have to wait for a table by the window at your favorite restaurant in Monterey. All of this is especially true if you come during the week since the kids are in school everyone stays out of Monterey. However if you happen to come on a beautiful fall weekend with high temperatures then you can expect a lot of people on weekend trips from the bay area and beyond. But, during the week it will quiet back down and you will only be dealing with the locals again. So if you can get away for a few days during the week this fall plan a trip to Monterey and avoid the crowds.

Check out the Job Board

     For those of you in the market for a job and who isn't these days I've added a job board in the right margin, so play around with it search your area and see if you can find a job or a better job for you or a friend. You can search by keywords and cities  for jobs. So it works pretty well give it a try.
     On the other hand if you are an employer and have some jobs to list you can do that as well. You can list your jobs on here and they will appear on any website that has a simply hired widget on the site as well as the full simply hired jobs board. 


Cheap Hotels in Monterey Ca

Less Expensive Hotels in Monterey

You can find quite a few hotels in Monterey and the surrounding areas that are less expensive than what you would find right on the coast with an ocean view. Sure they will not be ocean view but sometimes you just need a nice place to put your head for the night that's not going to cost you an arm and a leg. These less expensive Monterey hotels listed below fit the bill perfectly. Let's face it we don't come to a place like Monterey to spend all of our time or money for that matter in our hotel room. These hotels may not be on the beach but Monterey is not that large of a city so even if they are a little bit inland or on Munras Ave. down by Del Monte Shopping Center which is a very nice mall as several of these hotels are you are not that far from all the attractions of Monterey like the Aquarium, the Wharf, and Dennis the Menace Park.
Hotels Under 100 dollars a Night in Monterey
I'm sure you can find something for yourself or your family on this list. 
 Cheap Monterey hotels
Hotel Super 8      Average nightly rate  $59.00

  Hotel Ramada       Average nightly rate $53.54

 Best Western Hotel               Average nightly rate $89.99
 Days Inn Hotel Hotel    Average nightly rate $55.00

Monterey Bay Lodge               Average nightly rate $ 70.00

  I will earn a few dollars from the hotel room sale or you can book the room directly by booking through the hotel itself by clicking on the links to the actual hotels above. I would try both the link and the actual hotel link and see who will give you the best deal.
Top Beach Destinations     So, there you have it my list of five pretty cheap hotels in Monterey for a weekend getaway that won't break the bank.  Or just a place for the relatives to stay over the holidays so they don't have to stay on your couch again. As you can see all of these are average nightly rates of  less than $100.00 and most under $70.00 so there is something in every ones price range I'm sure. If you would rather you can try one of my Hotels near the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They will cost a little more but you will be closer to the beach and the view will be nicer.