Saturday

Moss Landing Marine Lab Open House

Moss Landing Marine Lab Open House
sea anenome by Zoe52     The Moss Landing Marine Lab annual open house is probably one of my favorite events here. The Moss Landing Marine Lab is located in Moss Landing Ca. A few miles North of Monterey. Moss Landing Marine Labs offers a Masters of Marine Science Program for a group of seven California State Universities including the following. California State University Fresno, East Bay, Monterey  Bay, Sacramento, San Francisco, Stanislaus, and San Jose. It is a very hands on learning environment. Students go all over the world to dive and document marine life and biology. So the open house is no different it's a very hands on environment. Everyone gets to touch and feel everything. Not to mention see how these different marine organisms affect your daily lives. Did you know that their is seaweed in ice cream? Neither did I. So, bring your kids out to the Moss Landing Marine Labs Open House they really have something for everyone. For the little ones they have the puppet show made up of current MLML students and faculty and touch tanks full of different sea life with students to explain what they are where they live and often times how their research has seen that particular animal or plant in a new light. So, it's some cutting edge stuff that is really fun for kids of any age and adults as well. This is one of my favorite events they have different things every year it seems. They also serve a lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers. Check out their blog here  http://www.mlmlblog.wordpress.com/ it shows what the students and faculty are up to. This is going to be during the weekend of Sea Otter Classic so if you are in town for the cycling event and looking for something else interesting to check out try the Moss Landing Marine Labs Open house especially if you have kids. If you have ever been to the aquarium but wanted to touch and feel everything and ask as many questions as you wanted this is the place for you.
 sea anenome, a photo by Zoe52 on Flickr.

Sunday

Sea Otter Classic is Coming To Town

It's Sea Otter Classic Time Again
     If you are in the bicycle industry or the local racing scene Sea Otter Classic holds a special place for you. Sea Otter Classic is the place where all of your people come together to see the latest technology or see what that new hot kid put together in his latest jump routine. Or it can be a place where old friends meet every year for a few days of hard racing and catching up about old times not to mention bragging rights until next year if you beat all your friends. 
Racing At Sea Otter Classic
     For many riders this is the race of the year. The whole cycling world is watching so this is where you leave it all out on the course. It's the biggest race with some of the largest purses and biggest bragging rights. Sea Otter is so many different things. It is truly a cycling festival since it's not just a mountain bike race or a roadie race. But, it's everything all at once it's a mountain bike race, a road bike race, dirt jumping and getting huge air or new this year a downhill skateboard race which should be awesome and very well attended.  The different mountain bike events are Downhill, Dual Slalom, Cross Country for road bikes they have Criterium races, Road Races, and Circuit races. Then there is also Cyclocross. So don't forget your CX bike. NO matter what type of racing you are doing you may as well join in the CX fun since the schedule is pretty loose you will have time.
Bring The Kids to Sea Otter Classic
     The Sea Otter Classic is for kids. They have everything for the little ones you can imagine they have kids races they have clinics for kids they have an Easter egg hunt. In the demo zone they have plenty of kids bikes and a lot of really cool obstacles for the kids to ride on. I remember one year my nephew spent the whole day in the demo area just riding obstacles that he had never been on before. Things like dirt jumps and ramps and plywood boxes with ramps going down to jumps etc. Another hit with the kids was the pump track that they built it's a good way for them to learn to work with their bike. So bring your kids and bring their bike and their helmet they will have a blast.
What Are You Doing At Sea Otter Classic?
     As I said above many people are coming for the racing or checking out the latest equipment or getting up close and personal with the up and  coming stars of their sports. But others just come to people watch and see what kind of crazy things people will do or attempt to do on a bike. So what will you be looking forward to at this years Sea Otter Classic. 

Monday

Hwy 1 Closed At Big Sur

Landslides Close Hwy 1 at Big Sur
     Well the recent bad rains we have had here in Monterey County has caused several landslides along Hwy 1 taking parts of the roadway with it. Cal trans is saying that it will be at least a month or so before they Hwy opens again. This almost annual event causes a lot of trouble for the people who live and work in Big Sur as well as the business owners that depend on the tourist traffic. So hopefully they will get this fixed sooner rather than later.
     Race organizers have already stated that this landslide event will not effect the Big Sur International Marathon 2012 the race will go on as planned. I know in the past that they have changed the course and one time they did an out and back run so we will see what comes out of this but at least they have made a statement that the race will go on as planned. Isn't that just an awesome picture could you imagine being there when that piece of earth fell into the ocean. I can just hear my fifth grade teacher saying now class this is erosion.

Saturday

Where To Retire? How About Monterey

Where To Retire?
Where to retire that is a question we all tend to ask ourselves from time to time. For a lot of people they will simply retire in the home they have always lived in and raised their children in. For other people it's an opportunity to move and maybe go to another community and see and live a new lifestyle. Maybe moving from the suburbs where you lived for the good schools and to raise your children but now you want to move into the city where everything is within biking or walking distance.
Retire in Monterey
Retiring in Monterey is something a lot of people dream about doing since they love the lifestyle of the Monterey area and the coast and they have been coming here for years on vacation. Not to mention all the local events and programs that the Monterey area has that you can take advantage of when you are retired. But how to make that dream a reality? Well, now is actually a pretty good time to start on that plan for a couple of reasons. Typically home prices in Monterey are very expensive relative to everywhere else. But, just like everywhere else home prices have fallen dramatically in the last few years due to the housing crisis. Currently you can find homes in Monterey in the $400,000.00 range with some going cheaper and a lot going for a lot more. But, previously those prices were unheard of in Monterey. Also home loan rates are some of the lowest that they have been in recent decades. I know what you are thinking hey I'm not ready to retire yet how do I afford to buy another house even if they are cheaper than they were a few years ago and loan rates are so low?
Rental to Retirement Home
     How about this idea you buy the home now and turn it into a weekly rental. For people or families who just want to spend a week or two at the beach or to come to the AT&T Pro Am tournament. By the way have you seen how much they charge for weekly rentals in Monterey? Typically a one bedroom one bath weekly rental in Monterey rents for about $1100.00 to about $2300.00 a week so that can pay your mortgage on say $450,000 pretty handily if you rent your home an average of about three weeks of the month. Now I know what you are thinking you are thinking I don't want to be a landlord. Nobody does but if you don't want to do this type of thing you can pay a rental management company to do it for you. They will  charge you about  ten percent monthly to manage your property and that will include everything from cleaning to maintenance and everything else so it can be a just be sure to include that cost in your math when you are figuring out your monthly expenses on your property. So every month that goes by you are collecting rent on your home in Monterey that you will use to retire in. Not to mention that if you purchase a home in Monterey to use as a rental when you come into town you will already have a place to stay and not have to book a hotel.  Now some months you will more than make up the mortgage and some months you will be a little short but overall this is a good strategy to help pay for that house that you will live in when you retire in Monterey. That way you can take action to make that idea to retire in Monterey a reality.
What Type of Home to Buy?
The kind of home you buy for your retirement is probably much different than the home you might currently live in. Think about it you probably won't have the kids living at home or all the stuff you currently have so you don't need as much space for just you and your spouse as you do for you your spouse and your children and all their stuff. So you probably don't need four bedrooms two stories and a three car garage and all of the cleaning and maintenance that all of that entails.

Monday

Spend a Day At Point Lobos


Point Lobos is a Natural Treasure of California
 
      I know when you come to Monterey you have a ton of things to see and do on your list. But something that should definitely be added to your list is spending at least a day exploring Point Lobos State Park. It is really one of California’s true Natural Treasures.
·      Hiking at Point Lobos
     Hiking at Point Lobos is a great way to spend a day and it’s really the only way to get around the park and see all the different parts of the park and all the different things Point Lobos has to offer. The trails can be anything from a paved road to a two to four foot wide smooth dirt trail all the way to a watch your step on those big rocks and don’t trip over that tree root kind of trail. So keep that in mind as you hike. The kids love those root and rock infested trails to climb over and around it just makes the day more fun for them. So don’t forget to pick up a trail map when you come into the park or you  can just wing it and follow the  markers it’s not really that hard.
 
What Should You Bring To Point Lobos
·      A Good Attitude
·      A Good  Pair of Hiking Shoes or Boots
·      Sunscreen Especially on Warm Sunny Days
 
·      A Light Windbreaker Even on Warm Sunny Days The Weather Here Changes Frequently With The Fog And Wind Especially out on the More Exposed Points

·      An Appreciation For The Outdoors This is one of California's Premier State Parks Please Appreciate and Treat it With Respect.
·      Cameras and Binoculars You don’t need these things but to see things off in the distance and to have some memories of what you saw they just help out.
 
What To See At Point Lobos State Park
     There  are so many things to see at Point Lobos that you can definitely spend more than a day here easily.  There are Rock formations, the huge rocks on the coast with the big holes or caves that go all the way through them are some of my favorites. Trees like the Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pine Forest. Wildflowers like the Lupine and sage as well as many others. Animals like the Sea Otters and the Sea lions. Not to mention you can see Whales spouting just off the coast. If you are very lucky you may get to even see some deer in the park or a bobcat.

 
Whaler’s Cove and Whaler’s Cabin
 Whalers Cove and Whalers Cabin which was the home of Monterey Whaling and Abalone operations so long ago. Hopefully if you come on a weekend the Whalers Cabin is usually open and a docent will be inside showing what is now a museum. It shows some of the different tools used for whaling and harvesting Abalone but also there is a display on all the movies that were filmed in Point Lobos over the years. There is also a display about the military that was stationed at
Point Lobos during World War II because the US Government feared attack by the Japanese from the Pacific Ocean.
A Nice Day Hike At Point Lobos
A nice day hike that I like to do at Point Lobos is from the park entrance take the Carmelo Meadow Trail to your right. This is a relatively short easy hike and this trail hooks up with the the North Shore Trail at Whaler’s Cove. Turn left when you get to the North Shore Trail you will be walking along Whaler’s Cove. Isn’t it beautiful here? As you walk along you will come to a small wooden cabin that is the Whaler’s cabin. Hopefully it’s open and you can see the displays inside. Continue along the North Shore Trail along all the inlets and little bays. Watch down in these small bays you will probably see Sea Lions and Sea Otters. The Sea Lions are usually laying on a rock in the sun or on the beach and they make a barking noise. So you will hear them from afar. The Sea Otters on the other hand will probably be in the water hooked into the seaweed preening themselves or just playing in the water or eating. Continue on this trail and eventually you will come to the Cypress Grove Trail up through the Allan Memorial Grove. Here is a good place to stop as there is a restroom and water and a kiosk to buy maps or sunscreen or other things you might want or need.  If you are lucky you might find yourself in the middle of a docent led tour here. They are pretty good and you will learn a lot from them and the nice thing is this trail is a loop so if you get tired of staying with the group you can just continue on. Once you go out on the Cypress Grove Trail I like to take the loop counterclockwise so I take the left side. Now when you are above the water look down in that cove below you. You will probably see some
Sea Otters swimming in the middle. Now look out at the ocean about half way between the land and the horizon and closer than you think. Look for water blowing up in the air. If you see it there is a whale spouting and it will be pretty close. Now if you see one chances are there will be several and they only move about five miles per hour so you can watch for a long time and keep seeing them. However the best place to see them is at the end of the trail at a large outcropping where everyone sits and just watches the whales spout. Be careful here though there are no cables and it’s a long way down but the view is amazing. That is one of my favorite places in the whole park sitting on those rocks watching the whales spout.
Parking at Point Lobos
     Parking at Point Lobos gives you really two options you can pay a few dollars and park in the Point Lobos parking lots which does get you a little closer to the attractions. Or the other option is you can park for free on the side of Hwy 1 and walk into the park not a bad way to save a few dollars and it’s what I usually do. Have fun and take lots of pictures. Let me know in the comments about your Point Lobos Trip.
Photo Credits
 http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_tahoe_guy/4553369186/


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