Three weeks ago today I jetted off 3,000 miles across the country to California. Until then the furthest west I had ever been in the continental U.S. was Chicago. But after three flights and 10 hours of total travel time, I touched down in Monterey – what an exciting moment!
I woke up that Saturday morning to the sunrise on the east coast, flew over the patchwork quilt that makes up this great country, and was blessed to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean on the west coast on the same day. Sunrise, sunset all in one day – moments to remember.
Once I got settled at the hotel, I decided to stretch my legs after my long day traveling in a cramped and freezing airplane. I walked over one block and there it was, the beautiful Monterey Bay. All the sailboats lined up in the harbor like soldiers in formation. The water was a deep blue and it was sunny and warm. The sounds of the water, seabirds flying overhead, and the distant barks of grumpy sea lions echoed off the shore.
Before I knew it I had walked nearly two miles down to Cannery Row, now the location of some unique shops and restaurants. I passed by the Monterey Canning Company and the Steinbeck Museum. As I turned to walk back to the hotel, the sun began to set over the bay. The world became quiet as the bay was colored orange and gold – what a spectacular moment!
As mentioned in a previous post, I was attending a work conference and so in my off time I explored the area a little more. I made sure to catch the sunrise and the sunset every day while in California. Back home we just don’t get to see the sunset over the vast and beautiful Pacific Ocean so I wasn’t going to miss my chances while I had them.
While in Monterey I made sure to make a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium – supposedly one of the best in the country. This aquarium is doing outstanding work for conservation and research. Housed inside were some of the largest tanks I have ever seen filled with all sorts of interesting and unique creatures. Among my favorites were the very active and playful sea otters (so cute), the Kelp Forest aquarium, and the sharks seen in the Outer Bay exhibits – lots of fun moments.
Aside from one overcast day, the weather was beautiful with temperatures around 70 and a gentle breeze off the water. But even the overcast day was beautiful. The varying shades of grays and blues allowed me to see the bay in a different light. Instead of the clouds overshadowing or depressing the scenery, it simply took it all to a different level of beauty. As I walked the shore on this particular day, I thought to myself about how this scene mirrors life. Many times I feel like things aren’t going right or I feel sad or upset. The clouds of life set in and invade my thoughts with negativity. But after seeing this remarkable day, it made me think, life is beautiful all of the time no matter what we are going through or where we are. We just have to seek out the value of each and every situation, be thankful for our blessings and we will find the grace and beauty of each and every moment.