Thursday, April 12, 2012

Views of Asilomar (image heavy)

Full moon at sunrise over the rooftop of one of the lodge buildings.  The ocean can be seen in the lower left.

Asilomar is a beautiful serene conference center on the California coast.  I took a lot of pictures - the weather was just beautiful.  I wanted to share a few with you.

I was particularly thrilled when I stepped out in the early morning on Friday and saw the full moon was huge and beautiful.  I ran upstairs to my room to get my camera and chased the moon down the path to the beach as I snapped a bunch of shots.

Lots of wild windswept trees and unfortunately, some dead spires.  The rare local pines have been affected by a parasite that was introduced into the area in some firewood a few years ago.  There is a very aggressive effort underway to repopulate these trees that grow nowhere else on earth.  Squint hard and you can see the full moon and ocean again.

Phoebe Hearst Hall.  Like most of the buildings, this was designed in the early 20th century by Julia Morgan, a pioneer of California architecture who designed many famous buildings including Hearst castle.  Phoebe Hearst was William Randolph Hearst's mother and benefactor of Asilomar when it was a YWCA camp.  If you're unfamiliar with William Randolph Hearst, he was a newspaper baron and subject of the movie "Citizen Kane."

 The beautiful porch of the main hall.  I could sit here all day and listen to the ocean and sip wine.  Or make yo-yos.  Or both.  By happy coincidence, they sell wine just inside the door.

 To me, the rustic natural surroundings were incredibly serene.  In the background here you see part of the stone wall of the dining hall.  To complete the rustic atmosphere, there were no televisions or telephones in the guest bedrooms.  It felt great to be completely unplugged for a week.  There was free wifi available in the rooms for those who come to the conference center for business meetings and such.

A wild iris growing near one of the guest buildings.  Love the color.  There were also a lot of Monarch butterflies around because just up the street is Pacific Grove, where over 25,000 Monarchs gather every October during their migration.  I guess a few stick around in the area all year.

Surf, white sand, beautiful dunes.  In the foreground you see the railing for the boardwalk that has been constructed over the dunes to help preserve their vegetation.  It's a beautiful, wild, unique ecosystem.  A short way up the coast I was able to see sea otters playing in the kelp offshore.  Note to self:  buy a telephoto lens!

I even loved the patterns and colors in the debris on the sand.  Hot pink seaweed!

One more shot of that full moon over the ocean at sunrise.  I'll spare you the other hundred pictures I took.

3 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Cheryl said...

I have always wanted to attend a retreat at Asilomar....looks so peaceful there!

Alison said...

I love Asilomar, we go each year for a family reunion, and its fantastic!

Handmade Redhead said...

I love it there! Make me extra excited for my mini vacation in Monterey this weekend! I cant wait to stick my toes in the freezing ocean water!

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