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Bailey and Carlos

Nov 04
Day 32 - Wednesday 4 November – Asian Art Museum

1104AsianArt.jpgWhat a lovely last day of holiday. The sun was shining in San Francisco so we did some hanging outside in the sun, but we spent lots of time in a captivating museum called the Asian Art Museum. It had this fantastic exhibition on the influence of Asian art on Europe and vice versa in the 1800s, especially on the Impressionists. ​​​

Nov 03
Day 31 - Tuesday 3 November – California Coast

1103MontereyCoast.jpgA lovely day for heading north up to San Francisco. But in fact we started the day by heading south to do the 17-mile drive around the Monterey peninsula and further on to Carmel. The coastline is stunning as you can see in this shot around the peninsular.

1103Davenport.jpgAnd this one on the coast on the way north.

1103PaneEVino.jpgA bit of disappointment when we reached San Francisco to find that our favourite Italian restaurant called Bocce has closed down. Fortunately, we found a great local trattoria called Pane e Vino which had just as good food – especially the lovely light ricotta cheesecake you can see.

Nov 02
Day 30 - Monday 2 November – Monterey Aquarium

1102MontereyFishSchool.jpgWell, this was the worst weather day we’ve had. In fact, I’m grateful that I didn’t go for a bike ride with Paddy in the morning because he got absolutely drenched on the last hour of his 3.5-hour bike ride up into the nearby hills. But we were travelling for quite a bit of the day and it pretty much cleared up by the time we got to Monterey, in time to spend the afternoon at the Aquarium. It was very, very well presented with some amazing exhibits. Look at all these fish swarming and dancing around in this tank.

1102MontereyFish.jpgAnd I got up close and personal with this fish too. ​​

Oct 31
Day 28 - Saturday 31 October – Halloween

1031Pool.jpgSo good to be at Jim & Elaine’s home again. It is like our home from home in the United States. We love being here and feel so welcome and happy. One of the highlight is their lovely pool where you can see us hanging out today. Of course, being a spider monkey, I’d rather just sit on the edge rather than get my fur wet, but you can see Ruth, Elaine and Jim enjoying themselves in the water.

1031Rowenna.jpgAs it is Halloween today, I went “trick or treating” with Elaine & Jim’s grand-daughter Rowenna (Hannah and Mike’s little girl).

1031DylansCat.jpgThen we were off to visit Dylan (one of Elaine & Jim’s sons) and his household of cats. Being Halloween, of course I snuggled up to a pure black witch’s cat called Boba. 

Oct 30
Day 27 - Friday 30 October – Kings Canyon National Park

1030KingsCanyonGeneralGrant.jpgMore sequoias today. They are such an awesomely impressive tree – especially for a monkey like me because there are no branches low down to help me climb up. I reckon I’d suffer from vertigo if I climbed to the top anyway. Here is Paddy and me standing in front of General Grant – it may not look that big in the background, but it is actually the second biggest tree in the world by volume – 81.5m high, and 8.8m in diameter. President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed it the "Nation's Christmas Tree" on April 28, 1926.

1030SierraNevadas.jpgIt’s a bit strange up there at the moment. They’ve had huge forest fires which at one time had 3,000 firefighters working to control it, so there are large blackened areas. As well as that there has been a drought for a few years and lots of the trees are starting to die so large patches of brown in the forests. And looking out across the Sierra Nevadas I ask myself “where is the nevada?” Nevada means “snowfall” in Spanish for those of you that don’t know. Reading about it find out that California’s mountains are at a 500-year snow low, as California faces one of its most severe droughts in 100 years – since this April the mountains have got only 5% of their historical average from 1951 to 2000. Global warming or what? 

Oct 29
Day 26 - Thursday 29 October – Sequoia National Park

1029MoroRock.jpgWe headed up to the mountains today – going up from around 400m to 2,700m at the highest point. You can see me looking out to Moro Rock, one of the main attractions. It’s sunny in the picture, but by the time we got up there to climb up it was starting to get covered by cloud.

1029FromMoroRock.jpgBut Paddy and I still climbed it and he took my picture with the Sierra Nevada peaks in the background.

1029GeneralSherman.jpgWe had some lovely walks around the Great Forest which is full of enormous sequoias – the largest trees in the world. You can see me here looking up at General Sherman, the largest tree in the world by volume, with a height of 83.8 meters (275 ft), a diameter of 7.7 m (25 ft), an estimated bole volume of 1,487 m3 (52,513 cu ft), and an estimated age of 2,300–2,700 years. Awe inspiring! 

Oct 28
Day 25 - Wednesday 28 October – Getty Museum

1028GettyGarden.jpgDave was busy today, but Karen was able to take us up to the Getty Museum which Ruth hasn’t visited although Paddy and I have been there before. We had a quick whip round some of the exhibits but the highlight was a tour around the gardens with someone to explain some of the history and thinking around their layout and design. ​​

Oct 27
Day 24 - Tuesday 27 October – Los Angeles

1027DaveAndJean.jpgWe’re spending a couple of days with Dave and Karen, hanging and catching up with them. Changes for them this year with Karen retiring and it seems like Dave has more and more projects on the go so no sign of retirement for him. Jean moved into a lovely small retirement home this year too, so we took the opportunity to visit her. ​​

Oct 26
Day 23 - Monday 26 October – Old San Diego

1026ColdStone.jpgWe had a look around Old San Diego in the morning, and guess what we found! Yes, it was a Cold Stone Creamery, so there was no way we could resist partaking of a little ice cream.

1026SanDiegoBeach.jpgThen we starting moseying up the coast on our way to Los Angeles. We stopped at a few beaches and had a swim. Lovely sandy beaches with warm sun and Pacific breakers. And of course an industrial complex right beside the beach – how did that get planning permission then? 

Oct 25
Day 22 - Sunday 25 October – San Diego Zoo

1025ZooGibbon.jpgI was so keen to visit San Diego Zoo as I’d heard it is one of the best zoos in the world and I was very keen to catch up with some of my friends who I knew would be hanging around there. Here is one of them that I visited – a friendly gibbon who would have much preferred to be sitting beside me but who unfortunately needed to stay in his cage.

1025ZooMix.jpgThe zoo was full of colour, noises and smells, so I had a great time. Even saw some giant pandas and there were some very cute baby gorillas as well as dazzlingly coloured birds. 

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Hi, my name is Sveg, and I'm travelling with the Paynes and writing this blog after Carlos decided to stay behind in Wellington in June 2015. 

About this blog

Ola, mi nombre es Carlos. And I'm the super spider monkey that you can see in all the Payne family adventures since 2011.

Bailey.jpgBailey, the little brown furry dog that you can see in earlier adventures was one of Sarah's favourite dogs who always went on the Payne family travels, until one fateful day he went travelling by himself and he is yet to return.