We left Malibu during the fiercest storm of the season, and drove to Clovis, California to see long time friends. We crossed the notorious grapevine in torrential rains and high winds, and the number of wrecks we passed were a constant reminder not to get distracted. I was not bored for a second and loved the challenge of driving in these conditions. As we neared Bakersfield, started to see orchard after orchard of blossoming trees. I remembered that 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in this area, and was able to confirm that these beautiful orchards were in fact almond trees. The white blossomed trees were almond trees, and the pink blossomed were pistachio trees.

The next morning, the sun was out, and we headed west towards the coast to the seaside town of Monterey. We passed through miles and miles of orchards, so just had to stop and take photographs. As we neared the coast, we saw verdant green rolling hills, dotted with leafless trees with trunks darkened from the rain. A blue, blue lake provided sharp constrast against all that green. Just lovely. The rain started again as we neared the coast and the wind was blowing with force, making the sea turbulent and uninviting with large angry looking waves crashing on the beaches.

It was not easy doing something outdoors, so once we checked into our hotel, we went to a museum that had hundreds of Salvador Dali’s art – not a bad way to spend the rest of the day.

Fun fact:  It takes 1.1 gallons of water or 5 litres to produce a single almond.  I would say that the farmers in this area are very happy to see the rain after the drought of so many years.cl-101cl-102cl-105cl-106cl-107cl-111

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