A biweekly feature of my favorite recent reads and photos. Enjoy!
Sorry for the quiet, but we’ve been travelin’! We took a four-day camping trip down in Monterey (about 4 hours south of us). We spent two days in the Monterey Bay Aquarium (and still didn’t see everything), hung out on Cannery Row (touristy and expensive), visited a used bookshop, various farm stands, and the Carmel farmer’s market (wonderful and cheap), looked at some walls surrounding homes that the 1% built to block the scenic coastal view (super annoying), swam in the slightly warmer waters of the Monterey coast (absolutely blissful), ate every meal from a cast iron Dutch oven (easier than it sounds), and slept in our tent on top of a mountain (better than I expected). In short, as perfect a vacation as one could reasonably expect.
The highlight of this trip (and the reason we went in the first place) would have to be the aquarium. I’ve wanted to visit the MBA for years. Generally I avoid zoos and aquariums because they’re just sad places to be; the animals and habitats always look pathetic. I think this is especially true for aquariums, because it’s so challenging to approximate the creatures’ natural habitats. The MBA is the great exception to this rule, being the centerpiece of a vast aquatic preserve along the Monterey coast, at the forefront of preservation and education regarding sea life. And this commitment is evident in their exhibits, which are gorgeously appointed with obviously healthy animals, and the care and enthusiasm that the volunteers and scientists demonstrate in relation to their work, and the various services that the aquarium offers, like their sea otter rescue program, seafood guide and research institute. I especially love that they have a volunteer program for high school students. If you ever have a chance to go there, I can’t recommend it highly enough. We spent over 12 hours there and still couldn’t get enough of it.
Needless to say, all of my photos this week are from this trip. The jellies blew my ever-loving mind, which is why you’ll see a number of them below. (You can see the complete album from our trip here.) (Actually, I just realized that a bunch of pictures are missing. They must have not made it off my phone. Will update later.)
Oh yeah, and I guess I did some reading or whatever.
Nice ideas on summer habits worth building.
Body image issues are rough, but this still needs to be said.
Why wars enable abuses on the home front.
The bizarre world of anti-feminist women.
I love this weird and thoughtful photo series.
A home funeral! It’s in my end-of-life plan.
Let’s get real about homestead finances.
Scary news coming out of pork factory farms. (Shocking, I know.)
And finally, some things I want to cook: Tuna Tartare with Nori Chips, Gluten-free Blueberry Goat Cheese Focaccia, Quinoa & Pea Fritters, Roasted Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeno Cream Sauce, and Blueberry Chocolate Jam.
Have a wonderful week!