The MPCC folks always plan an extra event for the earlier arrivals while the rest of the folks are still enroute. We have done a visit to Laguna Seca with laps around the course and last time a visit to the Elkhorn Slough Nature Reserve in the Moss Landing area. This year they planned a private tour of the Monterey Zoo, which is a smaller cousin to Out of Africa in Camp Verde, AZ. The zoo is actually located in Salinas, so 60 cars charged out of the parking lot at 9:30 (all wanted to be first, of course!) and headed out Hwy 68 east for 16 miles.
Not all of the COTV group showed an interest in visiting the animals, so it was Glenores, Stevens and Webers again. The Pages, Stedfields and Res preferred a later start to their day and thought they would do the guided afternoon run at 2pm. Unfortunately, that was cancelled so they had a day to complete registration and do their own thing.
Our guide at the Zoo was Richard who introduced us to many of the smaller species in the older part where the caged areas are still smaller. We met Ed the Hyena, the warthogs, the marmosets, the various foxes, smaller cats, rodents like the porcupine, etc. We made a brief visit to the elephants and met Butch, the older male, whose best friend is a zebra who follows him around. Then we went up to OZ, the much newer section with large new habitats for the Siberian tigers, the African lions and the Black Bears. Our final stop was back with Butch to whom we fed handfuls of carrots. When Rob had given him carrots and then wanted to photograph his trunk up close, he reminded Rob that he was only there for more carrots.
Should you so choose, you can rent a bungalow in the zoo area and they will bring the animals to meet you. The elephant will even bring you your breakfast.
We ended up with a quiet afternoon before we move on to the Happy Hour here at the hotel. Doug and Marilyn have chosen to play a card came, Red Nines, and the rest of us are heading out for dinner at Tarpy’s Restaurant in the old Ventana Winery buildings.
Ten of us enjoyed a dinner in the private room at Tarpy’s, a California cuisine restaurant situated in an old stone building. You can order almost anything and they are very flexible about adding or subtracting items like prawns, scallops, etc. While Daryl and Denise each had a beat salad, there were no other duplicates on the table. Having the private room meant that we could talk as much and as loudly as we chose as well, so it was a very enjoyable evening.