I got to go to Monterey, CA, where we visited Cannery Row, and the Monterey Aquarium. The above quick sketch was drawn while waiting for my travel partner. The aquarium is amazing, and I really liked the way it integrated all of its tanks (indoor and outdoor) into one big building/facility. Best setup I've seen for an aquarium. The variety of sea life was astounding. The dolphin above was hanging from the tall ceiling, keeping company to a lot of other models, including whales and sharks of all types.
While in Cannery Row, there were lots of literary references all over the place (John Steinbeck), and I could recall scenery from stories and movies (pretty much the same effect that San Francisco's cityscape can evoke). The sketch below was drawn while having a quick coffee, as we walked the streets of downtown Monterey.
Huge seagulls were everywhere, and the architecture of the buildings around was great to look at. It reminded me so much of depression era factories, as seen in so many movies. The town was gorgeous.
The weekend before that (sorry for the sequence jump :) ) I visited San Francisco proper. Dropped by the Cartoon Art Museum, where I gazed at the original art from many awesome cartoon masters. It was almost a religious experience to be able to catch sight of some construction lines for some iconic characters, in their original rough forms. As well, I was able to see some of my online friends work at the museum store. Overwhelmed by the great books and comics there.
I went on the obligatory ferry ride, picking Sausalito, just to walk a bit, and take in the scenery. On the way there, we passed Alcatraz, and got a great view of the harbor, as you would expect. The sketch to the right was finished before I realized how sea-sick I was getting from keeping my sight inside the ship. Lots of tourists, and bicycle riders aboard, as well as locals, and visitors. This chap seemed used to the whole thing, reading his book in peace.
On the way back, on the ferry, there was a delay getting off the ship. I was able to catch a couple happily passing the time in conversation. The droves of bicycle riders walking their mounts off the ship was enough for this quick sketch.
My last weekend was spent going back to San Francisco. This time, the Museum of Asian Art was one of our goals. There was a Bali exhibition in full swing, and my class-mate, being from that region of the world, proved to be a way better guide than the "audio tour" gadget included in the price of admission. We got to see art and artifacts from all of Asia. A Balinese music and dance show wowed our senses. The gentleman in the quick sketch to the right was hard at work making "offerings" along with other Balinese exhibitors in the main room. I also went to the original "China Town" in San Francisco. That was an experience. Street music, shops, tea houses, restaurants, and an incredible cultural show surrounded us.
As my work related training was heating up for the last week, there was little chance to sketch. The last day in training was capped by the course test, which made me nervous, being the culmination of the my purpose for being there. It was on the same day I would fly home, so most of the time that week was spent preparing for that day. We shared dinner with the group that last night, and I spent most of the night packing, including the extra suitcase I had to buy to carry all the souvenirs back home with me.
A couple of sketches from the trip back home. A lady (extreme left) in the plane, falling asleep in our late flight, as we waited for take off clearance (delayed a bit). Also one of the runway crew I happened to spy out the plane's window. They appear to like to wear this type of head gear for some reason.
Los Angeles, at night, with all the fog over the city, looked like it was a gold and silver embroidered cloth laid out below us. At the airport, with some time in my hands, waiting for the flight to San Juan, I stopped at a Chili's Express to have a little snack, and a good-night Margarita. A family sitting nearby provided sketch subjects for me.
And finally, waiting for my long flight home at the gate, I caught this lady reading, and isolating herself from the troves of folks milling about. LAX is probably one of the biggest airports I've been to. The amount of people travelling was overwhelming. Most folks are hooked up to their portable gadgets, or reading. Then again, the noise is always a bother, so I don't blame them, as I too was "hooked" to my "portable gadget" (my sketchbook).