Sea Bean and Beachcomber’s Festival

Glass Floats at Sea Bean Festival

Beachcombing Treasures at Sea Bean Festival

Polished Sea Coconuts at Sea Bean Festival

Jewelry at Sea Bean Festival

The International Sea Bean and Beachcomber’s Festival is held every Fall in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  People come from all over the world to talk about everything that washes onto the beach (including sea beans, sea glass, seashells, fishing floats, and even plastic toys).  Special lectures in the past have been given by oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Dr. Beachcomb.  The displays at the festival are always interesting.  Particularly fun is the “show-and-tell” among participants about the beach treasures they’ve found the past year.  More info is at:

Florida Beach Surprise: Plastic Pigs at Sebastian Inlet

Sebastian Beach, Florida

Sebastian Beach, Florida

Beachcombing Find: White Piggy Bank from Cuba

Beachcombing Find: White Piggy Bank from Cuba

Beachcombing Find: Blue Piggy Bank from Guatemala (looking right)

Beachcombing Find: Blue Piggy Bank from Guatemala (looking right)

Beachcombing Find: Blue Piggy Bank from Guatemala (looking left)

Beachcombing Find: Blue Piggy Bank from Guatemala (looking left)

Sea Pigs Poster

Sea Pigs Poster

June 2, 2012

Last Fall we found a white piggy bank washed in near Sebastian Inlet. After cleaning, the pig’s cute features became visible – she has little flowers, hearts, and horseshoes on her body, a barrette on her head, and a smile on her face. So adorable! Even more impressive is her journey. I got the complete story from Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer at the Sea Bean Festival. This little pig probably floated away from Cuba around 1993-1994. She likely spent many years in the Sargasso Sea, before riding an ocean current to Sebastian Inlet.  Imagine her journey – she must have bobbed on the waves past sea turtles, fish, and dolphins!  Everything at the beach has its own special story.

Update:  December 16, 2012

We found another plastic piggy bank washed in near Sebastian Inlet!  This new pig is blue and is from Guatemala (according to writing on the bottom that says Codeplasa).  He has a soccer ball with stars on one side, and a baseball with stars on the other.  He is also wearing a sports hat.  Apparently he has been riding the waves for quite some time, because his little ears and feet all have fish bites on them!

A link to newsletters that contain a history of plastic pigs that have washed onto beaches throughout the Caribbean,  Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic is at:  [select Vol. 8(3): Dec 2002 and Vol. 10(1): May 2004].   Or just click on the link below (and once again) to see a copy of those newsletters and an Instagram post in December 2017 about a blue plastic pig that washed onto a beach in Oahu, Hawaii.

Click Here for Sea Pig Articles



San Francisco: Japanese Tea Garden

Entrance to Japanese Tea Garden

Temple Gate at Japanese Tea Garden

Buddhist Pagoda at Japanese Tea Garden

Cloud-Pruned Tree and Stone Lantern at Japanese Tea Garden

Blooming Cherry Tree at Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.  It is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.  Makoto Hagiwara ran the garden from 1895 to 1942.  He served the first modern fortune cookie in America at the Tea Garden in the 1890s or early 1900s.  More info is at:

San Francisco: Conservatory of Flowers

Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco

Conservatory of Flowers Building Close-Up

Conservatory of Flowers “Flower Clock”

Conservatory of Flowers High-Altitude Orchid

The Conservatory of Flowers is located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.  The building is the oldest Victorian greenhouse in North America.  It was built in 1878 and is modeled after the Palm House at London’s Kew Gardens.  Of special interest is the Conservatory’s rare collection of high-altitude orchids. 

Santa Cruz Lighthouse and World’s First Surfing Museum

Santa Cruz Lighthouse is Home to the World’s First Surfing Museum

Surfing Museum Entrance

Surfboard Display at Surfing Museum

1960’s Photograph at Surfing Museum

The Santa Cruz Lighthouse is located at the north end of Monterey Bay.  It was in service from 1870-1948, and had a steady red light to warn mariners of danger.  The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1967, and it is now home to the world’s first Surfing Museum.  The Surfing Museum contains surfboards, photographs, and other memorabilia.  It overlooks “Steamer Lane”, a world class surfing hot spot that was dedicated as a World Surfing Reserve in April 2012.   The earliest surfboards were made of redwood.  The wooden boards could be up to 12 feet long, and weigh over 100 pounds!

Our Best Video of the Golden Gate Bridge and Fog (time lapse 10X speed)

Since today is the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, here is our best video of the Golden Gate Bridge and fog.  The original 6 1/2 minute video has been speeded up to play in 39 seconds.  Enjoy!

Solvang: Danish Fun near Santa Barbara

Solvang Windmill

Solvang Stork Nest on Roof Top for Good Luck

Solvang Danish Bakery

Unique Solvang Clock

Unique Solvang Clock

Solvang (which means “sunny fields”) is located north of Santa Barbara. The town is a replica of a Danish village, and celebrated its 100th birthday in 2011. The main crops in the area are wine grapes and strawberries. Several windmills are found throughout town, and replica stork nests decorate the roof tops for good luck.  We especially enjoyed the authentic Danish bakeries in the village. The pastries were the best we’ve ever had!

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