Wednesday, February 1, 2017

California Road Trip: Monterey!

We arrived in Monterey in late afternoon. After checking into our hotel, our first order of business was finding some dinner. Though we were on Pacific time now, our stomachs were still on Eastern time and the sandwich we had for lunch seemed long ago. It was still quite early for dinner on the West Coast so we searched , and found, a place offering Happy Hour bar bites from 4 to 7 to make into our dinner. (Peter B."s Brewpub) We were hoping to eat outside, and even though it was a chilly evening, all the outside tables were taken. So inside and wings and beer for dinner it was.


Monterey Bay
Peter B,'s Brewpub



Cannery Row

A room with a balcony? I'll take it!





The next morning was a windy one - there were record breaking storms in the Pacific Northwest that day and the ocean was churning. But after waking up to a rainbow, I decided to talk a walk along the bay and see the waves.Mr. UR had work to do so I headed outside for a photo walk. We stayed at the Hotel Intercontinental Clement located next to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium -  which was already bustling with tour buses pulling up that morning -  and right on Cannery Row. I walked along the bay and up and down the street stopping to check out all the waves - and almost got soaked once! They were few people out and about - except at the aquarium. I passed the statue dedicated to those who have had a hand in shaping Monterey, including it's most famous resident John Steinbeck.( Steinbeck authored the book Cannery Row which is set among the fish canneries of Cannery Row in Monterey during the Great Depression)


Morning rainbow


Waves crashing into the building supports









We tossed around a few ideas for what to do that day and decided that we wanted to give kayaking a go. We called Monterey Rentals and they were limiting the rental area but were still renting that day. After lunch we went kayaking. Monterey Rentals uses sit-upon kayaks - my first time with these - and they gave us a short instruction and told us our path and off we went. (Apparently there were 25 foot gales in the ocean that day!) We saw a few harbor seals - and a gazillion sea lions. They were so loud - and funny. They were all sunning themselves on the pier and then would fall off or fall in the water on purpose - and then try to jump back up and not quite make it. Or another sea lion would take their place. Very entertaining.( And a bit intimidating - they were huge!)
Our kayaking area



Those are sea lions layingon the floater dock





After getting our share of exercise for the day, we decided it was time to drive Seventeen Mile Drive. Seventeen Mile Drive is a famous scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the peninsula. Famous landmarks included on the drive include The Lone Cypress and the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course.  You pay a fee to drive - $8.95 per vehicle - at a guard gate which lets you onto the drive. They give you a map and you follow a red-dashed line on the road so you can't get lost. It was crowded at the stops but not so crowded that there was a bottleneck. We had made this drive on our only previous visit to Monterey - and I was surprised how much I remembered. And how much I didn't! We saw a bride and groom taking wedding photos, some very large waves and a rainbow! For those keeping count, that's two rainbows in one day! And of course, the most famous thing to see on 17 Mile Drive is the Lone Cypress. Called one of the most photographed trees in North America and one of the 10 most famous in the world, the Lone Cypress is likely more than 200 years old and grows out of a the rocks along the coast. It is to Monterey what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris - a representation of this coastline.


It was a big wave day


More of those big waves


Pebble Beach Golf Club




The bride and groom



The Lone Cypress


More crashing waves


2nd rainbow of the day







The weather had now taken a turn and it was spitting rain. We decided to take full advantage of the fireplace in our room and have dinner in, watch some of the baseball playoffs on tv and call it a night. Our one day in Monterey was done. Next stop: Big Sur!


This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party and Weekend Travel Inspiration at Albom Adventures!









22 comments:

  1. Did you visit recently? We had really big storms about two weeks ago. I like the the Monterey area a lot. I went like two years ago and was surprised by the beauty of the area. I hope I can visit ago and explore more. I only had one day in Big Sur and one day in Monterey. #TPThursday

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    1. We were there in October - there was rain when we were in Yosemite and Big Sur. And it's when they were having the humongous storms in Oregon and Washington. Hope you make it back to Monterey to explore, Ruth! It's a very cool area.

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  2. Such a shame while you were there, there were some serious storms! Sadly, as a native Californian, I have actually never made it to Monterey! I've always wanted to check it out! I'd like to go home to Cali this year for at least no less than 2 weeks and do a road trip South to North and show my German husband where I grew up and show him more of California. Monterey may just have to go on that list! #Wkendtravelinspiration
    (www.caliglobetrotter.wordpress.com)

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    1. Hope you make get to do your road trip - and make it to Monterey! Ours was just Northern Cal this time - we were there for about 12 days which was still not long enough! Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  3. The coast around Monterey is beautiful. The aquarium is a lot of fun too.

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    1. It is beautiful - and the aquarium is definitely worth a visit. (We went on our previous visit) Always something new to see and do. Thanks for visiting, Rhonda!

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  4. I never understood why Monterey is so proud of inspiring the book Cannery Row, it's a grim collection of stories for what is now a quite lovely place. We need to go back now that we have a young traveler and check out the aquarium. it looks like you had a nice stay. #wkendtravelinspiration

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    1. The aquarium is awesome - and we definitely had a nice stay. Only too short. Would love to explore more, as always! Thanks for visiting!

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  5. I have always loved the name Monterey, and your photos and descriptions are appealing

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    1. It is a pretty name, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by, Paula!

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  6. Monterey is such a beautiful city and one of our favorite areas in CA. The 17 mile drive is just gorgeous and has such spectacular scenery. SOrry you were there with some dark clouds. Glad you still had a wonderful visit.

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    1. It was actually very cool to see the churning ocean, even with the dark clouds. Such a beautiful coastline! Thanks for visiting, Mary!

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  7. Half Moon Bay is so beautiful. And the aquarium is amazing, but a little expensive for a repeat visit. I love the ocean when the waves are really cming in like this. Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

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    1. I love the ocean like that also! I've often thought about renting a cottage on the Oregon or Washington coast in the winter and being a storm watcher. And that was my first time to Half Moon Bay - it is beautiful! Thanks for visiting, Jim!

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  8. When we road tripped the Pacific Coast Highway we skipped Monterrey because we were in a hurry. Wish we had stopped here because I've heard so many good things about it and your pictures definitely prove it. Hope we can do it over again one day. Thanks for the tips on this post!

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    1. There's just never enough time, is there? Hope you make it to Monterey someday! Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  9. We did this road trip so many times before, but every time I go I am surprised by the beauty of the California coast. I love Monterey but I never had bad weather there. I guess I must be lucky. #WeekendTravelInspiration

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    1. Its so beautiful - even in bad weather. I would welcome the opportunity to drive the coast anytime! Thanks for visiting!

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  10. Monterey looks like a peaceful place to unwind but still be able to see amazing scenery like at The Lone Cypress. That looks like a fantastic viewpoint! Pretty cool you got the day started with a rainbow. Clearly another spot to visit on my eventual visit to the USA. #weekendwanderlust

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    1. I would definitely include it on your trip - a very beautiful spot of the US. Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  11. It has been too long since we've been able to spend time in Monterey! Our last time was little more than driving through. Your gorgeous photos have us wanderlusting for a PCH trip and a few days around Monterey! Thanks for sharing.

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