Day 5 – California Trip 2011

I woke up and took a peek out the window.  The Rock Espresso Bar was hoppin’!  I was happy to see it so busy after dude-man worked so hard into the evening the night before.  David and I got dressed and went downstairs to a rather substantial breakfast at Ascot Suites.  After b-fast, we decided to walk down by the bay.  This walk happened to be one of our highlights of our trip!  Each person that we encountered said good morning to us, and we, of course, responded in kind.  The town was adorable and there were so many neat things to see and discover  near the water.  Once again, we got to see (and hear) some sea lions.  They are so cute!

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Here are some other neat things that we saw on our walk:

After our stroll around town, we packed up, checked out and headed down  the road. First thing we did was  drive right up to Morro Rock.  We walked around and and checked that out for a bit, then we began our journey north on PCH1. We intended to go to Hearst Castle next.  We pulled in and parked next to this FABULOUS Maserati.  I literally drooled when I saw it!  

We made our way to the visitor center and quickly dismissed visiting the castle.  It was far from the visitor center (requiring shuttle bus rides) and we realized that 1) it was going to be very expensive and 2) it was going to take most of the day to go on the tour.  We simply didn’t have the time.  So, we saw it from afar and headed back to the car.  This time, when I saw the Maserati, I noticed something peculiar, which I’ll share with you in the below video.

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TOO CUTE!!! 🙂

We next drove down to Hearst’s Pier and walked the length of that.  When the busloads of school children arrived, our pier delight left…and so did we.

We continued the gorgeous drive north on PCH1.  Our next stop was not on the agenda, but was an awesome surprise.  An Elephant Seal Colony!

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While there, another interesting thing we saw was a Bricklin!  An older couple was driving it and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get much of a shot, but here’s what I did get.  Neat gull wing doors, huh?

As we continued on, we saw beautiful views of the coastline.  It was amazing, but our hunger and our need to pee was impeding our ability to enjoy the sites.  There really wasn’t anything out here, so there was no place to stop and relieve ourselves.  We finally came upon the Whale Watcher Cafe.  We literally ran to the restrooms.  Oh NO!  There was someone in the women’s room!  David, being the fabulous husband that he is, told me to go in the men’s room and he would be my lookout.  I LOVE this man!  We had lunch outside with a view of the endless ocean across the street.  

Time to hit the road again! Once again, we drove north on insanely beautiful PCH1. Here are some highlights of what we saw:

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As we approached Monterey, which was our next stop for the evening, David pulled into a park where I was able to get this neat shot of him.  As you can see the sun is starting to get low.  We kept on truckin’ and as soon as we got into Monterey, we immediately did the famous 17-mile Drive at Pebble Beach.  It was a pretty drive through several golf courses, past fancy mansions and through more gorgeous coastline.  One stop was particularly cool.  It was right on the coast and all around where beautiful stacks of rocks.  Of course, I felt compelled to jump out of the car and create my own stack of rocks.  I wonder if it is still standing?  Anyway, we continued on.  We saw more sea lions and birds at Bird Rock.  I didn’t take any pictures of the golf courses.  David and I are not fans of golf anyway.  We were more interested in all the other scenery!  Speaking of which, Pebble Beach’s logo, since 1919, is of a lone Cypress tree.  THIS is that tree!  I have to wonder how it’s doing, because it looked like it was rigged up with wires/ropes holding it in place.  Poor tree.  The sun was going down quickly now and as you can see behind the lone cypress, a “marine layer” was beginning to roll in.  We next stopped at Pescadaro Point, where we watched the sun set through the clouds.

After 17-mile drive, we drove to our hotel, The Mariposa Inn.  It was a cozy place and we had a nice fireplace in our room!  We were so hungry, so we dumped our stuff and headed out to Cannery Row.  We parked in a parking garage for the Intercontinental Hotel.  The garage had special lifts where two cars could be parked, one on top of the other!  I didn’t snap a picture of it, darn it, but it’s exactly as you would imagine it to be.  Not sure if I trust that….

It was SO cold outside and we couldn’t find the restaurant we wanted to go to after walking all over Cannery Row.  We ended up going to The Fish Hopper.  I’m so glad we didn’t find the other place, because we had a DELICIOUS dinner here!  We got seated immediately on their heated porch next to a window with a view.  I was so happy with the view and extremely thankful for the HEAT!  We thawed out and ordered drinks.  I snapped a neat picture….more for artsy fartsy reasons rather than to show you something in particular.  I love this pic!  Soon, our seafood dinners arrived and we were not disappointed.  It was among the best that we had on our whole trip!  Expensive, but totally worth it.  Here’s David’s, which was Macadamia Nut Encrusted Halibut with some kind of sweet potato side…

Mine was a Thai Ginger fish dish with coconut prawns and some of the best asparagus I’ve ever eaten. YUM!

After our din din, we went back to the hotel and pretty much collapsed.  We took crappy showers, as the scald valve was either broken or not calibrated correctly.  Basically, the water ran between cool and warm and required constant adjustments.  UGH!  How can such a nice inn have such a messed up shower?!?  We planned on letting them know so future guests wouldn’t have the same poor experience.  Would the hotel care?  Stay tuned to find out…..

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