As we moved up the California coast last year, Steve was insistent on spending a few days in Monterey. He had been in the area while in the Navy 20 years earlier, and he desperately wanted to visit some of his favorite places.
Our first stop was checking in at the Monterey Naval Base Campground, Monterey Pines, which sits right on the edge of a beautiful golf course. Everything about this Naval Base was beautiful, and it had a sense that it was preserved from decades ago. Most impressive, though, was the Naval Postgraduate Academy Building, which used to be the Del Monte Hotel. Lush greens and a well landscaped lawn surrounded the building, and Navy guys (like my hubby) graced the building in full dress uniform, bringing in a touch of elegance.
The next morning, we headed straight to Steve's chosen destination, the Monterey Aquarium which sits right at the tip of the peninsula into the Pacific Ocean. While I am usually less than enthusiastic about Science stuff, I was so intrigued by all of the displays in this amazing place. The underwater life was simply the most colorful display I'd ever seen, and I was in love from the moment we walked in the doors. Add to that, the otters that were outside gathering for a feeding, and the possibility that whales could be passing by along their ocean route, and I was in awe. Meanwhile, Steve took hundreds of pictures as we went from exhibit to exhibit, working our way through all of the underwater world.
|Images available in my TpT Store in the Images by Luck Category.|
Downtown Monterey is also an incredible experience. The walk from the Aquarium and through Cannery Row is filled with "beachy little stores, pizza parlors, and ice cream shops! And then the 17 Mile Drive is breath-taking with immaculately manicured golf courses and incredible ocean views.
At night, we went to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner, and had such a hard time picking a place to eat. The wharf is filled with seaside restaurants, each offering a taste of Clam Chowder as you pass, making it impossible to make an easy decision. Meanwhile, music performers (and other displays) make the wharf a must see stop when visiting the area.
We ended up eating at a (very) small restaurant overlooking the bay. The back wall was a large window, and the moon came up as we were eating, shining brightly in full form for us to see. But then my attention was diverted as I was served my mean - a dungeoness crab with it's shell (and eyes) still intact. While the crab was delicious, I think I prefer my food served in a less "alive" manner!
On our last morning, we decided to try to play 9 holes of golf. While playing is physically challenging for Steve now, it is mentally frustrating for me. I am not that good to start, so any little problem can throw me way off my game. So, what do I do on the 2nd hole (right in front of the clubhouse)? I hit it right into the sand. Now, keep in mind that I was tired from our late night out, and I am a natural red-head, through and through. That sand never had a chance... And my display of frustration (embarrassing, in retrospect) was a great show for the Groundskeeper, who usually reprimands such behavior, but instead got a good laugh from my flustered, and eventually angry, swings into the sand. As we checked out, he came up to Steve, telling him how he just stood back and laughed as I "put out more sand than he's ever seen, and [he] wasn't going anywhere near that!" Oh my! Time to move on!
Overall, Monterey was amazing. The peninsula is simply untouched by the rush and chaos of the larger California cities and it's natural contribution is beyond words. Just don't go without a shovel!