Our morning started out rough. We were all exhausted from our busy week and my bad ankle was swelling for all our walking around. We weren’t able to make it to Hearst Castle so we decided to get an early start to Monterey. Before leaving we had breakfast at the hotel, nothing fancy, eggs and bacon for mom and I and French toast for Alicia. We showered and packed and were on the road by 9:30am.
Highway 1 is the road that goes along the Pacific Ocean all the way up the coast. I guess it’s pretty rare for Highway 1 to be completely open but we were lucky today as the only closure in our way had opened up this past week. We didn’t have to be in Monterey until 4pm so we made a few stops along the way. We had read at the hotel that Elephant Seals come to San Simian beaches often but according to the calendar the hotel had they were gone till July. Even though we knew this we stopped at the spot to take some scenic pictures and we lucked out with a bunch of Elephant Seals hanging out during their molting. I took a ton of pictures of them. Actually, I took a ton of pictures of everything today.
As we drove up Hwy 1 it was easy to see why it closed to often. It is a very winding road and their are mountains on one side and ocean on the other. We could see the spots where landslides have occurred and there was a lot of construction work being done on it. Some of it seemed to be for repairs from previous slides and some for prevention. We made several stops along Hwy 1 and I took all these great pictures.
When we pulled into Big Sur everything was beautiful! No ocean view but lots of greenery. We decided to fill up on gas and stopped at a “Mini Chevron”. This place was adorable and frightening at the same time…
The price of cuteness is about $5 a gallon
By the time we reached Monterey is was about 12:30pm, we called the hotel to see if we could get an early check in to drop off our things and luckily our room was ready. There was nothing fancy about the room, it was nice but not outstanding. The view from the room however, A-freaking-mazing!
So we drooled over the view for a bit and then decided it was time for lunch. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf and looked around a bit. The Wharf was pretty cool. All kinds of things to do. We stopped at a shop and bought some souvenirs. I found a restaurant online called “The Fisherman’s Grotto” that claimed to have the best clam chowder in the world so we decided to try it.
The clam chowder was pretty damn good and so was the bread basket they give to every table. People have told me that sourdough bread is better by the coast and I didn’t think anything of it until tonight but wow- it’s pretty amazing. We also has some roasted garlic to put on bread and since I’m a huge garlic fan that was great. I ordered a cold crab sandwich that consisted of a huge pile of fresh crab meat on sourdough bread with just a little mayo. It was awesome! The best crab I’ve ever had! It was so fresh tasting. My mom ordered lobster which was way bigger than anything you could get at home for the same price. Alicia had a burger that looked pretty good too.
Shops at the Wharf
After our big lunch we made our way back to the car and decided to take the “17 Mile Drive”. 17 Mile Drive is basically a stretch of toll road that goes on for 17 miles. When you go in the gate you get a map that tells you about points of interest on the drive. It’s pretty nice because each of the points is pointed out with signs. I took a ton of pictures as usual!
The drive took a little over an hour then we headed back to our hotel. We basically stared at the gorgeous sunset and relaxed with some pizza from the hotel.
We plan on going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium tomorrow morning and then to head in the direction of home. Mom wants to stop at the Vacaville outlet stores and then maybe stay in Grass Valley for the night before heading home. I’ll let you know!
Now, I am going to bed to the sound of the waves crashing outside my window. Goodnight!