Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Weekend in Monterey

Summed up in one word? Bliss.

Friday night immediately after work I threw together some food, finished packing, and headed out to Livermore. I managed to catch the last 45 minutes of Mr Wonderful's Aikido class, and it was rather impressive. Four guys throwing each other on the ground, over and over and over. The sensei absolutely blew my mind - he's a geek! A glasses-wearing Star Trek nerd. And yet he seemed to throw these huge guys around with no more effort than it would take me to lift a paperback book. Amazing.

After Mr Wonderful's class, we swung by his place so he could take a quick shower and grab his bag. And then we were on the road, shortly after 9 PM. I'd packed a couple of chicken wraps for dinner (sorry no photos for the blog, guys), some caprese salad and a bunch of bottles of water. We made excellent time and got to our hotel by 11 PM. We checked in and collapsed on the ROCK HARD bed. It was awful. We spent the night tossing and turning, and finally just gave up around 6:30 AM and got up.

We had a nice hot breakfast at the Old Monterey Cafe and drove down to Point Lobos. We were nearly there when I realized I'd forgotten my camera! So, we turned around and headed back to the hotel (thankfully everything is so close together that it was only about 10 minutes away), grabbed the camera, and headed back out. We made it to Pt Lobos around 10:30 or so, and hiked around the place for three hours. It was gorgeous - overcast and cool, which was a very nice change from the 100+ weather we'd been getting at home. And we saw baby seals cavorting in the coves, otter playing in the ocean, and deer...up close and personal! I was taking pictures of some deer who were eating nearby, when another doe walked up from a different direction and came within maybe a dozen feet of me. It was pretty amazing. And I was so glad we'd gone back for the camera. ;-)

We headed back to Monterey, and had lunch at a little place on fisherman's wharf. The food was just OK, but the view of the marina was lovely, and Mr Wonderful taught me quite a bit about sailboats. We snuck back to our hotel room for a nap (and...stuff) afterwards, first re-making the bed with the blanket and comforter UNDER the bottom sheet so that there was a little bit more padding for our tired bodies.

After a brief nap and shower, we were ready to hit Carmel. We strolled along Ocean Ave, with its pricey shops and fancy restaurants, and made our way down to the beach. On the way there, we saw a fantastic house. It's my dream house, seriously. One block from the beach, 3000 square feet, gorgeous Spanish villa style, with *two* wrought-iron verandas and a library with a fireplace. And did I mention it was for sale? Yeah, only 6 million dollars. Heh.

We walked along the beach in Carmel at sunset, feeling absolutely relaxed and blissed-out and totally cheesy-cliche romantic. It was awesome. I didn't take any pictures of Carmel, but I've got my memories, and they are absolutely golden.

We ended the day with dinner at Bahama Billy's in Carmel (on the east side of Hwy 1), and it was really fantastic. We weren't super-hungry, but the food was SO good. I had a mango crab bisque and some coconut shrimp, and Mr Wonderful had a kalua pork rice bowl. Thanks to my cousin K for recommending this place - it was definitely a treat!

The next morning we woke early again and headed for Pebble Beach. We did the 17 Mile Drive tour, with Mr Wonderful driving while I tried my best to beat back an allergy attack. I drugged the hell out of myself with Benadryl, but only ended up sleepy and still sneezing. Dammit. We drove back to Monterey for lunch, and had another wonderful meal, this time at the Fish Hopper. The great food made me momentarily feel normal, but then the allergies kicked back in, and the double dose of Benadryl knocked me on my ass (almost literally). We had planned to hit the aquarium but ended up just heading home thanks to my sneeze-fest. Ah well, no vacation is perfect, right? And it gives us a good excuse to go back again soon.

Overall, though, I'd have to say it was a lovely weekend.

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