Is One Day Off Really a Vacation?

I earned every ounce I gained while I was in California for business. I began the trip well enough with mostly fast food salads during the work week, but then we found ourselves in Monterey on Friday night—how sad is that?  We were staying at the Hyatt, which looks like they are doing a remodel with mid-century modern touches. This was emphasized by the cool jazz group playing in the lobby bar the nights we were there.  (Any time the band uses drum brushes on the trap set, I’m a happy girl!)

TusCa restaurant at the hotel had a flat bread with Tenderloin Tips, Gorgonzola Sauce, Candied Onions, Fresh Arugula that was good –tender pieces of beef, just enough sauce and onions to leave you wanting a bit more—so  yummy and we split one with some salad.

Saturday, we did winetasting in Monterey.  We did hit the pier, but just down and back.  Seafood restaurants lined each side of the pier, and (as we’d been told/warned by the concierge) nearly every one gave samples of clam chowder, which Philip compared and I avoided. Like many tourist districts, the pier was mostly restaurants, bars, cheap silver and souvenirs that I just don’t go for.  We walked to the end, and back, then drove to another touristy part of Monterey, Cannery Row, where we found more what we had come to find in Monterey—Central Coast California wines.

We shared a tasting at Carmel Ridge Winery Tasting Room, and they suggested we also try A Taste of Monterey – Wine Market & Bistro, as they offer selections from across the region.  We climbed the stairs to the second level and where we split a tasting of their wines of the day.  They have a great view of the water so we ordered some small plates.  We had a window view of the bay, wine, food and no place else to be. There were not a lot of people eating, so no rush to change out the table, so we had a long, leisurely time, talking and watching the people and the waves. We had a great  time!

Sunday, we got up a little late, grabbed a cappuccino at Peet’s in town for breakfast, then drove the 17 mile drive through Pebble Beach, which was interesting enough and gave us a chance to see the Monterey area seaside.  We did an exploratory drive through Carmel, but didn’t stop. That will have to be another trip.  We stopped at a funky little house converted into The Corkscrew Café, where we shared a salad and split a burger—and since we don’t usually have burgers this was a treat.  The waiter had a small and stylized handlebar mustache that looked great on him and made me smile.  I meant to tell him how well he wore it but didn’t.  I suspect he doesn’t care what I think of his mustache, but it is always nice when people compliment Philip’s look (he has been wearing a variation of a Van Dyke lately and gets a lot of compliments).

We drove the rest of the way toward our destination intermittently slowing to glacier speeds.  At one point, the traffic was so bad for so long that our Garmin said “Do you want to convert to Pedestrian Mode”?” (No, we want the traffic to speed up!)  We finally got to our hotel, to prep for meetings the next day.


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