Monterey and surrounding areas

We arrived in Monterey California on January 3rd and checked into the Monterey Pines Rv Campground run by the Naval Postgraduate School.  They have 38 sites with 30 sites having full hookups, picnic table and grills.  They also have a laundry which pleases me greatly.  Never realized how hard these were to find.  They have a beautiful golf course that is open to the public and very busy even at this time of the year.  They also have a pro shop, snack bar and golf store.  We are in site 18 and enjoying our stay very much.  On our first day here we went to Old Fort Ord – most of the base is closed but the commisary and exchange are still open, so we went grocery shopping.  Had a quick lunch at burger king and then back home.  I must say I hate to see bases closed – they look so run down and deserted.

The Monterey area has to be one of the prettiest in the world.  It is a city situated about 75 miles south of San Francisco and 275 miles north of LA.  It sits on the Pacific ocean – loads of movies have been filmed here and John Steinbeck wrote novels about the area.  It is really pretty.  We walked around Cannery Row – this used to be canneries year ago but now they have shops, restaurants, hotels, gallaries and bars.  When we came here over 32 years ago it was deserted – nothing here – they have done a wonderful job and it is really neat.  We looked in the shops and had a nice relaxing lunch – we then took a walk on Coast Guard Pier.  Tim used to come here years ago and scuba dive while Susan and I watched the sea lions and sea otters.  This area used to be a big open field – now they have a pier with boats, buildings and a parking lot and a nice little park.  We did get to see some sea lions but no sea otters.  We sat for awhile and just watched the water.  As you all know by now we love the water – guess being in the Navy and Coast Guard explains that I guess.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on Route 1 was another destation.   We camped here many years ago and loved it so that we had to go back.  It is a beautiful park and the drive down route 1 to get there is worth millions.  The hills, mountains, water hitting the rocks is just breathtaking.  We parked at the parking lot and took a nice long hike thru the redwoods to a 60 foot high waterfall which was very pretty.  I really had to push myself climbing the mountain but when I got to the top it was like I was a new person.  I could breathe so much better and felt just wonderful.  Thanks Tim for giving me that little push to keep going.  The view was spectular and I felt like I was on  top of the world.  Nothing was higher than us.  What a view – saw the ocean from the Valley view.  If you ever get here please take the hike – well worth it.   Being out of shape and smoking for sooo many years really took their toll on this body.  I am working on getting back in shape – its been 4 1/2 years since I quit smoking so it is time to get in shape.  Always something to work on that is hard work. 

After leaving the park we stopped at Big Sur River Inn and Restaurant for lunch.  We had a nice lunch – very relaxing and very good food.  We then started riding north and stopped at Point Lobas State Reserve.  When Francis McComas saw this area he said “it is the greatest meeting of land and water in the world.”  He was not kidding – it is just beautiful.  The view, the surf hitting the cliffs, the walk to the edge of the hills – everything about it was superb.  The only bad part was it was really windy the day we were there – think we will return on a calmer day to enjoy it more. 

Amanda, Tim and Josh came to visit us one Saturday and we took the 17 mile drive.  This is the famous drive that was created in 1881 to take the guest of the Del Monte Hotel for a carriage ride into the Del Monte Forest.  Today you do it by car – costs $9 but worth the money.  You can stop and visit the beaches, golf at the famous golf courses (Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Spyglass) shop or eat.  We just rode and stopped at the beach and walked around.  Josh really enjoyed climbing on the rocks – plus him and I ran to the water and got our feet soaked by a wave that hit us unexpectly.  We had a very nice time and then came back here and I made dinner.  They then left to go home – we enjoyed the day with them very much.

We took a ride to Carmel one day and saw all the little shops – wow what a place to shop.  So glad that I live in such a little house – cannot buy anything – no room.  We then went to the beach for a walk.  Never walked down a huge hill of sand  to get to the beach – that was easy but quite hard to climb back up.  Really different – you really got a workout as sand is hard to walk in to begin with.

Today was laundry day – also got to talk to my son-in-law on the phone which I enjoyed.  Talked to Emily also – she is such a sweet girl – always so happy and delightful to talk to.  Susan was not home so Sue I will talk to you soon.  Also missed talking to Julia.

On Friday was Joshua’s 12th birthday so Tim and I drove to their house for the day.  We went bowling and had a nice chicken dinner that Amanda cooked.  After cake we drove back home.  Long day but nice to get to see him on his day especially. 

We will be going to the Monterey Bay  Aquarium probably on Tuesday.  Looking forward to that – heard that it is really an interesting place to visit. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week – enjoy life to the fullest.