Getting to Monterey Hello, Pacific!

Lodging: Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey, CA

Food: Hilton Garden Inn's Restaurant

After several long days of driving, we wanted to go somewhere nearby and relaxing. Monterey, CA fit the bill.

First things first, though. Our hotel in Folsom was situated very close to (if not in) an outlet mall. I had a gift card to use, so we spent more time than we'd intended shopping.

Even with a late start, we took the long way around to avoid city traffic. We had a quick picnic at San Luis Recreation Area.

A lovely respite.

See the white caps on the reservoir? Yeah. It was windy. So windy, we decided to eat in the car after four rescue missions for the lid to the cooler.

Back on the road to Monterey, we stumbled upon a fruitstand hyping cherries. We're total suckers for cherries, even if southern California's aren't that great. They were <strong>$6</strong> a container! Oy. We bought them anyway.

Imagine our ire when a few miles down the road (and several fruit-stands later) we came upon one selling them for $1 a basket! We stopped, bought those, and they were better! Lesson learned.

See! I wasn't lying.

A short while later we were at Monterey and driving around the peninsula.

It's so much prettier than these photographs indicate!

We got almost to <a href="http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/lighthouse/default.htm">Point Pinos Lighthouse</a> before turning around to find our hotel.

Isn't that fine? The pacific ocean, a balcony, and a bottle of wine?

Since I was a little girl, I thought Jaws 3-D was filmed at The Monterey Aquarium. I looked for a video of the scene unsuccessfully, but hopefully some of you will remember that scene where the people are wandering around an elaborate, underwater tunnel system before the angry shark attacks. I believed, I swear, that those tunnels were at The Monterey Aquarium, and that I could finally get to go in them.

Grotesque, I know. I watched a movie about people getting attacked in an underwater tunnel, and I've wanted to go through those underwater tunnels ever since.

Regardless, my childhood fantasy was just that, a fantasy. The Monterey Aquarium does not have such an exhibition. In my disappointed state, I opted not to go. Once you've been to Sea World, can anything else compare?

PLUS! As it turns out, the Orlando Sea World, the one I've visited most often, is the one where Jaws 3-D was filmed.

It took us awhile to figure out how to find the hotel, and a very nice man at the Hilton Garden Inn basically stayed on the phone with us until we arrived. When we did find it, we discovered we had been upgraded to a large 1-bedroom unit with half a kitchen, large living room, dining area, and balcony.

Just the spot to open one of our bottles from Pahrump Valley Winery, sit back, and relax. We'd done a lot in a very short period of time.

Being too tired to go to Fisherman's Wharf and fight for parking, we decided to eat at the hotel, which turned out to be very good. The true selling point were the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_sanddab">Sand Dabs</a> on the menu. Mom had only ever heard of Sand Dabs, never had a chance to try them.

In the morning, we'd figure out what to do next.

Created By
Meredith Rendall
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