Rainy day driving from Santa Rosa to Seaside (adjacent to Monterey), but no problems.
Stopped at the Monterey Visitor Center where we saw black coots on the lawn, then checked into our AirBNB [1571 Luxton Street, Seaside, CA 93955], a two bedroom house that we find very comfortable and recommend highly.
Did joy ride along coastline of Pacific Grove, then ate at Monterey Fish House, which was quite good.
Day 2, Tuesday, January 9
Visited Monterey Aquarium.
Walked along Cannery Row, which was fairly unimpressive with many candy shops.
Drove to Carmel, including stops at a couple of beaches and visiting several art galleries.
Day 3, Wednesday, January 10
No more rain!
Drove south along Hwy 1 to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park with several pull-offs, but best stop was random pull-off with stairs and then trail leading to high, beautiful look-out. We also drove over historic bridges built in the 1930's. Point Lobos, which we were hoping to see, was closed.
Returned to Monterey, again stopping for views, (including Garrapata State Park coastal walk in Carmel).
We parked near the Monterey Visitor Center and walked on Fishermans Pier, got sandwiches at the Wharf Market Place and walked along wharf area, seeing otters and sea lions. Also, after walking around quite a bit, found entrance to Army's Defense Language Institute, where Bob's father once studied (so Bob lived in Monterey in the early 1950's).
When we went back to the car, which was near a waterway and park, we encountered a woman who was screaming and screaming and screaming ("Get out of there! It is not safe! Come here! Be careful! ...) both while outside of her car, then in it as she drove in the parking lot, then out of it when she was on the sidewalk near the water. Have never heard anyone else screaming so loudly and angrily. Shirley asked if her child was in danger. She calmed down instantly and said of course not, she would never yell at a child like that. She was yelling at her dog, who was far away and ignoring her. Then she started screaming again.
Day 4, Thursday, January 11
We left our nice airbnb, packed up the car and continued sightseeing.
First we visited the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, saw few butterflies, but did see a couple in the small, pretty park with many trees.
Drove along Pacific Grove Seashore, which, as all of the coast, was very pretty.
After leaving Monterey, we followed Hwy 1 north along the seashore, stopping several places. Along the way we saw fields and fields of yellow sorrel, taking photos such as the one below from the car as we passed by. We particularly enjoyed Davenport Landing / El Jarro Pt with huge cliffs, very slippery slope rock "steps" to get down, huge waves.
Also stopped at Greyhound Rock County Park and began walking down paved path to beach, but pavement gave out as path turned into slippery mud, so we returned to car. Drove on to Pigeon Point Lighthouse. At the lighthouse there were seals on nearby rocks that blended in so well we missed them at first.
If you cannot find seals, click on the photo.
Drove by Pescadoro Beach, but did not stop, then did stop at Pompanio Beach, where Bob swung seaweed.
Continuing north, we left Rte 1 which was turning inland, taking Skyline Blvd then Great Highway up to San Francisco, with a stop at the Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant to use their "facilities" and take photos of a hawk on the roof.
Next we drove to our motel, the Marina Motel (we wished it were as nice as our previous airbnb, but it was ok), and ordered delivery of dinner from the Rooster & Rice restaurant because we both were tired and it felt great to rest.
We then got hooked on watching several episodes of Big Little Lies.
Day 5, Friday, January 12
Today was a day for bus rides and walking, which is the right way to see San Francisco. The bus drivers were all so helpful and it is fun to people and scenery watch from a bus.
First we went to the Legion of Honor Museum where we saw the Klimt Exhibit, impressionist paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and many other exhibits including Egyptian Mummies. Shirley found the paintings to be amazing and exciting, while Bob totally enjoyed the mummies and the high tech imaging used to analyze them. Outside the museum was a memorial to Holocaust victims.
We were unimpressed by the Museum restaurant, so skipped it, took buses back into another part of town to see the Green Apple Bookstore (one of our favorites), picking up Dim Sum (Shirley) and sesame balls (Bob) along the way.
Later we stood at the very front of a long line (we arrived 1/2 hour before the opening) of a highly rated restaurant, the Burma Superstar, which we found to be very average in taste. We took the remains of the dinner back to the motel, but never ended up finishing it
We finished watching Big Little Lies, Bob correctly guessing who was going to get killed and Shirley correctly guessing who would do the killing well ahead of time. We thoroughly enjoyed the TV series.
Day 6, Saturday, January 13
We slept in late, checked out of the motel just on time at 11 AM.
Though Shirley with her clawed hand looked very suspicious, Bob did not report her. Instead, we together walked around the Marine Waterfront, totally enjoying watching all the young people, many jogging, many with kids in strollers.
Guessed at the value of two homes on the waterfront, and wildly underestimated in each case. Here is one of them, 3615 Broderick, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2,226 sq ft:
Zillow Estimate: $3,167,556
Then we picked up Marian and Rob - it is Marian's Birthday!!!
Went to Marnee Thai Restaurant on Irving Street and had a very nice lunch, followed by a stop at T C Pastrry across the street to get Sesame Seed Balls - one of Bob's favorite desserts. Next we visited the nearby Goodwill Store, where Marian got a bat thingy and Shirley got a fish thingy.
After dropping Marian and Rob off we drove home and totally vegged out, completely relaxing.
An absolutely fun-packed, jam-packed outstanding 6 day adventure. So many wonderful experiences.
Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA