Friday, December 4, 2015

TRIP REPORT: Monterey and Pacific Grove - Part 2

We've had a great, first day in Pacific Grove and Monterey (see Part 1 here), it's time to complete the trip.

In the morning, we went to First Awakenings for breakfast.  It’s nice that the inn has a continental breakfast, but we want the full meal.  This spot, in an old fish cannery just around the corner from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, really hits the target.

We have some really superb omelets, along with their great bacon and sourdough toast to start off our day.  This gives us some good nutrition and energy for our next activity, a hike across the bay to the 17-Mile Drive.
There’s a nice, wheelchair accessible boardwalk across the sand that bisects the beach from The Links at Spanish Bay golf course.  It’s about a half-mile walk across till you get to a little point where the 17 Mile Drive comes out of the woods and a vista point is available.  Since it’s a drive, you can take your car here – for a fee – but it’s an easy walk from our inn and we get some exercise along the way.  It’s also a great way to get up close and personal with the ocean.

At the vista point, we marvel at the view and have fun watching the many chipmunks that scavenge the area for food before walking back.
In the evening, we head over to Carmel to window shop and have dinner.  We’d never been to the Hog’s Breath Inn, formerly owned by the former mayor of Carmel…Clint Eastwood, so we thought we’d try it out. 
Underneath a jazz radio station and music shop, the restaurant has a large dining room and a pub, separated by a really nice outdoor area with multiple fireplaces, free-form tables, trees, and a large, painted backdrop on the building next door.  Way out back is the very cozy pub that looks like it was lifted from a Tolkien book.
This looks like the perfect setting for dinner!  We tell the maĆ®tre‘d that we’d like to sit out here and have dinner but he tells us that this is only the bar and just appetizers are served here.  If we’d like dinner, we’d have to eat inside in the dining room.
In we go.  As lovely as the outdoor area is, the indoor dining room has all the charm of a high school cafeteria.  I don’t care how good the food is here, I can’t believe it’s served in such an austere setting so we go back outside and just have a few apps and a couple of drinks.  It turned out very nice but, really, either redo the dining room or ditch the silly “no dinner outside” rule.
The next morning, we get in the car for a drive up the coast.  We head in the general direction  of Watsonville to see what we can find. 
Past the navy’s language school, you come into Marina where you can learn how to hang glide.  Continuing on we get to Moss Landing.
We stop to take a look at this beautiful fishing village.  There are a couple of restaurants and some antique shops but it’s mostly a working fishing fleet here so our time is short-lived.  Eventually, we make it to Watsonville where we buy some freshly picked strawberries to take with us and head back to Monterey.
Back in town, we walk along Fisherman’s Wharf and have free samples of the clam chowder that each restaurant is giving out.  It’s good but I remember coming here in the past and having one of the worst dinners in my life.  After the wharf, we go over to Cannery Row where we have a cocktail at a waterfront lounge with a friendly bartender.  Unfortunately, it has since closed.
Dinner tonight is back in Pacific Grove, this time across the street from Passionfish at International Cuisine where we have a couple of very good pasta dishes along with some good red wine, but still not as good as Passionfish, which will go down as the best place we saw on this trip.
Another sunset with our Watsonville strawberries and champagne, another night in our cozy little inn, and then it’s back to L.A. where we have a couple of days to rest before we pick Tim up from camp.

Copyright 2010 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. is a coastal town in Monterey County, California, USA, with a total population of 15,522 as of the 2000 census. Pacific Grove is located between Point Pinos and Monterey, at an elevation of 151 feet (46 m).