Monterey was on my list of places to show John well before we decided to go to the Super Bowl. I fell in love with the majestic Central California Coast several years ago, the tiny oceanfront towns with cottages straight out of a fairytale, and the treacherous, scenic and sparsely populated mountains of Big Sur. I never had the chance to go back, so we fit it in the last day and a half of the California portion of our trip.
Unfortunately, I had to work Tuesday morning, so we had to get up early in Napa and drive to the airport to drop off my MIL while I logged into my computer. Post-meeting I was especially hangry, so we decided to drive HWY 1 to Santa Cruz for lunch.
John and I are both really into healthy eating and organic food, so I always search Yelp for organic-style restaurants when we’re in a new city. It’s a fun way to try new cuisine and local, fresh produce. (Fun for us, but we also like to mix it up with Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives, two ends of the spectrum make a happy medium!). After about 20 minutes with no service, the Saturn Cafe came up on their list. It was too strange and Roswell-esq not to try.
The most exciting thing to happen the rest of the day was a trip to Target to stock up on water and dental floss. We didn’t have it in us to leave the hotel after back-to-back events (the Superbowl and French Laundry), plus the New Hampshire primary was on and our waiter at Saturn cafe had obviously been a huge Bernie fan, so we had to watch all 3 hours of his speech to stay informed.
Wednesday morning was surprisingly chilly. But the rest of our trip has been unseasonably warm, so the crisp air and ocean breeze was refreshing. We did our Yelp query and came up with the Wild Plum Cafe and Bistro to start the day.
Unfortunately, again, I had to take care of some work business, so we headed back to the hotel for a few minutes before venturing to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a sea creature person. The Charleston Aquarium was incredibly boring. But the baby likes to watch people (and sometimes fish), and apparently this is the most talked about aquarium on earth and sea, so we took her.
It was impressive. And huge. They have some attractions for the kids that were seriously cool. There was an enclosed wave you could stand under to experience the rush of the ocean. And there were three sea otters.
One of my favorite running friends from San Diego now lives in Aptos, about 30 minutes from Monterey. We made plans to hang out, but changed our mind last minute to instead do a 16 x 300 meter speed workout. She’s training for Boston right now, but I can still pull the baby card, so I hung on for dear life and trailed her workout the best I could. She ran under 6 minute pace for the speed work, I averaged about 6:30. With being incredibly out of shape, I was pretty proud of even finishing. With a warm up and cool down, we ended up around 8 miles, which I desperately needed after all of our traveling. (1.5 mile warm up, 2 laps 100 meter sprint/100 meter rest, 16 x 300 meters with 100 meter rest, 2 mile cool down).
Tomorrow we leave for our final leg of the trip, Bend, Oregon! Where I expect it’s going to feel like winter and I’m certain I didn’t pack the right clothes.