Christmas Memories in Monterey

10 Jan

This past Christmas was certainly unforgettable.  We spent 4 wonderful days in Monetery, CA.  We got our fair share of drizzly, dreary weather, but it was kind of cozy.  We stayed in this fantastic hotel which was only a couple of blocks from the ocean, and yummy gourmet breakfasts greeted us every morning (even Christmas morning :-)).  Hotel 1110 was this quaint little Europeanesque (not sure that’s a word) boutique hotel where no attention to detail was spared.  Our room was compact but cozy, and at  night we opened the windows, and fell asleep to the sound of rainfall.  Ahhh.  The bathroom had  a Jacuzzi tub, heated floors, and even a bidet!  Ha!!  The owners were welcoming, and we felt right at home.

Our first day we decided to take in the famed 17 mile drive.  We were not disappointed.  The views were beautiful, and even though the morning was overcast, it lent a certain charm to the trip.

17 mile drive

It was our first time seeing the ocean since we left Maui, and I was surprised to see how much I missed it.  There is nothing like the smell of the salty air, and the feel of cool sea breezes to make you feel alive and at peace.  We made several stops along the way, taking in the views of the ocean and the coastline.

17 mile drive

17 mile drive

17 mile drive

We stopped at Pebble Beach to have lunch, and as we sat gazing out the window at  beautiful Carmel Bay, we were greeted by the sun coming out from behind the clouds.  Perfect timing!!  We decided to head on towards Big Sur.  We found a short hike to Mcway falls where we admired water falling right onto a perfectly pristine beach, and later took in a beautiful sunset from a purple sand beach.  It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Big Sur-Pfeiffer Beach

Big Sur-Pfeiffer Beach

Big Sur-Pfeiffer Beach

The next day we awoke to a 100% forecast of rain pretty much the whole day.  We decided it was the perfect time to take in the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Apparently, so did everyone else.  Despite the crowd we still had a blast.  We were impressed with all the species of aquatic life the aquarium had to offer, and even took in a lecture on our favorite subject, SHARKS!!

Monterey AquariumOn Christmas Eve the sun was shining, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  We decided to take in old downtown Monterey, and found our inner kid on an ice skating rink.IMG_4905

We explored the Fisherman’s Wharf which was fun to see all trimmed with festive decorations.

Fishermans Wharf

Fishermans Wharf

Fishermans Wharf

That evening Tyler surprised me with a sunset sailboat cruise.  Ever since I worked an assignment in Gig Harbor, WA, I have had this fascination with sailing.  I think  it would be so much fun to learn to sail, but I have never been on an actual sailboat.  I was hooked.

We set out on a 30 ft sailboat with 4 other people, and the captain.  The weather was perfect, and the ride was truly exhilarating .  There is something special about sitting in a little boat on top of of the ocean, and being at the mercy of two of nature’s most powerful forces.

sailboatAnd of course, the sunset was perfect.

sunset sailIt was a wonderful Christmas spent in a picturesque seaside town, and I look forward to many a trip back to Monterey.

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