Saturday, April 19, 2008

Central Coast Wine Tour-Day 7 Monterey Drive

On Saturday we car pooled to the Monterey area. We decided to do a driving tour because the weather had turned windy and cold. We had 2-way radios with us so that we could talk to each other between the cars as we toured.

We enjoyed the scenery on the drive down to the ocean. We pasted a lot of artichoke plants, as this area produces about 70% of the artichokes consumed in the US. Finally there was the ocean, more gray than blue and very choppy. We were glad we weren't out fishing this day. We drove through the downtown area just as it was starting to wake up. Not many people were out because of the weather, but there was a group of SCUBA divers getting ready to go for a dive off of the pier. Hopefully the water wasn't to cloudy in the bay. There were many beautiful inns on the ocean for the well heeled vacationers to stay at.

We finally came to the famous 17 mile drive. This is a must do when you're in the area. It costs $9.00 per car and is well worth it. It takes you along the coast, through the forest area, pass the famous golf courses, and of course past the multi-million dollar homes. This is the view as we entered past the toll booth.

We decided to go towards Pebble Beach golf links both to view the course and resort, and also to pick up some refreshments. What used to be called the Del Monte Lodge is now the Pebble Beach Resort. But it's still the historic lodge with the views of the golf course. The current fees for Pebble Beach is $495 and there is very limited availability of tee times. So much for the recession. Here's the view of the 18th green from the lodge:

I still remember when Arnold Palmer was coming home on the last day of the Crosby and he put his drive into the ocean and climbed down onto the rocks to salvage his score.

The lodge and course was pretty accessible to visit. Here we are in the dining room overlooking the 18th hole.

We continued on the 17 mile drive admiring the houses and the views. Here's a picture of the famous lone cypress that has withstood all of the storms and surf.

We left the 17 mile drive at the Carmel exit and headed in the little village of Carmel. It is a shopper's paradise. There are over 90 art galleries, hundreds of shops, and many restaurants. There's also a lot of Bed & Breakfast inns, including the Cypress Inn owned by Doris Day. Because of her influence, most of the inns allow pets to stay in the rooms. In fact while we were walking around the town there were numerous dogs walking their owners. And of course Carmel is famous for it's former mayor, Clint Eastwood.

The first order of business was lunch. We found an interesting Italian restaurant, Cantinetta Luca. Some of us had pasta dishes, and some had paini type sandwiches. The service and bread were very good. We all would recommend this restaurant when you're in the area. The rest of the afternoon was taken up with the women shopping and the men people watching. It was very enjoyable because the weather had cleared up a little bit. We took a different route back to the campground that brought us past the Laguna Seca Raceway and through Salinas.

When we got back to the motorhomes we had one last Happy Hour, this time in Ron & Dona's coach due to the weather. We all agreed that the snacks with the drinks were more than enough for dinner. Phyllis made a special dip that everyone enjoyed. We all a little subdued as we realized our tour was over and we were back on the road tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jeni said...

I think you all were subdued because you realized you had missed out on the best aquarium in the world...not going to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium to see some golf course you couldn't play on unless you were a millionaire is crazy (but to each their own right?).