Coastal Getaway: Monterey

Last week Steven and I took a trip up the coast to Monterey (a beach town on California’s central coast). It was so much fun! I can’t believe this is the first time we’ve actually travelled up there! For any of you who are jaded with southern California and think that us people have pretty much ruined all the natural beauty California has to offer – I’m very happy to report that not all is lost.

So here’s what we did:

On the way up, we stopped in a little city called Solvang. It’s a town that celebrates all things Danish. The town theme is Denmark…it would seem that if you are going to build something there, it’s a requirement that it look Danish; if you open a bakery, it’s a requirement that you bake Danishes; if you start a restaurant, it’s a requirement that you serve lots of sausage and such. How this came to be, I’m not sure…but those are the rules. Anyhow, we stopped at a Danish Café for waffles and later wandered around the town square. It was a very cute, sleepy little place. Definitely worth the stop if you are travelling through.

After Solvang, we headed straight to Monterey. It’s such a difference going from insanely busy L.A. County to a town of just 30,000. I loved the quiet. I don’t exactly know how to explain it…I mean, the city is full of people and cars and all the usual stuff of a city – but the air is quiet. Coming from a place where even the birds near my home manage to mimic the sounds of car alarms, it’s a great reprieve. We spent a day walking all around town – wandering Fisherman’s Wharf, sampling clam chowder and strolling the beach. Later we did the obligatory 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach (stunning). Sadly, it was then that we realized the camera battery was dying and we left our charger at home. After a handful of shots at the first few stops, it was officially dead. And wouldn’t you know – that’s right about when the landscape got pretty amazing. Oh well, that will just give us another reason to go back! We also stopped at the beach in Carmel. We parked atop a hill and wandered down sand dunes to reach the ocean. The sand was powdery white – just like ash tray sand (assuming you’re old enough to remember that). On the way back to the car, Steven and I had this crazy idea to race up the dunes. Just as we almost reached the top, I had to call a stop to the race for fear of having a heart attack…lol. Whose crazy idea was it to race up a sand dune anyway? Haha.

After Monterey, we drove down Highway 1 on the coast and took in the absolutely amazing scenery. I think this part of the coastline may just be some of the most beautiful landscape on the planet. It’s honestly breathtaking (and if you’re afraid of heights like me, a little scary!). I wish so much I had pictures to share…such a bummer. We stopped to visit the Elephant Seals near San Lois Obispo and had a late lunch at Morro Bay.

All in all – it was a fabulous weekend! I highly recommend the trip (and I’ve now got a great handful of ideas for our girlfriend getaways!). I’m already ready for my next trip…where shall we go?

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