Tuesday, July 27

10th Anniversary Trip to Monterey, CA- Part 1

We celebrated our 10th anniversary last month, but didn't travel until July. With kids, you travel when it is MOST convenient for the people willing to keep your little ones. July worked for my parents to have them in Little Rock for a few days, so that is when we went. It was also VBS at my parent's church and I was already going to bring the girls to LR for that, so we brought them and then left. :)
There is so much to write about and SO MANY pictures. Highway 1/Big Sur is gorgeous and John was in a photographers paradise. He posted on his Photoblog while we were there, so check those out for the week of July 11th and a little beyond.

Sunday, July 11: We flew out of Little Rock early Sunday morning and after a few delays made it to San Jose at 1:30. We rented our car, plugged in our trusty GPS and found the closest In and Out Burger. We were starving and love their burgers. It had been 7 years since the last time we ate there. Yum! We drove a little more than an hour to Monterey and found our hotel: Monterey Bay Inn. The hotel was in a great location and our room looked out over the bay/ocean. We decided to use our 1/2 day to drive Big Sur. It was gorgeous. It was a cloudy day and the fog was crazy, but it was just beautiful. We stopped at many points along the way to take pictures and just stare. We turned around at Pfiefer State Park where we got to see a few Redwood Trees. We took a picture of us kissing (ah....) to give some perspective of how big the trees are. John's parents recommended a restaurant to us along Highway 1 called Rocky Point Restaurant, so we ate there for dinner. It was literally on a cliff and had great scenery. Our food was not all that great, but the view made up for it. We were so tired, plus the 2 hour time change, so after dinner we headed to bed.

Monday, July 12: On Monday, we woke up on our own and I went for a walk/run down to Cannery Row in Monterey. Cannery Row is full of shops, restaurants, entertainment and the aquarium. It was fun to run through it when it was not as busy and scope out some places to go. We had reservations to eat lunch at The Stillwater Grill at Pebble Beach at 11;30, so we left our hotel in time to get to 17 Mile Drive and to the Clubhouse. We got there early, so we were able to walk through some of the shops there before lunch. The Stillwater Grill looks out onto the 18th green at Pebble. Its pretty cool to be there and think of all the history of the place, especially since John loves the game of golf. Our lunch was REALLY good. We had told them it was our anniversary when we made the reservation, but had forgotten. At the end, they brought us a super yummy chocolate cake. We were both so full, but we manage to make a large dent in the cake. From the Clubhouse, we got back on 17 Mile Drive and did the tourist loop. There are about 20 stops along the way, one being the Lone Cypress Tree where Pebble Beach gets their logo. One of our last stops was just overlooking the ocean, but it was so crowded. We realized that everyone was looking at this huge rock with a ton of sea lions just hanging out on it. They were so cute! Since we were close to Carmel, we drove into Carmel Valley for a tour of one of the local wineries. Neither of us had done a wine tour before and it was really interesting and fun. It was a free tour with free tastings and we had a great time. I can see where people really can have wine as a hobby and I don't even really like a lot of kinds of wine. From there, we went into Carmel by the Sea and walked around all the little shops for a few hours. It is the quaintest town with barely a single chain store. There were lots of art galleries and specialty stores. Every storefront had a Dutch door and every store had water bowls outside because everyone takes their dog around town. My kind of town. We ate dinner at an Italian Place that a local had recommended while we were shopping and it was called Little Napoli. It was my most favorite meal there. We had to wait a little bit, so they sent us next door to their Wine Bar. We had never been to a Wine Bar, so our super cool waitress introduced us to everything and we had a great time. Again, not because of the wine, but it was all so interesting. Weird, I know. Little Napoli was very small and we were practically sitting at the same table with those next to us, but it was great food with really fun atmosphere.

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