The task of this morning was to get back to the airport and get our rental car. That all went quite smoothly and we had our car by 7:30am. we were quite excited to hop into our shiny rented P.T Cruiser!! Super fun. Next stop was visiting our friend Bruno who is doing co-op at Apple in Cupertino. After some lovely drives down California freeways we found Bruno and took a little tour around Apple’s campus. It was deserted since it is Saturday, but we saw the 1 Infinite Loop building and saw a bit inside the building Bruno works in. It was novel I suppose.
Even though Eric and I had eaten a little bit at our hotel early in the morning, we went out to a mid-morning breakfast with Bruno at a place called Hobee’s. It had quite the wait and seemed to be where all the locals go to eat awesome breakfast food. I had a delicious orange cinamon swirl french toast plate topped with fresh sliced strawberries and bananas with a yogurt sauce on the side. Unreal! The place also seemed to be famous for its coffee cake so we tried a large slab of that as well. After breakfast we saw Bruno’s apartment, and then it was time for our big road adventure.
We drove down to Santa Cruz and wandered around their pier for a little while. There was some really cool amusement park place right on the water, but we didn’t go in. Mostly just took pictures of the views and headed out. Since we’re such spontaneous adventurers our drive from Santa Cruz to Monterey was speckled with photo ops found from pulling off at any sign that sounded intriguing. We did find some pretty cool hidden beaches and views that we never would have found otherwise. It felt so awesome to just pull off wherever we felt like and take pictures of what we found.
Finally arriving in Monterey we found a parking garage near the aquarium where we were headed. We had no idea there was a whole… tourist district right there. We walked down to the water and checked out all the restaurants and shops there. I couldn’t get over how tropical it all seemed. The water, the white sand, the palm trees, and the warm breeze. It was absolutely amazing. The aquarium on the other hand was a little disappointing. We had read such great reviews of it, and while it was fun, it was definitely geared toward little kids. On the plus side they must have had 4 separate otter cases and about half the museum was dedicated to otters in general. Bigger plus side, the aquarium was literally right on the water and they provided high outdoor vantage points and free bonocular things through which I could see wild otter floating in kelp! Ahhh! Also there were 4 large sea lions sunning on a rock very close by. That was pretty cool.
On our way out of Monterey we found a little shop to sit in and think about our next plans while eating an ice cream sandwich hand made out of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. We ended up calling a restaurant called Rocky Point Cafe and making reservations for dinner. It is supposed to have spectacular views over one of the cliffs. So we got back in the car to drive down the coast to our dinner and then to our hotel. Along the way we stopped in Carmel and walked along a gorgeous beach where tons of people were playing with their dogs, taking pictures, and wading in the ocean. The views are just so incredible its hard to believe they’re real. We had to pull away from beautiful Carmel, though, so we could make our dinner reservation.
Rocky Point Cafe was fabulous. It was a bit pricey, but for the view it was worth it. It really is on the side of the cliff and, though indoor, the seats are by huge glass windows that offer panoramic views of the coast that we’re driving. Our dinners were delicious and filling, and it was nice to have them during sunset overlooking the ocean.
After dinner it was time to go find our hotel. At this point it was pitch black outside, so driving along very curvy roads where one side is a rising rock face and the other side is a vertical decline to the ocean is a little daunting. Even in the darkness everything was beautiful though, if a little eerie. The good part is that since there are very few turn offs, you sort of just run in to everything you’re looking for and you don’t need directions or an address. Thats how we found our hotel.
I am so pumped we booked this hotel! It is so cool. It’s more like a mini-cabin than a room, complete with semi-private porch-like area with table and chairs. There is a gas fireplace in the wall, and the bathroom has heated floors. In the closet there are yoga mats and real flowers on the table. It is a very unique place to stay and I’m so glad we get to.