Monterey is near and Dear to my heart, As I went to boarding school there from 10th to 12th grade, Our trip there was to see my grandparents while they were renting a home in the 17-mile drive. But a lot of what I wanted to do was revisiting school day things and some things I had never been able to do. This was the first time I had been back since graduating three years ago.
We arrived in Monterey at around 8 pm and I insisted our first stop be Pizza My Heart. My favorite Pizza place in the world no joke I’ve had dreams about it since I finished school. I’ve compiled mine and my Friends favorite restaurants in the Monterey area here.
Walk on the beach- My Mom loves the beach and walking on it, and as it was her birthday, of course, we were going to walk every morning with her. The Carmel beach is Incredibly dog-friendly I think everyone including us had dogs with them (my aunts and grandparents dogs went walking with us). The beach has great views of the classic Pebble Beach golf holes. The beach is at the bottom of Carmel by the Sea (Ocean Ave).
Ocean ave- Carmel by the sea is really the cutesy area around the beach everything is very fairy tale cottage like (none of the houses have number addresses instead they have names) after walking down the beach we went to breakfast at a place on the Avenue.
Del Monte Center- We headed to DMC after the beach for H&M and Starbucks. In High School, we spent a lot of time at Del Monte Center which we called DMC. Not the world's greatest shopping center by far but the most exciting thing for teenagers on the Monterey Peninsula. Monterey’s not boring it’s just not made for 16,17,18-year-olds.
Rosine's- when we arrived in Monterey all I wanted was pizza all my mom wanted was A slice of cake from Rosine's. We finally went for lunch on Monday after picking up my grandparents. My favorite from there was always the burger they toast the bun, and it's just magnificent. We used to order from delivery. All my Mom order was a slice of cake for lunch because as she said, that's what she wanted. She couldn’t even handle finishing her Slice. The restaurant was just on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, which I found cool because it always felt like our little find.
A Movie- After lunch, we went and saw a movie at DMC the main movie theater for the peninsula and another reason we spent so much time there in High School.
Still Water at Pebble Beach- for Dinner we eat at Still Water the nicest of the Three restaurants in Pebble Beach Lodge. The restaurant is fantastic more for the views than anything else as it looks over the 18th hole of the golf course. The food is also excellent particularly I love the chocolate fondue for dessert.
Kayaking- The Day before we had looked up kayaking companies the first we went to was called Monterey Bay kayaking, they gave us the information it cost $35 for a single and $60 for a double. You can go as far as Monterey Bay Aquarium. We asked a few, and all had the same logistics. My mom asked if we would see otters, the guy said: “we can’t promise, but there's a good chance if you want to see otters though we have another location at Moss Landing, and they have the densest population of sea otters.”
Initially, we thought we would take our chances but then after a run to Target, and were already on our way we thought might as well so go to Moss Landing (it's just 15 miles north on the highway). Let me say its totally worth it the scenery is not as beautiful as going down the Monterey shores but the animals more than makeup for it. You have to stay away from the otters about 50 feet legally but on occasions, they pop up right by you and your way closer than that and you can’t do anything about it.
Cannery Wharf- after we headed to cannery wharf and the Monterey Aquarium. Canary Wharf is the definition of a tourist trap. But its cute if you are going to the aquarium which is at the end of the road you mine as well check it out.
The Aquarium- the Monterey aquarium is known as the first aquarium for preservation, as well as to take into account the sea life around the aquarium so as not to disturb the environment and to educate the population. The Aquarium is definitely a thing of pride for the Monterey Peninsula, as it dose so much good and continues to be innovative. Its pretty expensive at $40 a person for a day. Though it is a non-profit, so it keeps the aquarium and preservation running. But at last if for nothing else the otters are so cute, and jellyfish are so cool.
Sardine Factory- The Sardine Factory is a place my friend took me one night, and we just went for desert, after that we went a few more times for desert, and once right before graduation, we went for a full dinner. The foods great, they have a few different rooms the entrance is a dark lounge type room, then there is French Versailles type rooms, and an atrium room. The place looks and sounds touristy, but it's not it is actually really nice, and the food is lovely. But my favorite is still desert for bon bons chocolate covered ice-cream.
August 24th (Mom’s official 60th Birthday)
Big Sur- I had originally planned on taking my mom on a hike through Big Sur, as my Mom had made many trips there and loved to hike there when she lived in San Fransisco. But a little while ago a fire broke out that made national news. By the time we arrived finally about 80% of it was contained. The fire required 5,500 firefighters. The road was open (it had been closed the day before because of a flare up), so we were able to drive down, and we ended up just seeing how the fire had affected the area. You could see a lot of where the fire had burned and why it was so hard for the firefighters to contain this fire. It was also nice to see the area as a whole. None of the beaches were open, so we stopped at one on the way in
La Bicyclette- the Restaurant guide I had my friends send me their input and added it for my grandparents. One of the restraints a friend suggested was La Bicyclette it's right off ocean ave. My grandparents loved this place, and I found it was all pretty good.
Carmel by the Sea- I mentioned Carmel by the sea its mainly expensive boutiques, Italian bakeries, and gift shops. The best stores are at the top in the mall where there is an Anthropology, Jcrew, and more.
Fandangos- My mom's favorite Monterey restaurant is fandangos. It's in Pacific Grove and locals favorite. The restaurant is nice not incredibly high end. We’ve had a lot of special nights there when I was at school, so it's particularly special to us. The food is Italian, and they have all sorts of good stuff.
we had ordered a full cake for my mom to eat at home.
Reds Donuts- in a close second to pizza my heart is reds donuts. We had them about once a week for breakfast at school, and I fell in love with them. My favorite is the cinnamon sugar crumble donut. The last morning we were in Monterey we just had to go. They have two locations one on Alvarado and the other in Seaside.
Beach- before heading out to San Francisco we had made one last trip to the beach. We wanted to go to Point Lobos; it's a famous outlook in Monterey, and I had never been, but they don’t allow dogs. Instead, we went to the Carmel beach and walked the other direction this time.
Heading out- from Monterey we drove to San Fransisco taking the 101
On our way stopped at my old boarding school to check out what had changed.
Also, we stopped at Moss Landing once more, so I could take photos of the otters with my nice camera. You can drive on a cliff and see them pretty well from there.
The 101 route takes you through Santa Cruz, which just so happens to be the birthplace of Pizza My Heart, so we had to stop for lunch. Santa Cruz is cute if you’ve never been I urge you to check it out the boardwalk, hearts fabric, and the Pacific Ave