Monterey/Big Sur

Trip Start May 04, 2006
Trip End May 11, 2006

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, May 12, 2006

On Thursday, we picked up our rental car and headed south towards Monterey. Avis likes to upgrade us and we got a bright blue HHR (looks like a PT cruiser) to, well, cruise down Pacific Coast Highway 1. Part of it was closed due to slides so we started off right with a detour! Got back on track and enjoyed the scenic trip down the interstate, stopping at various points along the way. We had lunch in Santa Cruz and checked out the Univ. of Cal-Santa Cruz (home of the Banana Slugs) and the boardwalk. It's not that pretty right before Monterey but wow--once you're there, it's awesome. We did the 17-mile drive to check out the coast, millionaire homes, and Pebble Beach. It's as pretty as you hear it is. Low-key dinner overlooking the Monterey Bay. On Friday, we headed out early to Point Lobos Reserve before a drive to Big Sur. If we thought Monterey was cool, the park and the drive along the highway to Big Sur was incredible. The countless pictures will not do any of this area justice. We did a couple of hikes at Point Lobos. Saw several sea otters, sea lions and harbor seals. We even saw a harbor seal nursing its pup (it's the season for it). The harbor seals were pretty active in the water in several areas and it was very cool to watch them. We had to force ourselves to keep walking or we'd be there all day. We couldn't stop taking pictures. The drive to the Big Sur area was awesome too. What a great highway. Not much else to say other than wow and enjoy the pictures! Drove back through Carmel-by-the-Sea (cool homes, wonderful gardens) before leaving the central coast area. We had wanted to see the Monterey Bay aquarium but we ran out of time. Next time. We are flying out of San Jose so we headed in that direction, stopping in Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world for dinner. Garlic....good. We also bought some strawberries for the airport (not our first time--they're awesome out here right now) and saw asparagus selling for $0.68/lb. Don't we pay like $2-$3 for that at home!??!

Flying home early tomorrow. Good times.
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