More Monterey and 17-mile drive

Monterey Travel Blog

 › entry 26 of 93 › view all entries

Saturday came and we were sad to leave San Francisco. It had been a fantastic four nights in a city that really lives up to the hype. But we had to move on and we were headed for Santa Cruz. We picked up our hire car from the Hyatt Regency, less of a hotel and more of a little village. We´d splurged and opted for a convertible, aiming to tick of one of Ad´s ´must-dos´ by cruising down the coast with the roof down. Hoping for a Mustang, we were pleasantly surprised when we were given a Chrysler Sebring.

After another half an hour of negotiating San Francisco´s traffic, trams and punishing hill starts (nothing to do with my clutch control) we were back on the coast and heading south and magically, the fog was beginning to clear.

We hadn´t travelled too far down the stunnning coastline before we decided it was time for the roof to come down. The problem with our car was that the roof mechanism took up much of the boot and it we had to put some serious Tetris skills to use to pack everything in, most of which went on the back seat, leaving just enough room for Em in the back. Em, it quickly turned out, was rapidly turning into a wind-battered ice-cube, and a look into the back seat revealed someone more likely to have a day on the slopes than soaking up some Southern Californian sun. In the front meanwhle, we were baking in about 25 degrees under a blue sky, behind a windscreen aptly living up to it´s name.

We stopped at Santa Cruz for a walk along the beach, an ice-cream and to recapture some youth in the arcades before driving around ´downtown´area.

By now, Ad had pretty much decided that California was definitely for him, deciding he could definitely get used to the sund, sand, surf and stupidly big pick-up trucks that seem omnipotent in California.

Back in the car we drove past more stunning coastline (I really can´t emphasise it enough - and more was to come) that took us down to Monterey where we dived into a barbers for a ghastly forces-esque bosh-crop. The more we drove around Monterey the more we realised that everyone had visited the same barbers, and it obviously didn't matter what you asked for, everyone came out the same.

We soon found a hotel on the Cannery and found 'Sly McFly's' which had very good food and an excellent live Jazz band....

The next morning we drove south to 17-mile drive, a scenic area where it looks as though you need a few million in the bank just to play golf, let alone buy a house. We drove further down the coast-line past more amazing scenery stopping-off to see an Elephant Seal colony and Pismo Beach for some sun-bathing, before heading on to Santa Barbara.

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photo by: ccjbeachbum