California poppies, delicious food and car trouble!!!

San Juan Bautista Travel Blog

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California Poppy. gorgeous patch found outside the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

After checking out of our hotel this morning we headed into Monterey- destination: Cannery Row and Starbucks. We got really lucky and were able to get street parking a block from Starbucks- I'm always looking for a way to get rid of my change since it makes my wallet too heavy- I was more than happy to feed that meter!

We sat on a bench enjoying our coffee and watched the people and bikes go by. I'm really impressed by how many locals ride their bikes- it's a great sight! We saw this guy on rollerblades pushing a stroller and I knew for sure that his wife didn't know he was doing that!- he was going really fast and that stroller was all over the place! It was funny but that maternal streak in me wanted to tell him to slow down. His toddler didn't seem to mind though!

Coffee ingested, we were off again.

empty patio at The Whole Enchilada- Moss Landing.
This time a bit North to Moss Landing for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants- The Whole Enchilada (review in my previous Monterey Blog). We got into town a little bit early for lunch so we decided to drive around Moss Landing- which is really small but adorable! On our little driving excursion we saw a sign for the Marine Laboratories (http://www.mlml.calstate.edu/pg/Welcome-to-MLML/). We had no idea if it was open to the public but we decided to go on and check it out. They have a visitor's center so we parked and walked to the center and read some of the information boards. Besides a stunning view of the Monterey Bay and surrounding areas there was a gorgeous plot of California Poppies on the way to the center that I just had to take a photo of.
I thought this was so funny! ash tray for cigarette butts outside The Whole Enchilada, Moss Landing.
We didn't stay long because it was clear that there were classes/research in progress, but I'm glad we checked it out. Our appetites were worked up at this point so The Whole Enchilada was in order. We were one of the first patrons to arrive so we had the whole outdoor patio to ourselves! It was great! The wind was up but the patio is completely sheltered, which people didn't seem to realize so it was just us. I had my usual enchilada combo plate and my fiance had his usual of fish tacos. We were pleased as always and ate until our bellys reached bursting point.

At this point our day took the first of two unexpected twists. We had intended to get to San Juan Bautista and Highway 25 for a scenic route home but we took a wrong turn and took Highway 183 instead of State Route 156 which took us quite a bit out of our way and ended up in Salinas instead of Prunedale. Since we found ourselves on this unexpected detour we decided to stop in Salinas, refuel, take a potty break and take advantage of the automatic car wash since my little car was covered in bugs! After leaving the gas station and getting back on the 101 I looked down at the instument panel and noticed that my check engine light had come on!!!! It's never a good feeling when any of the lights come on but that is one I particularly fear because in my eyes it means money leaving my wallet!! We'd already passed Prunedale by the time I noticed it so I decided to stick to our original plan of going to San Juan Bautista and check the engine.

I've never been so happy to see San Juan Bautista in all my life! We found a shaded parking space across from the mission and proceeded to investigate- manual in hand and hood up. I called my dad- who's somewhat of a car expert- and he walked me though my diagnosis. We could find nothing obvious so a call to the mechanic was in order. I've had lots of car problems since December so I'm quite familiar with my mechanic now- in his defense he's managed to fix all of the previous problems.  I have an appointment with him tomorrow to check the code on the computer but he thinks it might have been the car wash! I've had some electrical issues in the past so we think it could be a short from the water but we'll have to just wait and see. The car drives normal, sounds normal and looks normal so we'll see!!! My fiance and I decided not to take our chances taking Highway 25, choosing instead to be on the heavily populated 101 just in case the car decided to act up. I'm really bummed to have missed the chance for a scenic route- but we'll do it again in the future. Driving a very cautious and sensible 55-65 MPH we reached home in 2 hours and managed to get better gas mileage from our reduced speed, so smiles all around!!!

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California Poppy. gorgeous patch f…
California Poppy. gorgeous patch …
empty patio at The Whole Enchilada…
empty patio at The Whole Enchilad…
I thought this was so funny! ash t…
I thought this was so funny! ash …
San Juan Bautista
photo by: mdalamers