California Dreaming (4)

The only word that I can use to describe today is WOW!!

Drive to the Big Sur

Before we arrived in California we knew that parts of the Pacific Highway were closed due to damage caused by the rain over the winter. Today we set off towards the Big Sur, knowing that we would have to drive back as there is no longer a through road. It was definitely worth it. There were so many beautiful places to stop and take photos along the way, I almost lost count.

One of the first places we stopped was Monastery Beach. The sky was so blue and the sun was shining. There were huge waves crashing into the beach. Just a little bit further down the beach we caught sight of a seal just making its way back into the water. This was just the start of some of the wonderful things we would see today.

Stopping further down the coast at several beautiful coves the views were fantastic.

We saw sea otters playing in the sea. We watched one using a stone to break clam shells and eat the contents!

Bixby Canyon Bridge

One of the most amazing sights along the Big Sur is the Bixby Canyon Bridge. It is an unbelievable feat of English jeering, but the fact that it is surrounded by stunning views makes it even better. We had to stop off here to take photos of such an iconic place and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

We then drove further south, calling at The River Inn for an amazing lunch. We then had to turn around and make our way back to Monterey as the road was closed yet a little way ahead.

Nature at its best

On returning to the Plaza, we walked along the beach front towards Fisherman’s Wharfe. There were a number of seals and sea otters playing in the sea and sunbathing on the rocks. It was great to see them in their natural habitat. Also along the rocks were some very large red star fish.

Walking back along the pier we saw what we thought was a seal on the beach. It then became clear that it was actually in distress. Luckily someone had called the local sea life rescue and after waiting anxiously for quite a while, they turned up to asepsis the animal. It was in fact a walrus pup that had been separated from its mother, but they soon sorted it out and sent it back on its way.

A relaxing spa afternoon

On returning to the hotel we went into the top floor to spend some time in the spa. This is open air, glass fronted, overlooking the sea. The hot tubs were wonderfully warm, the changing rooms were luxurious and there was an open fire to sit by just for relaxation.

To add to all this, whilst in the spa, looking out to sea we Were treated to seeing a peregrine falcon resting on the balcony below and a whale and some dolphins swimming past the hotel.  You really couldn’t make today any better.

After a lovely meal in the hotel restaurant and a cocktail by the fire pit, it’s time for bed, with dreams of a Suberb day and hopefully more to come.

California dreaming (3)

The third day dawned quite grey and misty. Our plan was to visit Muir Woods. After having breakfast, we collected our hire car. My husband offered to be the first driver, which was a very brave decision. Driving an unknown car up and down the hills of San Francisco to collect our cases from the hotel was no mean feat. However he did a great job and we drove across a very murky Golden Gate Bridge and along the road north.

Unfortunately by the time we had done the short drive to Muir Woods it was raining quite hard and was even foggier. We decided that we would not see very much and didn’t really think there would be much pleasure from wandering around in the rain so we decided to start heading on our route southwards.

Capitola Beach

A few weeks ago someone told us that a really good place to stop on route would be a small town called Capitola. As we arrived it had brightened up a little bit. We were so impressed by Capitola.

It is a small quaint town with a beautiful beach, some unusual shops and some very quirky and pretty beach houses. We had some lunch and a wander around, completing our visit by walking along the pier.

This was somewhere that we would have probably missed and just passed by if we had not known about it, so it was great to be given the heads-up and to see such a lovely place, before driving on to our destination for the night.

Monterey

Our stop over for the next two nights was Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa. What an absolutely stunning hotel. The rooms were enormous and the views from the patio area were out of this world.

After checking into our rooms, we went out for a walk along to Fisherman’s Wharfe. This was more how I’d imagined a wharfe to look rather than the busy and commercial Fisherman’s Wharfe in San Francisco. It was a combination of restaurants and shops, but not too touristy.

We had a beautiful meal at Domenicos on the Wharfe. This is mainly a seafood reastaraunt. The food was absolutely amazing. Afterwards we had a short walk back to the hotel, sat by the fire pit on the patio for a short while, before going to bed.