We have started our California Coast trip, based in Carmel Valley for the weekend. We found a house over looking the valley on Airbnb.com, Carmel Valley Retreat, Views and Pool. It is a great location for activities around the Monterey/Carmel Penisula. Saturday afternoon/evening inclucded attending a wedding, for two of our party. The rest of us had three hours, or so, to enterain ourselves. The wedding was at the Perry House, only a couple of blocks from the Fisherman’s Wharf. A parking garage was just around the corner. Great location for a stroll. There happen to be an Italian festival going on nearby. What better fun and people watching?Fishman’s Wharf, as with many waterfront structures, has been transformed into a tourist squirrel-cage. Walk up and down. Oogle at the colorful buildings, souvenier stores, restaurants with barkers hawking their meals, bay boat tours and whale watching rides, and people, people, people, including us. Our ears picked up another barking, that of sea lions. With a little investigation, we found a side pier that gave us views around the corner and out over the marina. Seals and sea lions swum around seeking horizontal supports and bouys to climb upon, sun themselves, and snooze.
It was still too early to dine, so we walked back out from the crowds, to stroll along the walking path toward the Coast Guard Pier. The tide was receding, exposing a series of rock along the walk. Seals, various shore birds, including pelicans, perched themselves on the open rocks. The walk had a number of benchs from which we could view the wildlife, seals to skateboarders.
By the time we arrived at the Coast Guard Pier, our dinner alarms were going off. Though much quieter that the Fisherman’s Wharf restaurants, we found an elegant dinning place, Massaro & Santos. We did not need to look far on the wine list to select a local sauvignon blanc from Chesebro Winery in the Carmel Valley. We did not need to search the menu beyond the catch of the day (sea bass) and daily specials (crab encrusted salmon) to fill our plates. As we put our credit cards down to pay the bill, the cell phone began to jingle in my pocket to let me know that the other half of our party was ready for a pick up from the wedding.
Certainly, Monterey has a lot more to visit, but if you have only three hours, stop by the seals and enjoy an elegant seafood meal off from the hustle and bustle… unless you want to be in the middle of the activity. We hermits prefer the seals.