Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2017 - California Day 11 (Monterey Bay)

Tuesday September 19, 2017. Today, we leave Yosemite National Park and head to Monterey Bay where we will stay for one night.

Monterey Bay - Sunset
Our first stop was the Mariposa Visitor Center which we saw several times, but was always closed due to the time that we made it there. We lucked out and there was a company that was giving our free Cliff Bars and the person there told us to take as many as we liked since they would just get more and we took about 6 of them. We also got some information on what to see on our drive to Monterey Bay and then we headed to Sugar Pine for breakfast.

Sugar Pine
Sugar Pine was a pretty busy breakfast spot. We got two omelettes and coffee which came out to $24. The food was pretty good. There is no WiFi here though. Washroom is outside again (like in Happy Burger) which we find a bit odd. You actually have to walk out of the restaurant and walk a bit to get to the washroom.

San Luis Reservoir
San Luis Reservoir in 2016 (notice how low the water level was)
The San Luis Reservoir is our first stop and we got there at 1:00pm. It is an interesting stopping point and since it is along the 152, it is hard to miss. Well worth a stop to learn about the importance, and the shockingly low level of water just last year!!

It is free to visit, and although there wasn't anyone there to help us, there are plenty of self-guided exhibits that you can read/watch to learn about the reservoir. Best of all, there are clean toilets here!

Gilroy Premium Outlets was next and unfortunately, we didn't find anything here. I guess since it was during the week mid-day, it explained why it was so quiet here. Have a look at the shops to see if you want to stop here for a visit. McDonald's was for lunch. Nothing special.

We made it to the Monterey Visitor Center for information and the ladies that were there were really helpful. Unfortunately they did tell us that they might be closing due to cost, which is unfortunate since they were really helpful and kind. As a bonus, for filling out a survey, we got a set of free nice postcards!

Monterey Bay Street Market
Checked in to our hotel, Days Inn, and then headed to visit the local street market today. It was actually quite the experience. I was introduced to pluots which is a mix of plum and apricot. It was so sweet, absolutely amazing.

We went to watch sunset near the lighthouse and it was pretty nice. It wasn't terribly busy, but since you are by the water, it gets pretty cold. We saw a lot of pelicans (my first time seeing them in the wild).

Domenico's - Anchovies
Domenico's - Mixed Grill on the left, King Crab Ravioli on the right
Dinner was at Domenicos by the wharf where we ordered the mixed grill and the king crab ravioli and we got a free appetizer with a free coupon from the visitor center. The free app was your choice of anchovies, bruschetta, or calamari. We ordered the anchovies which was very good along with the ravioli. We were a bit bummed with the mixed grill though. I hope we remember not to order this again. It isn't the first time we've ordered it and got disappointed by it.

Tomorrow, we spend the day in the area with the goal to be in San Francisco for the evening which is our last stop for this trip.