Marin County is pleasant enough, but occasionally one feels the urge to experience something different, and we picked Monterey for our experiment. It is a mere 3 hours away (by car) from the Bay Area and in fairly easy reach.
The master plan was to meet some friends out there and rock the casbah in their company; we ultimately made contact at the Old Fisherman’s Wharf parking lot where we had to struggle with an obstinate parking ticket vending machine. It refused to accept our credit cards but finally (grudgingly) obliged. You should know that Monterey is quite discriminate and does not look kindly on interlopers.
In the past, I had visited Monterey a few times and enjoyed the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. But this time it looked like a tired, over powdered old lady trying too hard to please. And don’t expect to get a good meal in the local “gargotes” (greasy spoons). The Old Wharf is a place that you ought to visit only once and forget forever. We nevertheless bought ice-creams to contribute to the impoverished local economy.
Fortunately, Pacific Grove does not age and is still looking as gorgeous as ever. It can be explored a thousand times without ever feeling any weariness. I of course took a lot of pictures of the coast and of the restless ocean.
Our friends then introduced us to a singular resident of that area. Bon vivant, gourmet, raconteur, sailor, aviator, multilingual, musician… it looked like this man (whose admitted goal in life is to live beyond his means) went everywhere, did everything, and met anybody of importance (including Putin… yes, the Russian dude).
After offering drinks and appetizers, he prepared an excellent dinner, and later regaled us with a few nostalgic tunes played on his accordion.
Recently widowed, he also declared that he would marry any woman who would bring him a McLaren car as a dowry. Ladies, if are looking for a good man (and can afford such a car) I could possibly put you in touch.
The next day, Alex took us to sprawling Sticks Sports Bar in Pebble Beach where we had an excellent lunch. And it is not called a Sports bar for nothing… while munching on an excellent club sandwich, I counted no less than 7 giant television screens hanging on the walls of our room.
The next morning, we broke fast at First Awakenings, an excellent local café serving huge, excellent breakfasts to stray tourists. My bacon/mushrooms Eggs Benedict were particularly tasty.
After exploring the coast one more time, we motorcade back to Marin just in time to avoid the rain. And that’s how we spent a few days in Monterey, far away from the sound and fury of boisterous Marin County.
PS: Have a look at a few photos