It took a while to get started considering we had to completely hand wash all the dirty dishes, finish packing, load the car with all our luggage, get four kids plus us fed and dressed. We began our trip back toward the coast making a beeline for the nearest large town in Oakdale, CA. It is amazing that after only a short time without normal urban sprawl and connectivity, how it all is welcomed back. A trip to CVS and through McDonald’s and we were back on our way through some rural areas and farm lands (primarily walnuts and almonds). Another quick stop at In-N-Out for a milkshake and then headlong into Monterey. Because of the long drive, we decided to head first to a playground to let the kids run around. By this time, they were experts in playgrounds from the time in San Francisco.
We got out of the car at the Dennis the Menace Playground and quickly realized we had mistaken our weather projections.
It was cold and breezy again, just like San Francisco and we were dressed for the beach in shorts and flip flops. After a large camp group left the playground, we tried to play for a bit longer, but the weather won out and we decided to head to the hotel.
We checked into Monterey Tides , which was an absolutely cool hotel right on the ocean. It featured great marketing and vibes, along with an awesome location. Our room only had two queen beds, but it faced the ocean and we were given an $80 food credit, so we were excited.
We unloaded a few bags, explored out to the beach and got some warmer clothes before heading out again. We drove down to Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row, parking along the side of the street to explore the shops, coastline and find somewhere to eat. We settled on Bubba Gump’s, and were creative in our food ordering to save some money (splitting kid’s meals, main courses and drinks). The highlight was seeing a whale in the distance while we ate!
After dinner, we boarded the free city trolley and rode its entire length back to our starting point and then back to our car.
We stopped quickly at the Coast Guard pier and were able to see some Sea Otters and Sea Lions in the water and on the pier!
After this view, we headed to Target for some supplies (mainly for s’mores) and then back to the hotel. Not wanting to brave the weather on the beach for making actual s’mores, we opted for non-cooked ones in the room while we relaxed and then went to sleep.
This is day 9 on our California Road Trip Summer 2016. Make sure to check out the entire trip!