Summer Road Trip 2017 – Day 3

How is it already day three? We have had a ton of fun already and we haven’t even been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium yet. Is that possible? Yes. Here’s how.

We woke up this morning and enjoyed a pretty darn awesome “free hot breakfast” at our Hampton Inn. They had everything – cereal, oatmeal, fruit, toast, bagels, coffee, juice and make your own waffles with every kind of topping and so much more. These are some serious Hilton Honors points at work here folks. We’ve never stayed at a Hampton Inn before but decided to give it a try for this trip all using points. They did not disappoint. The staff are all super nice, the rooms are clean, and they even offered us free drinks and snacks for being Gold Members.

After filling our bellies with food and drinks, we headed off to Carmel to see the 17-Mile Drive Scenic Tour. No one in the family has done this drive except me. The first time I visited Carmel with my family in my teens, I fell in love. I didn’t want to leave. This place is so nostalgic that I can hardly put it into words. I cannot visit Carmel and not think of my mom – it was our most favorite place. The beauty of Carmel – the ocean blues, the amazing Cypress trees, the white beaches, the earthy rocks, and the deep green golf courses create an indescribable palette. It was our “laughing place” (you have to see Disney’s Song of the South movie to get that reference). Being here reminded me so much of my mom but I had to try and stay focused to create new memories with my own family. I only hope this place will hold the same special memories for them someday. Here are some of the gorgeous scenic photos as well as some our precious memories. You will spy Morton, the little stuffed elephant, in a lot of the photos. Morton has special meaning to us and always travels with us. Hover your mouse over the photos to see the captions or click on it to scroll through larger images.

The most nostalgic stop on the trip is, of course, The Lone Cypress. It’s beauty and symbolism is unparalleled. It looks just as I remember it and just like the picture my mom painted of it that still hangs in my home. It was hard not to get overwhelmed being here.

Here is our last stop before arriving at the Lodge for a pit stop – lunch and some shopping.

We wandered around the Lodge for a bit and stumbled upon The Bench. With the magnificent view of the ocean, Pebble Beach’s 18th hole and a fantastic menu we had to park it on “the bench” and wait for a table outside. The service as a bit slow but the food and scenery made up for it.

After lunch we headed back towards Monterey to check out Cannery Row. We had a little bit of daylight left so we decided to walk around a bit since we were in the car all day. We saw some otters and made up for not having dessert after lunch. “Dessert for dinner”, said Brian. Who would argue with that? Not this old lady and most certainly not the kiddos.

Another end to another fabulous vacation day. Since I’m still feeling sick, we headed back to the hotel early so I could hit the hay and be ready for some shopping at the Gilroy Premium Outlets and our tour of the Tesla factory in Fremont tomorrow. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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