The second day took us cruising the West Coast on CA-1 where we passed through Half Moon Bay, Pascadero, and Castroville all before reaching our destination of Monterey. We took quick stops for pictures, but quickly hopped back in the car because it was FREEZING. The weather has been beautiful here, but in some places on the water, the wind chills you right down to the bone and in Pascadero that was the case. With Castroville being the 'artichoke center of the world', we decided to make a pit stop at The Giant Artichoke for steamed artichokes. While the restaurant was far from gourmet, the novelty of eating a steamed artichoke between acres of rolling farmlands large enough to feed 75% of the nation's artichoke supply was well worth the $7.
We rolled into Monterey and did a quick drive through to develop a game plan. We wandered through the art galleries on Alvarado Street and ended up renting bikes from Adventures By The Sea. While we did not bike the entire 18 mile trail, we did cruise along the coast from Monterey to Pacific Grove. The coastal views were unbelievable, although fighting the wind on the front end of the ride was a bit of a struggle for this little Florida girl. Along our ride, we saw people standing off to the side of the trail. I pulled over and was amazed by all the large rocks laid out on the sand, until I saw one of the "rocks" jump away from the cold water. The entire beach was covered, not by rocks, but by a slew of sunbathing seals. We turned around at Lover's Point Park(BEAUTIFUL) and headed back into town to grab some food and a little downtime.
After downing sample after sample of clam chowder on the pier, we decided to have a low key dinner to rest our muscles before heading back out for sunset. Our beautiful hotel bed makes a lovely table for cheese, crackers, salad from a bag (eaten with our hands), and $4 bubbly in coffee mugs. A delicious dinner in true McKeeby traveling fashion, thank God for Trader Joe's.