San Jose to Monterey
My buddy Spud Hilton from the San Francisco Chronicle and I were asked to speak at Monterey County’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s (MCCVB) first social media seminar. Since it’s much cheaper to fly to San Jose than it is Monterey and Spud and his wife were driving that way I flew into SJC and had them pick me up. I don’t have many pictures from the flight because on the way up The Horizon Air flight attendant told me I couldn’t take any on takeoff and landing, so that was kind of a bummer. Spud and Ann picked me up and on the 81-mile drive we stopped off to get lunch at Scrambl’z Diner in Morgan Hill. It’s a fun diner with pretty good food and has the world’s largest pair of underwear in the men’s bathroom. Now that’s something I wasn’t expecting.
To get to Monterey we drove through Salinas which is considered the “salad bowl” of the world since they grow so many vegetables there.
Highlights from the trip besides speaking to the Monterey County communications professionals at the historic Perry House included staying at the Bernardus Lodge. I created a list of my top 10 reasons why you want to stay there.
Where I Ate
- Café Rustica: It was just five minutes down the road from Bernardus Lodge and all the workers wear chef aprons. I had BBQ chicken pizza for $13.95 and the Butterscotch pudding for $6.95. 10 Delfino Place, Carmel Valley, CA TEL. (831) 659 4444.
- Fandango: Located about 20-minutes away from the lodge in downtown Monterey, the waiter brought us three appetizers which he called the taste of Monterey: Sand dabs ($9.50), giant sea scallops ($14.75) and giant calamari filet ($9.50). 223 17th Street, Pacific Grove, CA
- La Bicyclette Restaurant is a cute little cozy place in Carmel-by-the-Sea. I hadn’t been to Carmel since 1984 with my parents and cousin Abraxas so it brought back great memories. The Butternut Squash pizza ($15) looked just as good as it tasted. Dolores Street at 7th, Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Seeing Old Friends
One night I talked Spud and Ann into stopping off to see to see some friends Natalie and I met on a 2010 Seabourn Cruise so it was great to tell them the good news in person about us getting engaged. They were so excited they broke out the top shelf champagne.
Instead of flying out of San Jose this time I went out of the Monterey Airport. It’s only 12 miles from Bernardus which takes no more than 20 minutes. Main Event Transportation arranged my ride. They drive most of the movie stars who come up here for vacation or to play golf at Pebble Beach. The driver was early, friendly and had a new, clean, comfortable Escalade. Sitting in the backseat looking out at the marvelous vistas I felt like a star myself. It was pretty cool. The price for the transfer is $110.
The Monterey Airport (MRY) is small. I booked my flight through United.com but it was operated by Skywest and their flight attendant was wearing a Delta uniform. If that wasn’t crazy enough I originally received a flight notification that my plane was going to be 35-minutes late. It’s a good thing I didn’t delay my trip to the airport because when I arrived I received another alert that the plane was going to be on-time and it actually ended up being early.