It wouldn't be long now until we made it to Monterey. Still longer than we'd want to wait to get some food so we'd be stopping along the way. Traffic was still light but even then you still come up on cars that aren't exactly moving at the same "pace" you'd want them to travel at. And of course, you inevitably come up on a guy like the one we found ourselves behind. That guy driving a mini-van who upon seeing you in his rear view mirror says "oh no need to pass me!! And DEFINITELY no need for me to use one of these many
turnouts. I'm not slow. I'll drive the f%$#ing wheels off this rental even with my wife, 3 kids, dog AND inlaws in the car. You just watch." It's really kind of stupid because as it was we weren't exactly riding at break-neck speeds anyway. But it still sucks to be stuck behind this guy. Why not just pull over and save yourself the stress? I don't get it. Now, I'm not one to tailgate, but once I realized he was content to make everyone in that car motion-sick before pulling aside for us I pushed this asshole to the point where if HE didn't want to pull aside then even the damn DOG would tell him to pull over!!! Sure enough, he did. Smooth sailing from there on out.
Came up on a few stops and took some pictures:
On our way to Cambria we had wanted to stop at a place to eat called "Nepenthe" to have lunch. We had heard of it a few times from different people but when we passed it on the way to Cambria it seemed REALLY crowded and the seemed as though the lot isn't visible from where you eat. not being within sight of the bikes, to me, is always a problem. I don't like to have to take the bags off the bikes and although I always take my camera out of the tank bag and bring it in with me, I still rather be able to see the bikes. (looking into it when we got home it seems there might be an area where we could park and see the bikes…next time I guess). The Big Sur river Inn the previous day was perfect so again, if it aint broke…..why not go there again.
Riding around here is sometimes kind of surreal. All of this that we are doing….trips both long and short, are exactly what we had envisioned a few years back when we were thinking of moving out this way. I used to imagine being able to ride along roads like HWY-1 pretty much whenever we wanted. And even though today is a bit overcast, it still beats the hell out of the riding we used to have back home. These parts provide what is in essence, epic riding for most anyone. We both try not to take that for granted and trust me even though there's tons of places and rides we have yet to do, take a ride over the golden gate bridge, to Lake Tahoe or along places like Bixby Bridge in Big Sur or alongside a sunset like the one below and it's easy not to take it for granted:
(each pictured from previous trips)
Southbound view down HWY-1
Time for lunch……
The Big Sur River Inn was understandably a bit busier today on a Saturday than the previous day, but not too bad. We were still able to score the same good parking as yesterday and a table that overlooked those spots. I did a crappy job of taking pictures around here so here is a google street view:
When we walked in I saw the hispanic gentlemen that I was talking to the previous day and we spoke briefly. The waitress the previous day couldn't have been nicer. The waitress today, not so much. She took far too long to even come to the table initially and when she did she took her time with our drink order then also in coming back for our appetizer order. And no, it's not because they were busy. You ever find yourself looking at a server, trying to get their attention and KNOW they see you out of the corner of their eye, but don't look over because then they'll have to come over. That's wat was going on here. Each time she came to the table she was as unpleasant as the last. We decided on food and I waited for her to come back to take the order. I had had enough of her blank stare and seemingly indifferent attitude and told Stephanie to let me handle the order. It wasn't my problem if she didn't want to be there. Being nice wasn't working and, like the joker in the mini-van, I wasn't going to let this girl ruin the time we were having.
This seems to work every time…….She came back to the table with the same shit attitude and asked if we were ready to order. We had been all smiles up to now, but now with the smile completely gone from my face, looking right at her I slowly told her what we wanted and nothing else. I wasn't rude, but it was pretty obvious I was telling her "I tried to be nice". Sure enough, from there on out she was all smiles. And the food was very good again, so no complaints there.
it's interesting when you can watch the bikes from a distance. So many different people walk up to the bikes to take a look. Some Harley guys, some regular travelers, young, old, but inevitably someone walks over to ask about them. After answering some questions from some very nice people, we geared up and rode south again towards Monterey. The weather was holding up and most importantly, no fog. Up to that point it had cooperated and when we got closer to Monterey we actually got some sun peaking through.
In Monterey and especially Carmel it's never a surprise to see nice cars. It's one of the places that reminds me of Miami in that regard. Sure enough just as we pass Ocean Ave, the road that leads to downtown Carmel, we sail pass one of these (one of the nicest I've seen to date). Absolutely beautiful car:
We pulled into the Hotel Abrego in Monterey right around 4:30 or so. Seems that no matter if we have 150 miles or 250 miles to get to where we're going, we always tend to get into town around the same time. I must have a good travel "clock". Oh right, the hotel….A few days before I had checked the Best Western that we stayed at the last time we were here in Monterey. When I checked this place out though (which is right next to it) and saw that the prices were exactly the same, it was a no-brainer. I checked in and was able to get a room that had parking right in front of it (no need to ask for an upgrade here. That WAS the upgrade today).
(that's our door to the left)
For the money this place was great. The room was big, had a fireplace and the aforementioned good parking. And since we've been in the area before we knew good food wasn't far away.
We wound down a bit in the room then got ready for dinner. Stephanie found a japanese place that was a bit out of walking distance and called a cab. In talking to the cab driver along the way he told us things had been a bit quiet around town but that he was gearing up for the following week when the AT&T tournament at Pebble beach took place. This is a big event down there and apparently guys like our cab driver take full advantage not only this one, but also since this is the home to Laguna Seca, Nascar and MotoGP races to name a few.
It took less than 10 minutes to get to the restaurant. Walking in it seemed almost as though they had just opened it. It was a big room with a bunch of tables in it. I know that sounds simplistic. I mean, every restaurant is a big room with tables in it. But this place was almost like a ballroom in that the room wasn't separated into any different sections. The tables are just…there. With that being said the food was really good. And for the record, the food was cheaper (and a lot better) here in Monterey than it was at the japanese place we went to in HOLLISTER (which by the way, cost us more than our room did that night). In hindsight it really was pretty ridiculous. Whatever, we're on vacation. Our waitress, who was more like a robo-waitress, was great. She recommended some good items and was just "on it".
There was a pretty good mix of people in here. There were older people, younger people and even some kids that looked to be dressed for a prom or homecoming (neither Stephanie or I thought it was that time of year, but we couldn't come up with any other explanation). Next to us was a father with his teenage daughter that were trying to video chat with a family member or friend. Good times for everyone it seemed
After eating way too much food, it was time to get back to the hotel. The cab driver had left us his card and told us he'd come get us when we were ready if we'd like. Works for me. We called and he was there in about 15 minutes. Off to the hotel and some much needed rest. Tomorrow we head towards home…….