Saturday, September 08, 2007

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

I just got back from Carmel and Monterey, which was pretty freaking awesome.

Boyfriend and I drove up the 101 until we came to San Louis Obispo, where we switched over the PCH so we could swivel through the mountain pass and drive through Big Sur. That's how we discovered Hearst Castle. Did you know William Randolph Hearst built a castle in California? It was cool. He had people over all the time and they had to follow three rules: attend a nightly cocktail hour / film screening, don't drink to excess, and don't sleep with anyone you're not married to. Apparently Errol Flynn broke all three rules in one day, making him the fastest guest to get kicked off the ranch.

I packed a cooler for a picnic lunch, but due to some complicated circumstances that are none of your business, we didn't break into the sandwiches until we got to our hotel at 5:30, where I discovered that the sandwiches had soaked up the melted ice. Mmmm, soggy sandwiches.

We opted for pub food.

We spent the night in Carmel at The Carmel Fireplace Inn, an excellent bed and breakfast where we could walk to lots of little touristy spots including a Hog's Breath where Emily learned how many apple martinis it takes to make her use the tile wall as a punching bag while stumbling through a shower. It took me two hours of searching online to find the perfect place and I'm glad I did. I would definitely go back and stay there again.

But Carmel is a nice, quiet town filled with shopping and Clint Eastwoodiness, highly recommended for romance and destination weddings.

We woke up and drove to Monterey to the aquarium where we looked at fish. They have an otter exhibit there which is just about the most adorable thing ever. Also, jellyfish are nifty and boyfriend quite enjoyed the great white shark. The sunfish is fascinating to watch and kelp smells bad.

Then, to balance out our night as "ballers" as Boyfriend put it, we spent our Monterey night in the crappiest motel we could find. The Motel 6 was asking $105. The place where we stayed was $65, so you can imagine the awesomeness. And it was indeed awesome. As we arrived a girl got out of a cab and immediately started fighting with a shirtless skinny guy in the apartment below us. The manager was so happy to do business with two people with no criminal record he actually gave us a large candle as a present when we checked out. I'm not kidding.

On the way back there was a cycling race from one side of the mountain to the other, so I swerved around the mountain pass dodging oncoming traffic as I regularly passed the riders on the edge of the cliffs, trailing behind drivers who were terrified of their own shadows and consequently came to a dead stop whenever they couldn't see 158 miles down the road around the next cyclist. Let me tell you how much fun that is with a stick shift.

But that mountain is beautiful. I can see this being the kind of place where J.D. Salinger would go to disappear. I could spend weeks in one of those beachside houses just writing all day, every day until I ran out of food and had to trek eight million miles to the nearest store, dodging cyclists.

I love the city but sometimes it's nice to get away. I'm recharged now and ready to start casting.

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