Monterey, Big Sur and the PCH

Friday morning we left the campground to begin our journey south. We had discussed stopping near San Francisco, but the logistics were not in our favor. We decide to pass it by and continue on to Monterey and Carmel. Driving through the Sacramento River Delta was beautiful. Towering bridges taking us over the marshes and streams provided a magnificent view. Soon we were traveling past familiar names, Mountain View, San Jose, and Gilroy to the Salinas/Monterey KOA. We arrived in early afternoon, so we had time to look around and hopefully find a nice seafood place for dinner. We found the Fishwife’s Cafe, a small Caribbean/Seafood Restaurant. I had the Fisherman’s Bowl, shrimp, tilapia, scallops and calamari over rice, beans, and veggies, and Tom had the shrimp dinner with beans, fish, and vegetables. Everything was delicious.
As in many of the areas of California we visited agriculture seemed to be the main focus. Here it is vegetable crops. Up and down the hills and valleys are seemingly miles and miles of lettuce, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries and especially artichokes. The town of Santa Crus bills itself as the "artichoke capital of the world" with 99.99% of all artichokes coming from this area. I told Tom the whole area smelled like the produce department of a grocery.

We wanted to take in as much of Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway) as we could so with the big rig parked we took the truck for a drive north to Half-Moon Bay. One of our first stops was a great farmers market to check out the local produce. I came away with bags of tomatoes, onions, oranges, and some of the best guacamole I have ever had. Unfortunately, it was a very foggy day, so our visibility was limited at times, but the coast was still beautiful. Many of the beaches were hosting surfers, and on one stretch there was a surfing competition taking place. We were disappointed when we reach Half-Moon Bay as in was completely socked in with fog. On our return, we stopped at a rest area overlook for lunch and to enjoy the view. Lastly, I had Tom make another stop at the farmers market for the second tub of guacamole. Yum

Tom and I love zoos and aquariums. I had heard the Aquarium in Monterey was one of the best, after all, isn’t that Dory’s home? In the past we have visited the aquariums in New Orleans, Chattanooga, Newport, Or, Newport, KY, and Chicago among others but the one in Monetary is genuinely wonderful. Located on historic Cannery Row, the aquarium has direct access to Monterey Bay, so the water in the displays comes directly from the ocean and is replenished each night to keep the creature healthy. It also has spectacular views of the bay. We stayed the entire day it was just too good to leave. Pictures will tell you more than words so take a look.

Traveling south from Monterey on the Pacific Coast Highway we saw some of the most spectacular ocean views.
Half-Moon Bay
Monterey Cannery row
Monterey Aquarium
Big Sur & Carmel