California Coast #3 - Monterey and Carmel

Curriculum: The Wanderers
Published: 2021-10-01
California Coast #3 - Monterey and Carmel

It was time for another road trip!  My sister Elaine just arrived from Pennsylvania, and she had a hankering to return to the southern coast for a visit.  

So we booked a hotel in Monterey.  We picked the Monterey Bay Inn because it is right on the bay, and near some beaches where we could do a morning stroll.  

We decided to drive down to Carmel first to do a little shopping, and have some lunch.  We could not check into the hotel until after 3pm anyway.

Driving down there was a breeze.  Because there were three of us, we were able to take the HOV lane.  That saved us so much time.  As we sped past, there were lines of cars to the right of us trying to get to work in Silicon Valley.  It's nice being retired!

The weather was overcast with thick clouds, and occasional misty rain.  Still, it was not cold enough to bother us.  Though it is the middle of the summer, the weather that comes in from the sea keeps the coastal communities cool all year round.

Carmel, or more formally "Carmel-by-the-Sea", is a tranquil coastal town just a few miles south of Monterey.  Perhaps it is famous because Clint Eastwood was once the mayor of Carmel.  With a population of just under 4000 people, Carmel is home to numerous artists and writers.  Downtown Carmel, which encompasses roughly 6 square blocks, has some of the most unique art galleries and shops that you will find in Northern California.

We had lunch at the Treehouse Cafe, which is, as it sounds, built around a tree.  Though skewed towards Mediterranean fare, their menu was rather eclectic, with things ranging from red Thai curry to Philly cheesesteaks.  Being from Philadelphia myself, I had the cheesesteak, which was not a bad choice.  The ladies had salads and pasta, which were fine too.  

After lunch, we walked the streets of Carmel, poking our heads in some of the voluminous shops and art galleries in this little bucolic town.  Keep in mind that the art for sale here is rather expensive.  After an impromptu rest at a coffee shop, we decided to go to Monterey and check in at the hotel.  As we checked in, we were given a room upgrade to a larger room with a fireplace.  Cool!  Well, it turned out that the fireplace was artificial, but the room was indeed large, and had a nice view of the bay.

That evening we decided to walk into the center of Monterey for dinner.  That turned into a bit of a stressful situation, because we had not made any dinner reservations.  My bad.  So we tried to get into a few places, and found long wait times.  We settled on Louie Linguini's.  Our wait time was about 30 minutes.  Frankly, my expectations were low.  But I was wrong.  We were seated on the outer balcony facing the bay, and the fish dinner was better than I had hoped.  There are better restaurants in Monterey, like the Chart House and Sardine Factory, but when you are stuck, Louie's was a plausible alternative.

The next day after breakfast we set off for 17 Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula, which stretches from Pacific Grove to Carmel.  There are five entry points; we chose to start at the entrance at Pacific Grove.  The majority of the parkway flows along the Pebble Beach coastline.  Coincidently, there are exactly 17 stops along 17 Mile Drive.  Stop #12, The Lone Cypress, is by far the most well known stop. This 250 year old tree may be the most photographed tree in America, and serves as the logo for Pebble Beach Resorts. 

Afterwards, we were satisfied with our brief hiatus in this picturesque area, and started to head back to the Bay Area and home.

Flash Card Drill

hanker     切望(せつぼう)する
  • He hankered to go back to the place where he was born and grew up before he died.  
  • 彼は死ぬ前に生まれ育った場所に戻ることを切望していました。
breeze     容易(たやす)いこと
  • Passing the driver test in Japan was a breeze. I did not need to study at all!  
  • 日本での運転免許試験に合格するのは簡単でした。勉強する必要は全くありませんでした!
HOV     (こう)占有(せんゆう)車両(しゃりょう)
  • There are so many cars in the HOV lane today that should not be there because there is only one occupant.  
  • 今日のHOVレーンには乗員一人だけの利用不可の車が非常に多くあります。
encompass     包含(ほうがん)する
  • A century ago the British Empire encompassed territories all over the globe, including Hong Kong and India.  
  • 1世紀前、大英帝国は香港やインドを含む世界中の領土を包含していました。
skew     (ゆが)める
  • The governor's political opinions were skewed more towards Republican than Democratic ideals.  
  • 知事の政治的意見は、民主主義の理想よりも共和党に偏っていた。
bucolic     牧歌(ぼっか)(てき)
  • When Donald visited Toyama he took in the sights and sounds of the bucolic world around him, and for the first time in days felt relaxed.  
  • ドナルドが富山を訪れたとき、彼は周囲の牧歌的な世界の光景と音を受けて、何日かぶりにリラックスした気分になりました。
impromptu     即興(そっきょう)
  • Jane's impromptu performance on the piano at Mary's birthday party was delightful.  
  • メアリーの誕生日パーティーでのジェーンのピアノでの即興演奏はとても楽しかった。
hiatus     休止(きゅうし)
  • Frederick's brief hiatus from college enabled him to think about what he really wanted to do with his life.  
  • フレデリックの大学からの短い休憩により、彼は自分の人生で本当にやりたいことを考えることができました。
eclectic     折衷(せっちゅう)(てき)
  • Their home is furnished in a rather eclectic fashion, with more classical furniture mixed with more modern designs.  
  • 彼らの家はかなり折衷的な方法で装飾されており、より古典的な家具とより現代的なデザインが組み合わされています。
cheesesteak     チーズステーキ
  • Which cheesesteak do you like better, Pat's or Geno's?  
  • パッツとジェノのどちらのチーズステーキが好きですか?
plausible     もっともらしい
  • Natascha's excuse for missing the final exam was plausible, but I can't help thinking that she was lying.  
  • 期末試験を逃したナターシャの言い訳はもっともらしいが、彼女が嘘をついていると思わずにはいられない。