Tuesday, August 9, 2011

California Road Trip of a Lifetime Day 4 - 17 Mile Drive

After we enjoyed our not so much “delicious deluxe continental breakfast,” we hopped on the free trolley and headed towards Cannary Row to rent some road bikes for the day. 

We went to Bay Bikes and rented a couple of hybrids. From there we hopped on the bike trail and rode through Monterey along the coast. We passed some talkative harbor seals chilling along the rocks, the famous Lover's Point and then headed through Pacific Grove where we entered the gates for the 17 Mile Drive. This drive is famous for its natural beauty and notorious other landmarks along the drive. It is also home to Pebble Beach and a several other beautiful golf courses. As we biked along the street we stopped too many times to count and took more pictures than I can remember. The scenery was just breathtaking.  It was incredibly beautiful!

Seal rock is a giant rock out in the middle of the Pacific that was home to a ton of seals, sea lions, otters, and birds. It was crazy to see the vast amount of animals inhabiting on that single rock.   There had to be thousands of them! 

The Lone Cyprus is a cyprus tree, imagine that, that sits out on a cliff all by its lonesome. This was also the 10 mile mark along our almost 50 mile round-trip journey. It was also the point where the dude at Bay Bikes recommended that we stop and turn around....but we didn't...we kept on keeping on.

Once we got to Pebble Beach, we stopped at the market and ate a delicious turkey sandwich. At this point in our journey we were starving. The little community of Pebble Beach is like a tiny world within the gates. It had a bank, a market, lots of shops, and ginormous beautiful homes. The waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing along the cliffs backed up to the greenest, most beautiful golf course I have ever seen, it made for a breathtaking view. I just wonder what those people do that live in there....I know one thing for sure...they are not doctors.

Once we got to the other end of 17 Mile Drive we headed out the gates and rode into the little town of Carmel. We first stopped at the beach. Oh my...the beauty continues...the sand is white, Pebble Beach is in the background, the water is all different shades of blue, and there are little squirrels sand rats running around everywhere. This had to have been Andrew's favorite part of the whole trip. The greedly little things flocked to him. He even bought almonds at the Pebble Beach Market so he could feed the squirrels rats. Now you see why I call him a kid in a candy store all the time? I think he missed his calling..he shoulda been an animal something or another...

As soon as I could get Andrew pried away from the squirrels rats, and as soon as he could get me out from hiding in the ginormous tree trunks...

We headed up the hill to the town. Carmel is one of the cutest places I have ever been. Its so dainty and flowery. There were cuuuute little shops in victorian style homes and lots of restaurants lining Ocean Ave. People were out walking their dogs all around. The town is very pet friendly and if you look closely on the signs of hotels, you will see a pic of a dog on it showing that it welcomes ones furry friend to stay too. And the best part about the town...highheels are banned by a city ordinance! Now that's my kind of town for sure!!!

We locked our bikes up and started wandering Ocean Ave. We somehow managed to stumble upon a 3 story outdoor shopping mall. It was so cool! We ate lunch...again...at a little cafe there, we were starving people! 

Afterwards, we continued to enjoy the little town, one..because it was so cool, and two..because we were dreading the 25 miles or so we had to bike back to Monterey.  And Andrew refused to rent a tandem bike! 

After we finally mustered up enough courage to head that way, we were back on our way. And it wasn't bad at all...that was after I made it up the steepest and most curvy hill I have ever biked up.  I was so proud of myself for not getting off my bike and walking up, I was so tempted to do so.  

Even though we had just rode through 17 Mile Drive, I was still just as overcome with its beauty. We continued to stop some more along the way back. At one of our last stops within the gates, we met a very nice lady. She lived there and was showing her grandson the deer and seals along the shoreline. She offered to take pics of us and then next thing we knew she told us we should come back and watch the sunset at Spanish Bay later that evening. She was so kind as to take our names and give them to the gatekeeper so we wouldn't have to pay the $9.50 it costs to enter into the drive by car. Thank you nice lady, wherever you are! 

It seemed like the rest of the ride went by way too quickly.  Biking the 50 miles turned out to be a blast and the best way, I think, to see some of God's amazing beauty!  Once we returned our bikes we were going to hop back on the free trolley and head back to the hotel...that is until I saw Ghiradelli's. After all the riding, Andrew said I know I deserved one of those delicious sundaes...and boy was it delicious!  Heaven in a cup, that's what that was! 

We finally made it back to the hotel and man were we pooped! But you only live once, right?  And we can sleep when we are dead, or so they say? So we managed to get the energy to shower and change clothes and head back out to Spanish Bay just before sunset. We sat by a fire pit within the resort and looked out at the Pacific just in awe. As the sun was setting we snapped a pic at just the right time and enjoyed the moment together.  I am so glad we got to experience this together!  The sun setting was memorizing.  And all I could keep thinking was "How was I so lucky to be here in the most beautiful place I have ever seen with the one I love so much?!?!"  God is awesome, no doubt! 

Speaking of awesome, to show you how awesome my husband is and how much he loves me, after the sunset, for dinner we called in a pizza, picked it up, hurried back to our hotel, just in time to watch the bachelorette finale. Now that is true love right there, dontcha think?!? Especially since he hates that show with a passion. I heart him...and this day..best one yet!

Stay tuned for Day 5...We are driving the Big Sur!

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