Sunday, May 2, 2010

Holiday Part 1: Monterey

Hola blog peeps! Sorry I've been missing in action for a little while... Matt and I have been on a most relaxing and wonderful trip:) We were gone for about 8 days and visited Monterey and Disneyland! Two very different vacation sections deserve two blog posts so I will only be talking about Monterey in this one. 
Matt and I didn't get to go on a honeymoon after our wedding because Matt had just started his job and couldn't take the time off work. For a year we haven't really went anywhere farther than San Francisco to the south and Chico to the north, which aren't more than two hours from our home in Davis. We finally decided to plan a trip to celebrate our one year anniversary. Our anniversary isn't until May 29th, but it worked out best to take our trip at the end of April. We had so much fun. I took sooooo many pictures so I hope I don't completely bore you with how many I'm posting:) 
Matt loves to camp. I'm not too keen on the whole concept. I've never really understood it, but we were going to be staying in a beautiful hotel for the second half of our trip so I agreed to camp in Monterey. Of course, that agreement came with some stipulations... I would only stay in a campground that had showers and we had to sleep on an air mattress. Matt said that obviously wasn't real camping and I told him that was as close as he'd get camping with me:) It ended up being an absolute blast. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be. Have any of you been to Monterey? It's such a beautiful place. There is so much to see and do, but the beach was our main attraction. The beaches there are breathtaking. 
This was our little private beach we found the first night. We stayed here for a long time just chasing the water and watching the sunset snuggled on a blanket. The ocean always makes me feel so small and overwhelmed with how big God is. 
I have to say I love this picture of Matt the most. It totally shows how bowlegged he walks:) He's too cute.
Before we went to this beach we went to the local fish market and got some fresh red snapper and then we went to another local market and got some delicious cabernet and some new potatoes. When we got back to camp Matt grilled the fish and cooked the potatoes over the fire. I had been planning on just doing easy sandwiches while camping but Matt wouldn't think of it. I'm not exaggerating when I say that that fish was the absolute best meal I have ever had. All he used was butter, salt and pepper! It was amazing. And the wine helped me block out the cold:) It was such a perfect night. Well, perfect minus the screaming infant that was camped right by us:)

The next day we got dressed and went to the beach to read and hang out in the sun all morning. Monterey was way too chilly to actually get in the water, not that I would anyway. I am deathly afraid of getting in the ocean. Can anyone relate? I have a pretty irrational fear of sharks. Well, I'm told it's irrational. I feel that it is a completely rational fear to have...  
I took Cannery Row by Steinbeck to read since we were going there later that day:) I didn't get very far because I had a lot to distract me, but I plan on reading the whole thing now that we're home. I have never read this! I've read many of his other books, but somehow never this one, which is Matt's favorite. Matt has surprisingly never read Of Mice and Men, which is my favorite so we're even:)

Later that afternoon we went to Cannery Row and just walked around and peaked in shops and then had lunch at this amazing place that had amazing views. We both had cioppino. I had never had it before and it was soooo scrumptious. Mussels, clams, fresh dungeness crab, shrimp, squid and red snapper all made it into the stew. It was like being in seafood heaven. So yummy!
This was our view from lunch. Beautiful, huh?
Clearly I wasn't going to leave Monterey without checking this place out. Oh if I had money I could sure have spent it there. There was quite an abundance of treasures. 
That night Matt made pizza for dinner. I didn't know how I felt about that at first but fire cooked pizza turned out to be exceptional. Good food played a big part in our vacation; can you tell? :)

The next day was our last day in this beautiful place. We went out with a bang and visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was fascinating and beautiful. I felt like I was in an episode of Life. All we needed was Oprah's voice to guide us and narrate:) 
I apologize in advance for the quality of these pictures. They were taken through glass that had a billion tiny fingerprints on them and we weren't allowed to use our flashes:)
As you may know, Matt and I are pesce-vegetarians (meaning we only eat fish and no poultry or red meat). My dad loves to tease us about this. As I have said before as much as it is about the animals and our health, it isn't just about that. Here's your proof Dad! 
This was their example of an "ideal city". This is exactly what Davis looks like:) We are the city of bicycles and have the #1 Farmer's Market in the country. Also there are recycling bins everywhere you look. This is all actually true:) 
This is three stories tall!
After the aquarium adventure I needed a sugar fix:) We went to the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shoppe. I've never had a more amazing sundae. It was beyond words...
And then we had to say goodbye. Matt and I talked about dreams of living here one day. We said maybe we would retire here or have a vacation home:) We'll see what happens. It is certainly nice living so close for now...
We took the scenic route down Hwy 101 from Monterey to Anaheim. It was beautiful all the way. 
Again I'm sorry about the length of this post:) I will tell you all about our Disneyland adventures tomorrow. It will probably be longer lol!


  1. This was a great post!! Loved the pictures and am amazed at what your hubs is willing to cook while camping!! You look sooo beautiful too! Glad you had a great time! ;)

  2. Oh Ashley, I'm so glad you're back! Those views of the Monterey beaches make me want to get some of that salt air. The cioppino looked delicious. That picture of Matt reminds me of a picture of him that I have when he was about 2 walking with his Dad on the beach with his tiny bowlegged walk. Some things never change. You looked so cool and sassy on the beach! It's great to have a gourmet cook to take with you camping! I love the whole Monterey/Cannery Row area. So beautiful. Can hardly wait for Vacation--Installment 2. You made some great memories! Love, Mona

  3. Congratulations on your one year anniversary. Your pictures of the Aquarium animals are beautiful! Please let me know if there is anything we could have done to make your visit even more special. Best fishes for another great year together!
    Monterey Bay Aquarium

  4. Okay... ummmm... let me know when you and I can do a hair switch (you can have mine and I'll have your blonde locks - it won't hurt a bit) ~tee hee~ Looks like you had a wonderful time! Happy Anniversary and here is to many more to come *clink*

    The Lady of the House

  5. Your pictures are so good!! You looked so beautiful to be camping :) I"m glad you and Matt had such a amazing vacation and had great food!! Looking at your pictures and reading about your trip makes me want to go back to Monterey. I have never been to the Aquarium. It looks great!
    Love you, Mom

  6. Beautiful pics!!! We love Monterey! Jay. I cannot wait to hear about your Disneyland trip. Looks like you had a wonderful time!