Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monterey, Day Two.

Our hotel is right on the beach, and I fell asleep last night to the sound of the ocean. It was so rhythmic and relaxing, it made me (almost) understand why people buy those cheesy noise machines from Brookstone. But, there's no substitution for the real thing, and I slept like a baby.

(Actually, truth be told, when we first got into bed, we heard drunken college kids laughing, screaming, and daring each other to get into the ocean. Bug and I, the two grumpy old ladies that we are, reported their drunk asses to the front desk, and the cops came and broke up their party while we giggled in bed. Haha, yes, we're total tattletale kill joys.)

I woke up this morning to this gorgeous view from our window.

God, I love the ocean. Driving along PCH yesterday and waking up to this today, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

We were up at the crack of dawn to get Bug to her 8:30 a.m. presentation on time. She was presenting her research to the board of a medical journal, and they totally ate it up. She did a really, really good job.

I totally snapped a picture. I am turning into my mother, God help me.

I was so proud. She is such a genius. We sat through other presentations (none as good as Bug's, of course) and then skipped out during the break after running into a sorority sister of ours who was also at the conference.

We strolled around the shops in Carmel and then headed back to Monterey where we changed and then took a cab to Cannery Row to do a little wine tasting.

We found a few tasting rooms, but this one on the water was my favorite. It may have been the views, or maybe the young kid behind the counter with a heavy hand and a willingness to forget how many tastes we had drunk.

Two tasting rooms in, and we were starving for lunch (yes, we were drinking before lunch). We went to a restaurant called Fish Hopper.

We had each probably had about three glasses of wine each, and so our judgment must have been somewhat impaired because we decided a huge, flaming volcano bowl for two was a good idea.

Hmm. It was not. I'm pretty sure we ruined the ladies' lunch next to us with our cracking up.

Also, I didn't take pictures of the food, just of Bug cracking up.

I was also feeling pretty good. I decided to "draw a doggie" for our server on the receipt. I don't know.

As if that stupid volcano drink weren't enough, Bug decided our next stop was another winery. Man, oh man. Our poor wine pourer guy (what would you call them? Wine barista? Wine tour guide? Hmm.), "Rafael." We called him by name, and Bug hustled him for some free glasses, which we got. Hilarious.

After all that, we decided to take a nap. We came back to the hotel and, as you might imagine, crashed. We are going to try and rally to go do something tonight, but these old bones aren't used to this much fun (and alcohol)!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Makin' our way to Monterey.

Another blogging drought, coming to a close. I still must catch up on my Google Reader -- which is like old take-out found in the back of the fridge -- I forgot about it for so long, I am afraid to open it ...

I have been looking forward to this weekend all. week. long. Bug has a medical conference in Monterey where she is presenting her research and invited me to join her for a sisters' weekend. I have never been one to turn down a free trip.

We left L.A. this afternoon (yes, I was actually able to leave in the afternoon), stopped in Camarillo for lunch, and made the long, beautiful drive north. The drive itself was relaxing. I am such a road trip junkie -- there are few things better than a nice, long drive -- and the weather was gorgeous, the hills green (by California standards, at least), and the ocean views divine.

As you can tell, I was happy to be outside. :)

We arrived in Monterey close to 9:00 p.m., checked into our hotel, and started our search for dinner. We decided on the Monterey Fish House.

We ordered scallops in a cream mushroom sauce for starters. This was my favorite thing we had. The scallops were tender and buttery. Delicious!

We each ordered Cioppino for dinner with garlic bread. It was very good.

Bug with a calamari.

For dessert, we had bananas flambe, made table side.

The final product -- so tasty!

After such a delicious meal, I am in a food coma. Tomorrow, Bug is presenting her research, I'll do a little work while she is in her conference, and then we are off to explore Monterey, Carmel, and hopefully do some wine tasting!