There's a campground run by the city in Veterans Park that we head for, hoping to score a spot. It's first come first served with no reservations allowed and a maximum stay of three days, so there's a pretty steady turnover and odds of getting a place are good if you get there early enough.
We arrive and score our favorite spot in the park, one we've stayed in several times before, Campsite 34. It's beautifully nestled right into the forest.
We make camp and then go for an exploratory hike through the woods. Beware the poison oak!
For lunch we head to my favorite Mexican restaurant in the world, Turtle Bay. During the years that I lived overseas, I found it exceedingly difficult to find acceptable Mexican food. Forget finding good Mexican fare. And in those times that I found myself craving Mexican, the only place I would dream about was Turtle Bay. Thus, no trip to Monterey is complete without at least one meal there.
Their cuisine is more Baja than typical Americanized Mexican, which suits Monterey's maritime placement and availability of off-the-boat-fresh fish well. Lots of seafood options. I highly recommend their Seafood Combo Quesadilla. Insanely good. And if you love spicy, they have a housemade habanero salsa at the self-serve salsa bar that is fantastic!
Living inland for the last several years, we have all become fairly acclimated to the unpleasant summer temperatures (110F+ a few days just prior to our departure) so the cooler seaside temps, coupled with a light breeze, incite our children to proclaim that they are in danger of freezing to death. We wrap them up in the clothing we've brought for winter. The thermometer reads 55F. We have raised "California" girls. Time to change that up.
We spend the afternoon walking and exploring the scenic trail that runs along the ocean south from Lovers Point in Pacific Grove. Ah, the ocean, breathe it deep!
After dinner we snuggle by the fire, and then retire to MATT's furnace-warmed comfiness.
A beautiful day in a special place.