Monday, November 9, 2009

Rest and Relaxation

So remember that tiny picture I included in my last post?  Here is a better one.

Any guesses as to where it is?  I'll give you a little hint: it is where my handsome husband, the Bionic Man, took me away for some R&R last week.

Actually, I should clarify that.  For him, it was a business trip.  For me, it was rest and relaxation.  But I tried to make sure he felt rested, relaxed, and romanced when he was not at boring business meetings.

Whatever it was, it was with me and him and no one else (as in we left the kiddos at home) and we were in Monterey, on the California coast.

We stayed at this swanky hotel.  I think it was probably the swanky-est hotel I've ever stayed at, not being accustomed to travel without children.

It looked just like this when we checked in.  There was a golf course behind it.  We don't play golf (I have some very funny stories about the couple of times I've tried) but both the Bionic Man and I can appreciate a finely manicured lawn.  Especially one we don't have to manicure.  Our room looked like this:

....except we had a view of the lovely pool, not the golf course.  I can tell you, that bed was heavenly.  And I thought the triptych of wheat above the bed was really cool.  ("Triptych: a work of art, usually a panel painting, which is divided into three sections."  Can you tell I got to visit some art galleries and gained a bit 'o culture while I was away?)

Each morning we would enjoy our continental breakfast in this lounge.

Lovely.  And let me tell you, this wasn't just any continental breakfast.  This was the real deal.  See that doorway to the right of the picture?  That doorway led to gourmet delights.  Smoked salmon, artisan cheeses, flaky croissants and delectable pastries, bowl after bowl of fresh fruit and is a good thing I was only there for four days, or the Bionic Man may have had to purchase a third seat to get me home on the airplane.

And it wasn't just breakfast.  The hot chocolate was made with frothy milk and was available 24-7.  Believe me, I took advantage of that!  They had gourmet nuts and trail mix during the day, then trays of hors d'vours in the evening, followed by a nighttime dessert buffet.  Seriously, I wanted to take pictures, because the food looked so pretty.  But I never quite dared to whip out my camera in front of the other guests.  I think the upper crust frowns upon such displays of enthusiasm.

When I wasn't relaxing at the hotel (hey, I really did use the fitness room while I was there, to justify all the eating), I explored Monterey on foot.  It is a very pedestrian friendly city.  I had fun watching seals on fisherman's wharf

Window shopping on Cannery Row

visiting the historic adobes, and looking for alphabet letters in the architecture of Monterey.  (I'm trying to make one of those picture alphabets.  Or something.  I know for sure I didn't find all 26 letters.  But I found at least six.  Including q and z.)  By the way, since I haven't downloaded any of my own pictures yet, all these are from the internet.  But I actually went to all of these places!

Including this one.

This is the giant kelp forest tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  One of the events held for the people at Bionic Man's business function was a dinner at the Aquarium, after hours.  See that tank?  There were candlelit tables all around it.  And a California cuisine buffet, a pasta buffet, and a dessert buffet.  I tell you, it is a good thing I did a lot of walking when I wasn't eating.

I tagged along with the Bionic Man and a couple of his bosses to this lovely restaurant.

Too bad it was completely dark when we arrived, so that I couldn't enjoy the views from this very table.

I've had better food (ooh, clearly this trip has made me snooty) so it was clearly the views for which this restaurant is known for.  In the restaurant's defense, they did have several spotlights on the rocks below.  Which actually made it kind of creepy.  Especially when, on the way back, I realized the winding roads we were driving on were the same ones featured in that super scary black and white classic, Julie.  (I heart Doris Day!)

Anyway, once the Bionic Man had finished with business obligations, we got to do a little sightseeing together.  We enjoyed driving the famed Seventeen Mile Drive for views like this

and this

and then going down to Big Sur for some hiking.

We hiked to this waterfall.
The hike took us through some stands of redwoods.  I heart redwoods.  And I heart hiking to waterfalls with the Bionic Man.  The first time he kissed me was after we had hiked to a waterfall.  Sigh.

Anywho, I would just like to know what the Bionic Man and I are doing living in a state with no mountains, no redwoods, and no ocean.  Clearly, we must make our way to Pacific Northwest.  (We have plans to retire on the Oregon coast.)

The last day we were there, we went hiking and then stopped in Carmel by the Sea on our way back to Monterey.  It is a very picturesque place.  Full of storybook architecture and charm.  And art galleries.

We loved it.  It was sort of a cross between Disney and Europe.  Only less tacky that that description makes it sound.

We had our yummiest meal of the whole trip at this restaurant in Carmel.

Two words for you: cheese fondue.  Need I say more?

Anyway, it was a wonderful trip.  So nice to spend lots of uninterrupted time with my Bionic Man.  So nice to a have a short break from cooking and cleaning and laundry.  So nice to come home and be warmly welcomed by my darling children and Hunter the Dog.  (Was Hunter's greeting more enthusiastic?  I'm trying not to analyze that too much.)  So nice of Aunt Jessica to take care of the kiddos while we were away.  I know it was a big job, and I hope she still wants to have children.

It was like a really, really, long date.  Thank you Bionic Man!

1 comment:

  1. Rulon and I did Monterey in 2000, but we only saw the aquarium. This trip sounds fantastic, and you are making me drool over your food details. I love Cheese fondue! What a great trip. I second the Northwest motion, as that is somewhere I love too, and it would be very easy for us to drive to.