Monterey, Pebble Beach and Carmel

Friday September 30, 2011

Hearty breakfast at our place (Sue’s personal chef was called into action) and we were off to explore Monterey.

This was artichoke country, stretching all the way to our place in the sand dunes.

We walked around the cannery row area and had our first sighting of seals and sea otters.  We had some very excited kids, as well as Ryan and Tegan.

John Steinbeck wrote a novel Cannery Row and they call this area Steinbeck Country

Shots of Cannery Row


We drove a 17 mile private road to Carmel through some beautiful country, with very expensive golf courses and houses along the coastline.

The golf courses were magnificent including Pebble Beach


A seal colony on a rock not far off shore.  They were making a lot of noise.


Getting a better look at their antics


The guys were enamoured with the squirrels we came across


The guys taking it in


We walked around Carmel, which was a very cute town, with some big brand stores servicing the well heeled locals.  We lunched in a swiss cafe, which got the 2 thumbs up rating from us all.


When picking up some supplies I spotted the Hosties Twinkees, a fabled thing of my youth, only seen in comic books with sea dragons and xray specs.  I was educated with the importance of these sweet morsels when I watched the documentary Zombieland.

We had pre-booked all of our accommodation except for the following night, as we were unsure where we would like to stop.  Our plan was to research from our Monterey accommodation, but without an internet connect, that proved difficult.  I txt’ed the owner of the property asked about the interntet password as I could see a wireless network, and he txt back saying only dialup (if you brought a modem) or cell access.  Hmmm, doesn’t meet the “internet” indicated on the accommodation, but any how, that meant a diversion to a neighbouring town to get some starbucks and use their wireless.

After consulting tripadvisor’s ratings and hit a couple of no’s before securing our accommodation.

We went for a walk on the beach for a while, and I returned later to get some sunset shots.

Our accomodation


Tegan leading the charge to the beach

Beach shots


One of the shots I grabbed whilst chilling out (literally in tshirt and shorts) at sunset

A really nice day, and ready to hit the Big Sur in the morning and on to Santa Barbara overnight.

Leaving SF, on to Monterey via Google

Thursday 29 September 2011

I headed across town to grab our hire car whist the rest of the crew got their last minute souvenirs and finalised our pack up.  I managed to make it back across town without a prang, so a good start before picking up the crew at our apartment.

I was stoked that Simon, who I have worked with before, and who now works at Google was able to organise a tour for our family of the Plex at Mountain View.  When I initially asked Simon about the possibility many months back, he said he would be at Mountain View in September also.  Bingo!  Unfortunately, he flew out just before we arrived, so he said it would be unlikely, but he may be able to work something out.

You know you have arrived when you see a google maps marker on the side of the road

He caught up with Adam, who is an American, but had worked in Oz for a while, living in Bondi, and we had met on a couple of occasions, and I determined he is a terrific guy from our meetings.  Thankfully he is now a SF local with his wife, and agreed to show us around.  He was gracious, informative, amusing and a terrific host.  I am so pleased we got to have a tour of the campus with him.  Seems Ryan’s career aspirations may be wavering from being a surgeon, as he asked me what he needed to do to work for Google.

Our host Adam and I in front on the google slide

I guess after seeing the free food, that has different cuisines for each building, as well as everyone smiling, and what I think impressed Tegan the most (being the animal lover she is), you can take you dog to work, and it sits near your desk, you can walk in the parks around the campus, and they have specific doggy buses to transport pets (and their owners) around.  They also had a bowling alley, cinema, football fields and bikes to allow you to cycle around the campus.

The bowling alley


Adam showng Tegan the Snacks you can have between chef cooked meals


We made some purchases from the google shop, and dropped Adam back to his office building and we were rolling to our digs oustide Monterey.

Heading into Monterey

We had a quick look around our place, which is built just behind the dunes, and headed to find some groceries.  We couldn’t get over how cheap everything is, and had to contain ourselves from buying too much.

Our place was perfect, except no internet, though some would argue that is perfect…

We had a nice night in, and rested up for our exploring in the morning.