After Holiday Detox – Monterey

Perfect time of year to go down there, great rates with few people and pockets of sunny weather.  Summer down there is pretty cold and foggy, the water is always freezing.  There have been years I’ve dropped off everyone at the airport after Christmas and just gone down by myself for a few days.

This time I had to wait until after NY when everyone left, I picked a forecast where I could fly down and get my hands back on the plane after last month’s weather kept me grounded.  It’s an easy flight, especially with a tail wind, about 45 minutes.  I gave another chance after the bank was able to get my money back from the rental car fiasco (My El Paso rental car was actually in Jaurez, Mexico – couldn’t get to it even if I wanted to).  If you never have to deal with their customer service or expect a refund, is worth it.  Got great rates for both Hotel Abrego, very close to downtown & Hotel Pacific – one of my favs that’s usually very expensive.

This was a half ass boot camp for me to run off the holiday meals.  The only clothes I brought were sweats and my only transportation besides a quick Uber ride from the airport were my feet.  My running goal has been to run 3 miles without stopping, got that done with the view of one of the best coastline trails in the world.  A few years ago I had a drone job down there to continue that trail.


This clip is a few thousand photos I did for Trail People years ago to extend the trail from Lover’s Point.  This made a 2D scaled print out of the coastline they could put in AutoCAD for design, then I messed around within it and made this video.

The forecast for my departure date changed to low level icing and rain, bummer had to stay an extra day 🙂  So what’s to do down there?  Walking that trail is good enough, there was a Salvador Dali exhibit in the museum I wandered into.  It was worth seeing, his most famous being the melting clocks.

Then whale watching!  Picked the perfect day for that, it was sunny with calm seas.  We got a barf briefing, no barfing from the upper deck.  Turns out, it’s really hard to capture a whale tail on camera.  There were more whales than the last time I went out years ago and my camera was poised for quick FPS.  Got a few, wish I would have zoomed in further.

The next day I used my phone app to get down to Carmel, routing it for public transportation when I saw there was a bus right out in front of the hotel for $2.50.  Hopped on it, got me there as if I would have driven myself.  I love walking down that street to see the shops and the fairy tale looking cottages with the best for last at the end of the street…the ocean with the view of Pebble Beach…spectacular!

Didn’t buy much besides lunch, then found my way back to the bus stop.  As I was walking up I was getting distracting txt’s from my son and another friend.  Here’s the deal about me & txt’s, I feel like the on-call personal assistant available at any time.  I was getting a little bombarded by requests, hopped on the bus, then still somewhat distracted hopped off without my camera 🙁

Had to switch hotels for the extra, unplanned day due to weather.  I was just going to Uber across town so I wouldn’t have to carry my bags, I thought, “I could walk with these bags?” That’s when I noticed I didn’t have my camera bag.  As the Uber pulled up, I was frantically on the phone calling the bus company.  I was so distracted & frantic, I plugged the wrong hotel in the app.  The driver was really sweet, he drove me to the hotel I was staying at and said, “There’s a lot of honest people out there.”

Regardless, I was sick about it.  The bus company told me which stop that same bus would be at in another hour, I had time to check into the next hotel then walk back over to the transit center to sit & worry.  In the meantime, txt’s kept rolling in & I finally had to tell my son to sit tight so I could focus on MY drama.  I sat there for a good half hour, envisioning someone seeing it & it could pay their rent.  I deserved to lose it, my fellow bus mates were not fellow tourists – they were coming or going from work.  Would I replace that camera?  No, that would be the end of my photography besides my iPhone.

The bus finally pulled up, there it was 🙂  Such a relief!  Gave me a new appreciation for my camera, the honesty of people and my own distractions to leave it there in the first place.

Went straight down to the water to get some full moon shots, then uploaded to Instagram.

The next day was clear enough to fly out, easy flight back.  That Del Monte FBO is deluxe!  I’ve been to airports with a porta potty or the office is a bunch of old car seats with a dog that has never had a bath.  This has snacks, I grabbed a pen.  The price was $35 for fuel with no parking fee for four nights.   To put that in perspective, it cost the same as that Electrify America car charging station from my last blog, that was $70 for 100 miles of charge.  They never backed down, funny how minimum wage working people on a bus won’t steal from you but a start up will??  And double down.

Lots of lessons for me, lots of relaxing re-charging time.  Good start to 2020!


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