We heard that Big Sur is famous for surfing, but we didn't try it. The coast line from Carmel south through Big Sur is spectacular enough to enjoy without a surf board. High ciffs, rugged coast line, and crashing waves combined with the changing effects of the sunlight through and around the clouds combine for scenes found nowhere else. We had dinner at the Rocky Point Restaurant that is situated on the rocks jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. Fabulous sunset and coastal views. The food was good, too, but best of all, they serve Downtown Brown Ale, a product of the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, California. More about that later.
Monterey and the Pacific Coast have a charm of their own. Active fishing and tourist communities and home to the world famous Pebble Beach golf course, you can't pass this place up. We enjoyed a beverage or two from the bar overlooking the 18th fairway and hole at Pebble Beach. The weather that day was dark and drizzly, but the foursomes and their caddies were non-stop. Jack, the bartender, let us know that green fees are about $500 and you are pretty much expected to hire a caddy for another $100 or so. For that kind of money, maybe you finish your round no matter what the weather.
At one of Monterey's restaurants we were seated next to 2 lovely young ladies and became acquainted with Julie and Jasmine. Turns out, Jasmine manages Taste of Monterrey, a unique wine tasting restaurant in Cannery Row which we, of course, tried out. Great place with killer views, good food, a wonderful variety of cheeses and wines and, for the non-winers like Fred, draft beer. Julie is a shaper of minds. She teaches culinary arts at the local high school and, per the chef at the restaurant where we met, she's really good at it.
During this part of our trip, we stayed in Moss Landing, just north of Monterrey. It is a quiet fishing community with great farmers markets and very fresh seafood. This area is part of the Salinas Valley and has earned itself the nickname "America's Salad Bowl". One of the largest employers in the area is Dole Fresh Vegetable. We found artichokes, in all forms, to be popular menu items here. Apparently, not too long ago artichokes were hauled to market in Metropolitans! (FYI....Fred had a Metropolitan many moons ago and is still a fan.)