The one thing, other than golf and beach, that I knew about Monterey Bay was that there are sea otters. It was my mission on this trip to see them.
April told me there was a 100% chance I’d see them around the aquarium, so we decided to take a stroll by the beach. Now, I highly suggest a stroll by the beach because that is always time well spent, but all we saw were some odd rocks in the water.
When a rock suddenly moved, we realized we were actually seeing harbor seals! And there were a lot more than we realized.
We continued our trek for sea otters and saw none. Very disappointing.
Before heading to the hotel, we decided to stop at a small beach. There were tons of people and dogs and it was so nice to get my feet wet in the very cold ocean. Again, this is always worth it. Do it.
We checked in to The Inn at Spanish Bay resort before heading to Carmel-by-the-Sea for dinner. Before we left, we made sure to stash away all of the free snacks in the room to maximize our weight gain.
Logan found Il Tegamino as a swanky dinner option. The restaurant was adorable and we ate outside in the chill aided by blankets at each chair and heaters above most seats. Dinner was fancy, but a bit too fancy for me…
We headed back to the hotel and enjoyed a bottle of sparkling Mumm Napa wine while catching April up on our northern California adventures from the previous week.
The next morning was Logan’s game of golf at Spanish Bay. I decided to sleep in a bit and woke up in a panic to a text that he was already on hole 7. I rushed out the door and a kind old man drove me in his cart to watch Logan’s final holes of golf.
Unfortunately, I had thought he was only playing 9. He was not. For the following hour, I hunted in the weeds for balls while getting much more sun than I was prepared for. The course was amazing. We meandered among the forest, trecked over sand dunes, and had fantastic views of the ocean. As Logan’s ball bag filled back up, we had a great time missing holes and taking pictures.
After his game, I convinced Logan to head down to the beach. Despite the sweater wearing beach walkers, we donned swimsuits and hopped in the water. For about 10 seconds. Then we hurried back to the sand and spent some time drying off and building sand castles.
Part of being at a ritzy resort involves perks such as free test drives in a Lexus LC 500.
Logan, knowing my goals, drove us out to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve where we hunted for sea otters.
Unfortunately, the amazing views were mostly missed. We ran/jogged two miles with possibly ONE glimpse of ONE otter in the distance. We had to make sure to get the car back on time. I’d love to go back sometime and explore the beauty of the park.
We were on a schedule anyway. One of the necessary activities at Spanish Bay was seeing the bagpiper come out at sunset. April, Logan, and I sat on the patio with cocktails and chatted as the sun set and the bagpiper piped.
Again, we decided to meander down to Carmel-at-the-Sea for dinner. This night, Logan and I went on our own to Hog’s Breath Inn. We were intrigued because it was formerly owned by Clint Eastwood and was modeled after an old Italian villiage. The restaurant was not at all what we expected. Despite the chill in the air after sunset, and the lack of sun, the outdoor restaurant felt like a summer day in Italy. There were fireplaces, huge murals, and even full size trees in the small alcove. And the food was fantastic! Definitely my favorite restaurant of the trip. Get the sweet potato ravioli for sure!
After dinner we wandered though town. We spent a good long while critiquing the displays in Khakis of Carmel. Apparently men can look fashionable by wearing 3-4 sweaters on top of each other with ties, flowers, and every color under the sun. Even I could tell they weren’t fashionable. Hilarious.
The next morning we had to head back towards San Jose to catch our plane. Logan knew how desperately I wanted to see the otters, so we caught an Uber back to Monterey Bay.
Logan took me to Old Fisherman’s Wharf and we dodged free samples of clam chowder (only necessary due to the time crunch because otherwise I would have been all over that) as we hurried to the edges of the dock on an otter hunt. It took a few attempts, but we finally found an otter up close and personal. He was diving to grab clams, then floating on his back to bang them on a rock to crack them open.
After a while a mother otter swam over as she watched her baby on her chest. She proceeded to knock him off and force him to swim alongside her. I could have stayed for hours watching their antics, but we had to head back to the airport.
What a fantastic way to end the trip.