It was the Second Annual Slow Travel Monterey Get-Together!
We left home at 7 a.m. for a 10:00 flight from Ontario to San Jose. We arrived at 11:00 and picked up our rental car. By 12:15, we were at the Abrego Hotel in Monterey. We wandered around Monterey, had a quick lunch, drove along the coastline, and even had time for a nap. We were ready to meet the gang for drinks at 7:00 at the Cypress Inn.
Next it was time for dinner at one of my favorite California restaurants, Cantinetta Luca. I feel like I am in Italy with my friends! It is always a pleasure to be with other Slow Travelers, and this setting, along with wonderful food makes it even better.
We began with antipasti trays...TWO of these!
Entrees were either pasta, risotto, or my rosemary chicken. Brad enjoyed his lamb ragu with fava beans. I also took a photo of Marcia's squid pasta with seafood.
We were up early for coffee, then a walk and some shopping. (Details tomorrow!)
We ended up at Napoli wine bar, right next door to their restaurant. I love all the flags and the red, white and green vespa in front.
By 12:30 we were hungry, and ready for some wine and a snack. They were serving wine flights, prosecco with pastries, or wines by the glass. The antipasti misti was perfect with a glass or two of Falanghina from Campagna.
By 2:00 the rest of the gang started to trickle in, and it became an afternoon party!
We returned to Monterey to shower and change for dinner at Roy's at Spanish Bay. We found seating around a fire pit for our group of 22, and watched the bagpiper at sunset. It was cool and breezy, but wine and blankets helped a lot.
Dinner at Roy's was great. There were wonderful seafood selections like sea bass topped with crab, macademia crusted mahi, ono with mango salsa, as well as sushi, short ribs and luscious looking desserts!
We slept in until almost 8 and checked out of our hotel. We took a lovely drive around Pacific Grove and Asilomar, then stopped for a latte to warm up. Finally it was time to meet up with the group for ANOTHER meal, this time at Sticks at Spanish Bay. We all swore we'd never eat again. We were all at one large table, and it was great to rotate and chat with those we hadn't sat with on Friday or Saturday night. Breakfast was large and delicious (it was also our lunch and dinner).
As Brad said, "These GTGs only reinforce our feelings about Slow Travelers. They GET IT, savoring the place to which they travel... the food... the sights... the adult beverages. Slow Travel is one of the best parts of our lives, as this weekend so aptly reminded us." Thanks to Wendy and Rob for planning and organizing us, and here's to