My husband and I are so fortunate to live close to family. Not only do the kids get lots of grandparent time and we get easy access to babysitters, we’re also able to get a couple nights away from the kids a time or two a year. Last year we went to Napa, the year before took us to Seattle, and this year we took a weekend getaway to Monterey.
Weekend Getaway to Monterey
It’s just the perfect time of year to enjoy this amazingly beautiful area of California. The summer can be cloudy and cold, but April and May tend to be sunny and warm. For our getaway, we got sunny and cool, but that was ok with us. Nighttime was quite chilly, but during the day it was the perfect temperature for a run along the coast.
Doug actually had a work conference on Friday, so we went down on Thursday night and stayed until Saturday. We stayed at the Portola Hotel in downtown Monterey, where we got a group discount along with his coworkers. It’s a very nice hotel that was unfortunately under construction, so it wasn’t as nice to look at as usual. Our room was great, though, and quiet, with a partial ocean view, and the staff friendly. Plus, free cookies at check-in!
Date Night in Monterey
Thursday night, we had a dinner with just the two of us at the fantastic restaurant, 1833. This is a must-do if you are in Monterey for the evening.
Doug had been there before for other work functions, but it was my first time. I wore my Stitch Fix dress and necklace that I’ve been dying to have an occasion for since I got it.
This is my very favorite piece from them ever and I can’t wait to wear it again. They’ve really nailed our recent fixes (for both me and Doug), so I’d encourage you to give them a try if you’re looking for some new spring pieces.
After some selfies along the way :),
we enjoyed drinks out by one of the many fire pits on the patio at 1833 before dinner,
and had some fun taking pics with my new camera.
For our appetizer, we enjoyed the brussels sprouts, which you MUST GET if you ever eat here. They were roasted with a maple glaze, whole cloves of garlic and huge chunks of pancetta. For dinner, Doug enjoyed the risotto and I had the squash with coconut curry, lime and peanuts, which tasted more amazing than I ever thought possible. Take a look at the rest of 1833’s menu and make a point to go here if you’re in the area!
After a freezing cold walk back from dinner, we met up with one of the chiefs (Doug works in fire) and his wife at Peter B’s, the bar at the hotel, for a beer.
Monterey Spa Day at the Portola Plaza Hotel and Spa
While Doug worked most of the day on Friday, I had quite a relaxing day to myself. We enjoyed breakfast in the morning at Plumes, a local coffee shop, before parting ways.
I enjoyed the most beautiful 5-mile roundtrip run along the coast, following the path from our hotel to Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove and back. It was fun to stop and see the seal pups on the beach along the way and I stopped at Lover’s Point to climb out on the rocks before turning back. My time was faster than usual, I think motivated by the amazing scenery. This rugged coastline has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
After my run, I grabbed a ginger and greens smoothie from Jamba Juice and then headed to my spa appointments–first a massage and then a mud body wrap and scalp massage.
Completely relaxed, but with my hair looking like a greasy mess, I walked through downtown towards my mani-pedi destination, NailIt, stopping at Poke Lab for a poke bowl lunch along the way.
I gotta say, I love this poke bowl trend that’s happening right now. It used to be so hard to find poke outside of Hawaii until now!
After my mani-pedi, I grabbed afternoon coffees for Doug and me at Plumes and joined him back at our hotel. I was finally able to wash the oils out of my hair and got ready for our dinner with his coworkers.
We met up with everyone at Lallapalooza where I enjoyed fish tacos with mango salsa, a pear martini and good red wine. It was fun to finally meet many of the people Doug works with. Now I can finally put faces to names!
Monterey Weekend Getaway Complete
Saturday morning, we got to enjoy a few relaxing hours together before heading back to Silicon Valley. I slept in a bit and Doug bought us coffee for our walk along the coast. We took the same path that I ran the morning before and stopped for breakfast with a view. I asked for over easy eggs cooked in oil instead of butter (I’m avoiding dairy these days–more on that in a future post), breakfast potatoes and a half an avocado and it was just perfect.
It was fun to walk together to Lover’s Point and show Doug where the seals were, then explore the beaches.
There were so many beautiful shells and things, but it’s all for looking at, not for taking with you.
I took a bunch of pictures to show the kids the cool things that we found.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for coffee at a cool place called Wave Street Studios. In addition to serving pour over coffee and loose leaf tea on a cool patio with a heated bench, they also do recordings and have a space available to rent out for events.
After walking back to our hotel, it was time to check out and head back home. We drove the scenic way up Highway 1, stopping at a produce stand (10 avocados for $1! 10 grapefruit for $1! 7 kiwi for $1!).
Once back in town, we stopped at Whole Foods for some celebratory provisions for Easter, then we started the hours-long process of building the awesome playhouse the Easter Bunny brought the kids, taking a break to pick them up and grab some dinner.
I’m thankful we were able to have this little getaway and so thankful to my in laws for watching the kids so we could have time to enjoy ourselves for a couple days. Even though Doug had to work one of the days, I definitely made the most of it with some much needed me time!
Next time we head down there will probably be a day trip with the kids to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We haven’t been since Emme was a baby and I’m looking forward to taking them again!
Have you been to Monterey? Do you have any must-dos there?
What’s your favorite place to take a weekend getaway?