Road Trip 2016: Monterey, CA

My 40th birthday was rather anti-climactic: there wasn't a huge party at a rooftop bar with 30 of my closest friends and family like I originally had planned or thought I wanted. There were no bottles of champagne being opened or emptied or broken. I didn't wake up the next day with a hangover feeling happy yet horrible. Instead, I was on the road going north with the windows cracked open while old school, gangster rap, and classic rock streamed loudly via iheart radio. There was one bottle of champagne opened while my husband and I were seated in a wine bar on the pier on Monterey Bay, but that was day one of our road trip, and my birthday was a few days away.

I must say that being there brought back the good memories of being with my family. I don't have to put out a disclaimer that "no family is perfect", but sometimes we human beings tend to focus on bad things instead of the good things, and I certainly did that growing up with my family, probably because there was a lot of discord between us. But our vacations in Monterey were good ones, and considering the very humble background both my parents came from, we were lucky to be vacationing anywhere together. The hubs and I drove by the very same, old hotel my family and I stayed at whenever we vacationed there. It was painted a different color, but was still very much the way I remembered it. Same hotel. Different exterior. Same place. Older girl. Different life.

We did the normal thing: visited the aquarium along Cannery Row on day one along with some wine tasting and Fisherman's Wharf on day two. The Row has a chocolate specialty shop which allows sampling with wine, and so I came back to the hotel that evening with more chocolate than wine bottles. I did get a little stir-crazy and squeezed in a solo trail run one morning and a walk to the beach the next morning while Husband slept in. I know that some people wouldn't consider running while on vacation, but this trail was in between the beach and the ocean on one side and vineyards, pastures, and fruit fields on the other. It was a view definitely worth experiencing.

Writing about it all makes me wish that we could be on the road again. But it's another thing that we will have to put off, at least for a little while.