Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back to the Beginning

Anton's and my anniversary is on Tuesday.  It'll be eight years since we said our I do's.  Unfortunately, our anniversary falls on a weekday, specifically the one right before school starts, so we knew a fun night out on the town was out of the picture.  Instead, we decided to head back to the beginning this weekend and hang out in Monterey.

Eight years ago Anton and I were both in the military studying our different languages at DLI, the military language school in Monterey.  I fell for the good looking guy in a Navy uniform, and I managed to convince him that I was a nice sweet girl.  (Ha!)  Five months after we met we were married.  I don't feel the need to drag things out once I've made up my mind.  :)

At first we were kind of planning on recreating some fun events from when we lived in Monterey, like eating at Bubba Gumps on our first date.  But then I decided that we'd done all that stuff before and we needed to do some new fun things.  So here's how our fun weekend went.

On Friday afternoon we picked Anton up from work and headed out for the 2 hour drive down there.  We had decided to camp there on Friday night so we would have more time to play.  The campground down there doesn't take reservations, so it's always nerve wracking planning to camp there because if it's full there are no other choices in the area.  But we were lucky.  After paying a pretty Monterey fee for a campground ($27!!) we set up camp.

It's a beautiful campground surrounded by trees.

Just be warned, if you ever stay there, it's right next to the Army base and you will be woken up at 7 a.m. by reveille.

It's been foggy and misty both times we've camped there, but I think it just adds to the charm.

We set up camp as fast as we could because the place we wanted to get dinner from closed at 6.  We managed to get there about ten minutes before closing.  Now, this restaurant, if you can call it that, is definitely not gourmet.

But it has the HUGEST sandwiches ever, and they are the best.  You'll never want to eat at Subway again.  You can get these beauties at Compagnos, a little convenience store right outside the base.  But the real reason for eating there is not the sandwiches, it's the cake!

Anton and I spent many a date with a slice of their cake.  Yum!  We took our food out to Asilomar beach.  It was cold and foggy, but a stop there is a must.  This is the beach where Anton and I had our first awkward kiss and where he proposed to me.

Ella played in the sand and Alex wore himself out chasing the seagulls.

Then before it got too dark we headed over to the Dennis the Menace park.  This park features nowhere in the dating history of Anton and I, it's just super fun for the kids.

They have all sorts of fun slides.

A real full-sized train you can climb all over.

And a maze and a swinging bridge and all sorts of fun things.  Alex managed to convince me to climb through a big pipe with him, and Anton was so obliging as to take a lovely picture of my rear for you all.

We played until the city employee had to kick us out because he was closing the park.

Then back to the campground to go to sleep.  Well, at least some of us slept.  I sure didn't.  Have I ever mentioned I hate camping?  I do.  Plus, I asked Anton multiple times if it was supposed to rain because we were taking our bigger tent that is not so waterproof any more.  He assured me that rain was not in the forecast.  But as soon as we all settled in to sleep, rain it did.  All night long.  We were all damp and fully wet around the edges in the morning.  Not fun.

We needed a good wake up, so we headed over to First Awakenings for breakfast.  We'd never eaten there before, and we regret that fully now.  They have divine pancakes and crepes and eggs Benedict to die for!  I was tempted to lick the Hollandaise sauce off my plate, but I refrained.

It was still somewhat drizzly when we finished eating, but we decided to press on with our plans.  We drove over to Carmel where we told the kids we were going on a treasure hunt.  All throughout the shopping district in Carmel are all sorts of little hidden alleyways and courtyards.  We gave the kids a map and had them lead us through a bunch of them.

And these aren't normal back alleys, most of them are flowery and beautiful.  The kids had lots of fun, and the treasure at the end was a candy shop.  We let them each pick something out.  Ella chose a giant peanut butter cup, and while she was eating it, I hear her say, "Uh oh."  That never signifies something good.  I look over, and sure enough, she has lost a tooth!

Yuck.  Falling out teeth are so gross!

We took a break to eat our treats in a fun little park.  The kids each made a wish in a little pond there.

Anton and I just sat and took a break.

After our treasure adventure we headed over to the Carmel Mission.  Don't think less of me, but I wanted to see it after reading all about it in the Mediator series by Meg Cabot.  I'd never even heard about it before reading those books.

It's one of the old Spanish missions that line the coast.  We wandered around the grounds, and managed to get a quick peek inside the church since there were three weddings going on that day.

It was pretty cool to see, though Anton and I both agree it probably would have been cooler and made more sense to us if we were Catholic.

Next we headed back into Monterey to find a bench along the beach to sit and eat our leftovers from the night before.

I was pooped from my lack of sleep and all our exploring, so I sat and rested while the kids and Anton went scrambling over all the rocks.

They found a dead sea lion and a tide pool full of fun creatures, like this hermit crab:

And then we made one more spontaneous stop at the Point Pinos lighthouse.

It's the longest continuously running lighthouse on the west coast.  It was a fun little place to see.

And that about does it.  It was a full weekend, but I have to admit I was glad to head home.  I have a one night limit on camping.  Though Anton and I have both agreed that we'd be more than willing to retire to Monterey some day.


Andrea said...

Wow what a fun weekend trip!! I LOVE those alley ways! I would die to have some of those for pictures. I love all of the cool parks and fun things you guys do together!! And I like to camp, but not in the rain!! happy anniversary!!!!!

Amy said...

Everything looks so beautiful there, especially the campsite. We camped this weekend too - for our ward camp out. Very light rain, but we did have the waterproof tent. I am still sore from lugging that thing to the campsite.

Linds said...

JEALOUS! Monterey, First Awakenings and COMPAGNOS! Best. sandwiches. Ever. I miss that place so much!