We have once again fallen a bit behind on the blog, roughly three weeks it appears, so it’s time for a flurry of catch up posts! After our fantastic stay at Port Mugu near Ventura, we continued north towards the San Francisco Bay area, but there was no way we would pass up Monterrey and Carmel Valley. We loved our last stop in Monterrey in 2015, and hold the Carmel Valley vineyards in high regard.
We broke up the trip with a one day stop at San Luis Obispo Army Reserve Base, a small campground on a small base, but for a great price with decent facilities. During our one night stay we enjoyed full hook ups for $23, along with clean facilities. Pad Kee Meow was particularly happy with the proliferation of ground squirrels in the vicinity of our rig.
We pushed on to the Navy facility at Monterrey Pines, situated on a very nice golf course. At $32 a night it is a bit pricey for a military campground, but given the area, that amount for a full hook up site is still a bargain. It is a small campground, and some of the sites are awkardly situated, but consiering the cost of other local options, we can’t complain.
Pollen driven allergies in this section of California are beginning to take a toll on Rosemarie, so we scaled back our aggressive plans for the region and just relaxed a bit. Of course, there was no way we were going to forgo a trip to nearby Carmel Valley and the profusion of wine tasting rooms there.
Our timing was fortuitous; our day trip to the valley coincided with the weekly farmers market, and we indulged in two hand made dips and chips as well as to die for sausage links from Cowboy Sausage. We distinctly remembered his offerings from our trip in 2015, when he had been set up on Heller Estate’s property.
After the market, it was on to the tasting rooms, starting with our near annual pilgrimage to Heller Estate. This time we limited ourselves to an excellent Chardonnay even though that is not a grape we usually choose. We hit a couple more nearby places after that; Carmel Valley is fantastic because you don’t have to drive between the tasting places, they are all situated within a short walking distance.
We particularly enjoyed Cowgirl Winery’s Pinot Noir. The overall sit down experience for their flight tasting was quite nice, and the prices were right for our retired budget. We finished the afternoon with a stop in Bunter Springs for a thoroughly enjoyable flight from this small vinyard, and enjoyed chatting with the owner as well.
On our last full day we managed to meet up with our friends Jennifer and Dees of Nealys on Wheels, fellow full time RVers whom we last saw in the Florida Keys during our stay at Curry Hammock State Park. So here we are on the other side of the country, but our travel schedules aligned just enough for a day, allowing us to share a couple of pints at a British-styled pub half way between our respective campgrounds. We convinced fellow RVillagers Terry and Melanee, neighbors in the Monterrey Campground to join us.
English Ales Brewery Pub was literally the only non-chain place with decent ratings we could find near Marina, CA. I enjoyed the Dragon Slayer IPA, but heard nothing but positive reports about the Bad Bobby and a couple of others, plus the fish and chips were up to standard.
Four days in Monterrey, and we never actually visited the city! Ah well, we exceeded our allowance on wine and treats, so heading into town would have only pushed us that much further over budget. Next trip we will spend more time near the Monterrey Marina and shore.