Hi Friends! What did your spring break look like? Ours was a few weeks back and it was unlike any spring breaks we’ve ever had before. Dayjhan and I decided to take the girls to Monterey! Monterey is a little city located on the central coast of California. Only a few hours away from our favorite city San Francisco and close to another popular city San Jose. None of us had ever been to Monterey so we were all sorts of excited to be able to experience it as a family. We decided to leave Kobe home for a few reasons but mainly because we didn’t know what to expect going to this new city. The big day was here and it was time to head out.
The day of our trip was a little different than most. You see we typically like to leave early for trips so we aren’t on the road all day and get the most out of our visit. But since Dayjhan had to work until the early afternoon and we had to pick up our rental we didn’t get on the road until around 2:30 PM. Nevertheless, we were finally on the road and it felt so good to be out again. This was our first family vacation since our San Francisco vacation back in October (read here). We made no stops along the way and arrived at our hotel right around 4:00. My first impression of the hotel was “oh my gosh it’s literally right on the beach“. Parking was fine, customer service was fine as well even though there was a long wait to check-in and only one person at the front desk. The hotel Monterey Tides was big and we got lost finding our room but we made it. While our beds were comfy and the hotel views were everything the hotel rooms themselves weren’t very modern. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the shower that only seem to have one type of pressure and sprayed me straight in the face every time I showered. I had many of my followers on Instagram asking me questions about the hotel so I hope these things help.
When we settled in we visited the beach and I mean when I say this hotel is on the beach it’s literally on the beach. The location could not have been more perfect for any beach lover. We let the kids play and enjoyed the sun. The hotel offers this really sweet bonfire package. It features all the things you need to have a bonfire and make smores with your family. Unfortunately, they were sold out so we put in a Target pick up for our own supplies plus a kite. Which I totally recommend because there is never a lack of wind in Monterey. The day was over so it was time to grab some Nacho Bizness for dinner and a little Nacho shop in the city with a unique menu and amazing customer service. We then ventured across the street to Revival Ice Cream. Their customer service wasn’t so hot but their ice cream so delicious. The Bees Knees ice cream was the best ice cream I’ve ever tried. A must-have! We went back to the hotel for the night to get some rest.
The next morning it was time for a day of play. We slept in so we ended up doing a brunch instead of lunch. We ate brunch at a place called The Butter House which had pancakes with hints of lemon that makes me drool thinking about them now. Once our tummies were full we headed to the famous Dennis The Menace park which was closed. The kids were so sad, but many things were closed in Monterey due to covid so we couldn’t complain. On the other side of the park, there was a fun little place called El Estero Boating. We were able to rent a small paddle boat for our little family for only 20 bucks life jackets included. We got a half-hour on the water as Dayjhan paddled us around. This was so much fun it made the little ones forget about the park for like 10 minutes. Because once we were done on the water they were begging to find another park to visit. We map quested to a random little park in a quiet neighborhood and let them play for a good hour before we decided to head to Cannery Row. A waterfront street with a bunch of fun stores for shopping and entertainment. There we bought souvenirs, ate a ton of sweet treats, played mini-golf glow-in-the-dark style, and even played Lazer challenge after Dayjhan and the kids went through a mirror maze as I snuck away for cookies next door. After all the fun we had dinner on the water at El Torito. The food again was so good, Monterey I am impressed. But the restaurant views were just as beautiful as the hotel views. We ate as we watched seals swim by it felt a little magical for sure.
On our last day in Monterey, we vowed to just kinda chill. We skipped breakfast again and headed down to the hotel’s heated pool. I took a bunch of photos of the girls and Dayjhan relaxed under the shade. When we were done dragging our kids who love the pool more than us out we got dressed and headed off to lunch. Lunch at Melville Tavern was great. They had a large menu and kid’s meals. Some of the best-blackened chicken pasta you’ll ever taste and the sweetest servers. Lunch was over and do you remember that Target pick up I told you about earlier? Yeah, it was time to actually go and pick that up. Once we grabbed our pick-up and some Jamba Juice because smoothie fuel, we were back to our hotel to spend the rest of the evening on the beach.
This world recently has been very crazy and unkind. But that night on the beach we met some kind strangers two families with kids who allowed us to partake in their beautiful bonfire. We shared our smores supplies with them and exchanged conversations about distance learning, where we are from, and what kinda beer we enjoyed. In the midst of the world slowly reopening and racism at an all-time high this felt good. It felt good to enjoy the company of others not for the colors or our skin or just our smores supplies. But just to enjoy the company of one another as human beings. Will probably never run into those families again but man if they only knew how thankful we were for that night on the beach.
The next morning our trip was over and full of pizza from dinner the night before we skipped breakfast. yup! once again. We got up super early because we wanted to take the kiddos to Santa Cruz beach boardwalk on the way home. We stopped in Santa Cruz and hit up the boardwalk. But unfortunately, the rides were all sold out for the day so we basically spent our entire time in the arcade playing games. The girls didn’t mind they earned enough coins for a few prizes and were ready to head home after.
Our trip to Monterey was a super freeing cold one which I can’t say I loved. Note to self bring a bigger jacket next time. But man the city is beautiful. Thank you Monterey for the spring break memories will always cherish them.