The Travel Slut Diaries: Hey Hey, Monterey

What’s a chick to do on her week off from work and she wants to take a trip that’s not too far in distance and not too damaging on the wallet? Why, go to a place you haven’t been to in YEARS.

Though I drove by it once 14 years ago while doing a road trip along Highway 1, it’s been decades since I fully experienced Monterey. I’m not sure how much has changed since my last real visit there, I don’t know why it took me so long to visit the seaside town, and I never realized how near it is. (OK, kind of near.) Who knew that a two hour (and some minutes) drive from home leads you to this: 

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Stretches of pristine beaches with soothing waves crashing under the clear spring sky–you don’t get any more paradise than that! Though the weather was cool during my short stay, the cool was welcomed. I live in the East Bay and shit gets warm there during this time.

I was in Monterey for only a few days, and, naturally, I crammed everything I wanted to do in those few days. Also naturally, I took a buttload of pics, some of which you’ll see (captioned with my typical jibberish) after the jump! 

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I have arrived! The City of Monterey sign found across the street from the Monterey Bay Aquarium…

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…which I had to go to on this trip. The last time I went there, Madonna was in her cone bra phase and Kurt Cobain was still alive. It’s been that effing long and I’d be a fool to pass up a visit to see the extended cast of Spongebob Squarepants up close. 

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The My Leg fish wasn’t around, sadly. But I must say I’m quite impressed with the camera on my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which took all of the pics here. No filters applied whatsoever, too. And to think I also packed my OG Sony Cybershot camera for this trip. Amount of times I used that camera, though? Zero. 

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OK, this pic is potato quality, but the subject was in motion. This is actually chow for the bat rays; the aquarium employees were feeding them when I was at their exhibit. What do bat rays eat? Calamari, squid, and shrimp, to name a few. The bat ray exhibit also allowed patrons to touch the critters, and I was able to feel their cold, slimy-ish hides. 

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African Penguins! They were being fed here. What do they eat? I…forgot. 

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A sea otter striking a pose for me. 

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One of the many picturesque views of Monterey Bay outside the aquarium. 

I spent a little over three hours there, and all the picture and video-taking I did almost drained my phone battery. I ended up going back to my hotel room (which was only a short drive away) to charge my phone. Thank goodness for fast-charging cables, because I wanted to go back out and take a drive down Highway 1…

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…so I can see sights like this! Top pic is from some random vista point, and bottom pic is of Bixby Bridge and the bay. 

Things I didn’t take a pic of that I did out there:

–the place I got a massage at (a legit, no-frills place that’s also affordable and I got free hot stones with my massage)

Pig Wizard (the only eatery I ate at that was also low-carb friendly–yes, I skipped all the seafood joints in favor of a sausage place)

the cool thrift store near Dennis The Menace playground where I bought a bunch of clothes for $1 each (it’s not everyday I go to a thrift store with a $1 clearance rack!)

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The sights of bustling Cannery Row.  

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Quirky knick-knacks spotted at a gift shop at Cannery Row. I didn’t buy any of these, though. 

Speaking of those gift shops, I saw the most pathetic thing of my trip at one of them. I don’t remember the name of the store, but they sold those racist AF thin blue line/red line bumper stickers (don’t bother changing my mind on this), yet that wasn’t the most pathetic part. That they were all sold out of those shit things (out of all the stickers they had) was straight-up sad and proof that we still have a racism problem, sadly. 

I cleansed my eyes from that mess with the best kind of balm: more ocean views!

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Rock art on the beach of Spanish Bay, the third point of Monterey’s 17-Mile Drive. 

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The famous Lone Cypress, also seen from the 17-Mile Drive. 

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The beach of Seal Rock. The day I set foot on that beach was one of those rare times where I was floored by its beauty upon first sight. 

Important tip: if you visit 17-Mile Drive, make sure you have cash on hand for the toll entrance fee. No credit cards or online payment is accepted. 

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I spent my last hour in Monterey at Monterey State Beach (seen above), watching the sunset before making the long drive back home. Part of me felt like I could’ve spent at least one more day there, as I didn’t have time to see some places I had on my list, like Fort Ord Dunes State Park, Old Fisherman’s Wharf, a local weed shop (I always make an effort to get a massage and some weed at every place I vacation at!). And yet I had time to go to the local Sephora and Ross. What’s wrong with me, I know. But knowing how sorta-close Monterey is, that next time may come sooner than later.