In other messages, I’ve talked about some of the wonderful things that can be done on and around the Monterey Peninsula. Now I’d like to emphasize how much it means to me that each guest staying at the Old Monterey Inn have the best possible holiday. Recently, we tailored one of our Luxury Getaway Packages to meet the honeymoon requirements of a couple coming from New York. Instead of the Limousine Wine Tour, we substituted a 2-hour Guided Bicycle Tour, 2-hour Kayak Tour of Stillwater Cove, and a 2-hour Guided Morning Rounds Tour behind the scenes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There are so many wonderful things that can be done in and around this area using the Old Monterey Inn as a base. We can plan a romantic Bonfire on the Beach for those special memories that last a lifetime; arrange for Whale Watching in the Monterey Bay; or a breathtaking Helicopter Tour of this magnificent coastline. Maybe you are planning on proposing–what could be more romantic than having a bonfire on the beach and your feelings expressed in a romantic note in a bottle for her to cherish forever. Maybe you’d like to treat your wonderful husband to some real r & r with a couples massage in our Spa followed by a romantic dinner. Or something more exciting like Race Car Driving School at Laguna Seca. Take advantage of our knowledge of the area and we’ll make sure that you fill every minute with fun and excitement!
4th Annual Big Sur Mud Run
March 28, 2009
“Down and dirty” is the theme for this fun sport with a twist. It’s a five-mile event sponsored by the U.S. Army Garrison-Presidio of Monterey and California State University Monterey Bay. It’s said to be a challenging but fun course patterned after the Camp Pendleton mud run with hills, water, obstacles (including five-foot walls), drill sergeants barking orders on the way, and the requisite mud pits. It begins (at 9 a.m.) and ends at Freeman Stadium on the CSUMB campus. You can compete as an individual or put together a five-person team. I can’t imagine anything more fun than five friends competing in the mud. Finishers get a really neat T-shirt and medallion. Showers at the end of the race so remember to bring towels and a change of clothes. Go to www.bigsurmudrun.org for more information and to register.
Who can resist those lumbering, loud monstrosities on the beach. This is the time of the year you really want to try to stop by the two Northern California locations, Ano Nuevo State Reserve (north of Monterey) or Piedras Blancas (about 5 miles north of Hearst Castle), and see the Elephant Seals (named for their large size and the long pendulous noses on the males). The breeding season is in December, when the first males arrive. From fourteen to sixteen feet long, 2 ½ tons, the huge bulls have violent battles to establish dominance. In late December thru mid February, females arrive and form “harems” and then give birth 3-6 days later. Much smaller than the males, 10-12 feet and 1,200 to 2,000 pounds, females normally give birth to one pup that she will nurse for 25-28 days.
It’s fascinating to watch these creatures. The ‘alpha’ males fighting off the young males for dominance in the group. Moms and babies laying in the sun. This past year, one of the large males decided to go ‘walk about’ and crossed the Coast Highway from the Piedras Blancas area. Being so big, they still move very fast, and the Rangers couldn’t chase him back. So, he spent a few days seeing what was greener on the other side of the hill and then he moseyed back.
Visit www.video.nationalgeographic.com/video/sealcam/ for a live Seal Cam.
Here’s a schedule of their typical year:
ELEPHANT SEAL ANNUAL SCHEDULE:
Female elephant seals continue to arrive on the shoreline. Peak of births usually are the last half of the month.
Elephant seal births continue. The peak of mating is around Valentine’s Day. More females leave.
Last adult elephant seals leave.
Female and juvenile elephant seals return to molt.
May Female and juvenile elephant seals molt.
Sub-adult male elephant seal return to molt.
Sub-adult and adult males molt.
Last adult elephant seals molt.
Young-of-the-year and juvenile elephant seals haul out to rest.
Young-of-the-year and juvenile elephant seals haul out to rest.
Subadult elephant seal males haul out. Mature males begin arriving at the end of the month.
Elephant seal bulls continue to return. Females arrive. The first birth is usually mid-month.
For those of you, like me, who love the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I have a new treat to tell you about. On Thursday and Sunday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. you can participate in ‘Morning Rounds’. This tour is limited to 12 people and is regularly sold out, so advance reservations are a must. A trained naturalist will give you a behind the scenes tour like you’ve never had. You’ll participate in a private sea otter feeding and training session, go to the Aquarium kitchen and prepare food for the animals and see how they get their morning meals. You’ll prepare fish pills for the penguins and help the aquarists prepare the touch-pool for visitors. Yes, a hands-on experience. You should even prepare to get a bit wet and maybe a bit fishy but what an experience! It is a bit expensive ($65 per person plus the additional cost of an Aquarium entrance ticket, $45 for members) but you’ll see the exhibits from a perspective that’s usually only available to staff and volunteers. You’ll learn how they care for more than 30,000 living animals and plants in 200 galleries and exhibits. Well worth the expense!
For all you foodies out there that share my excitement when a new restaurant opens, I have some news for you. BISTRO MOULIN, is giving restaurants in the area some serious competition. It’s easy to understand why—French-born chef Didier Dutertre spent 25 years as the chef at Casanova’s in Carmel. His new 20-25 seat restaurant reminds you of dining in Italy and France with the European tradition of tables close together in a small intimate room. It is charming, not too big to allow for poor service and friendly in the way only small restaurants seem able to achieve. And the food—simple yet perfectly executed by Dutertre. The menu is not small! There are six entrees, six hors d’oeuvres, several side dishes, and four desserts. There are a few daily specials and an antipasti of the chef’s selection that reminds one what can be achieved in the hands of a capable chef!
Dutertre and his girlfriend/partner, Colleen Manni, expanded the restaurant into a tiny shop next door selling lovely imported ceramics, olive oil, vinegar, wine, and seductive foodie items all thanks to a partnership with the retailer Mediterraneo Imports.
I certainly can’t wait to return! This is the best new restaurant to come along in quite some time.
867 Wave Street (831)333-1200 Open Monday thru Saturday 11:30-2:00 for Lunch, 5:00-8:30 for Dinner
This is the first Blog for the Old Monterey Inn and we hope to continue to post new and interesting things for our guests! We’ll start off with a Christmas recipe that we hope you will enjoy!