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Mellow Monterey Bay…Where Solitude Can Carry You Away – Monterey Bay, California

Mellow Monterey Bay – Monterey Bay, California…Where Solitude Can Carry You Away

Monterey Bay, California

“It is important from time to time to slow down, to go away by yourself and simply be.” Eileen Caddy

Monterey Bay
Monterey Bay
If it weren’t for the fact that I’d committed to a Sunday night reservation in an Inn that partially hovered on stilts over a large scenic bay, I would have backed out. It seemed an odd, yet enticing, idea – escape to my very own oasis, alone – no kids, no husband, no dog – no responsibilities other than driving. That enticement was weighing as heavily upon me as were the responsibilities I knew I’d be sluffing off onto my oldest teenager for the next 24 hours.

Regardless of my last minute hesitations, a room with my name on it awaited, thanks to one of my more impulsive moments. Yet, it was in that moment of planning my escape that I knew what I needed, yearned for, and would drive two hours from home for – solitude. I packed a simple bag, hopped in my car with just enough gas to go one way and inserted a favorite CD into the dash. It was one of many that made my teens groan, and it was the one I’d play continuously for the entire drive. Ah, solitude. It had begun.

Adventure-seeking kids and their parents, kissing couples, hand-holding senior citizens, and the sports loving scuba divers and kayakers provide a spell along the scenic California Pacific Coast. Historic Cannery Row is lined with hotels that lure those who treasure the sound of gentle surfs as they drift off to sleep, and for those who relish waking to distant sounds of crying harbor seals. Shops and galleries are various and enticing, and the mouth-watering food is often the freshest local catch – a sumptuous fete to the palate. Here I was, neither a kid taking in the famous local aquarium, nor a couple pursuing a romantic excursion. I wasn’t a restaurant connoisseur or a spendthrift drooling over the tempting shops and art galleries. My mission was simple: me time, rest, and room service, my own remote control and, yes, a much-needed massage.

Monterey Bay
Monterey Bay
The CD had finished its fourth repetition when I pulled up in front of the Monterey Bay Inn along Cannery Row. Within minutes I settled comfortably into an inviting room that teetered over the gentle tides of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It was early yet, but from the looks of the down bedding, I was already anticipating crawling between the crisp, white linen sheets. But first things first. It was a toss up between the rooftop Jacuzzi that overlooked the bay and the therapeutic massage at the Monterey Bay Spa. True to my original plan, I headed for the spa where Donna, the amiable and good-natured spa owner, worked magic with her hands. The sweet respite of solo time was truly doing wonders for my weary mind and now, for every muscle of my body.

Once in the terry robe that awaited me in my room, I snuggled into that down bedding with a remote control and the gentle sound of the surf outside my deck. It would only be a few hours before I’d awaken – sans alarm clock – to a luxurious continental breakfast slated for a 7:45 a.m. arrival at my door.

Getting away doesn’t require leaving the world behind, but it certainly can mean creating a journey that allows one to completely dismiss the familiar daily routine. Solo travel is not for the faint of heart. Some shudder at the thought of such an excursion free of a companion. Yet, it is that alone time that we so often neglect and instinctively crave. With the frenetic demands of our busy lives, it is vital to feed that instinct now and again.

Monterey Bay dweller
Monterey Bay dweller
Monterey Bay fed my need for alone time well. Body relaxed and battery recharged, I spent the next morning watching the marine life from my deck with the handy binoculars provided in my room. Later I indulged upon a scrumptious lunch from the delicious Fish Hopper restaurant, delivered right to my door. Leaving this self-indulgent time was not going to be easy.

John Steinbeck who penned the popular Cannery Row once said: “We find that after years of struggle we do not take a journey, but rather the journey takes us.” In my hectic life, filled with its share of typical struggles, a 24-hour solo escape became a small, yet significant journey that took me for a day and carried me away.

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