Sunday, May 31, 2009

San Francisco to Carmel-by-the-Sea May 17

Monterey to Carmel-by-the-Sea
May 17

On the way out of town we stopped by the local supermarket, Trader Joe's. They had a huge floral department. Prices were good. Orchids that went for $35 in New Orleans were $13 here. Assorted bouquets with calla lillies were $9.

The decor was Hiwaiian. I half expected to hear Tikki music. We enjoyed samples of cinnamon croissant with raspberries & sliced mango. There was a free glass of fresh squeezed chilled organic orange juice.

Ground meat was $1.99. There were also good prices on wine. I found a Vouvray champagne for $8.00 which was not bad as it turned out when we had it that evening. I did not know there was such a thing as Vouvray champagne & was happy about that. Vouvray is my favorite white wine & I like champagne even better than white wine.

There was a sale on a wine label Trader Joe's had purchased from a winery going out of business. The label was Blue Fin. Bottles were $3.99. I should have purchased some to see if my rule of thumb was correct. Normally I say nothing under $4, nothing with dust on the bottle , nothing with a frou frou label. That one had all of this.

There was a Whole Foods store next door. Prices over there were high. Noticed their parking lot was full but Trader Joe's was doing all the business. The deli in Whole Foods had some disposable forks that looked like they were made of plastic but were actually made of potato starch.

Out of curiosity we walked through a Costco first thing in the morning before the door greeter started checking membership cards. If I had never been to a Sam's Club it would have been impressive. It was apparent that Walmart had copied Costco down to the last centimeter.

I had heard a few years back that Costco had caskets for under $400 so looked on the back aisles. It turns out they didn't stock it at this location though they do at some others. I looked up caskets on . Costco sells them in 34 states but not Louisiana or Mississippi.

It has to be billed & shipped to the same address. The manufacturer is Universal Casket Company. Standard shipping is Monday by noon, Wednesday by 5 pm although it can be expedited for a fee of ordered by 2 pm Monday with delivery by 5 pm Tuesday. 18 guage steel was $924 - $2999; a flag case was $89; 32 oz copper from Edward Casket Company on this site was $2599; floral spray was $299-$329.

I looked up casket suppliers on the internet. had 18 guage caskets for $995 as well. woden caskets cost $2300.

Costco members paid $2.45/gallon at the station in the lot. Other stations locally were $2.56. A couple of days later in Silicon Valley gas was $2.71-$2.85.

The Jelly Belly Factory is in Fairfield. Jelly Belly brand came out in 1976. They offer a free tour. We learned it takes between 7 to 21 days to make their jelly beans because they brush on the layers of flavor one at a time. The beans have to dry between applications.

Before the brand came out they were making jelly beans for Govenor Ronald Reagan. He was trying to quit cigarettes. His favorite flavor was licorice. They created blueberry jelly beans for the inaugration when Reagan was elected President for a red, white & blue display. They also invented a dispenser that wouldn't tip over for use in Air Force One. There were mosaics on the walls created by a San Francisco artist of Princess Di, Ronald & Nancy Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Duck, Elvis, Walt Disney. There was a 3 D tableaux of a mallard swimming among cattails. We got to sample a tangerine bean & received a take away bag of mixed flavors. The factory is closed on weekends so we saw movies of production. It was a great tour.

#1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield

It was hot in the area near Gilroy, farming country. We saw artichoke farms, big strawberry operations. It went from 104 degrees to 65 in half a mile as we neared Monterey.

This is the world capitol of garlic. I recalled watching a documentry 20 years ago about the International Garlic Festival held here annually, a film titled Garlic As Good As Your Mother.

We parked in Monterey by the beach. The water was crystal clear.

We walked toward the world class acquarium, had lunch at a gourmet restaurant overhanging the water called FishHopper. We had abalone, grilled scallops & prawns with mashed potatoes. There was a marinated artichoke appetizer that was great. Dessert was hot fudge sundaes at a Ghiradelli icecream/chocolate candy store.

700 Cannery Row
There was a 17 mile scenic drive to Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea

Shepard's Knoll Outlook

Spanish Bay Outlook

Restless Sea Lookout

Brandt's Cormorants need to sun themselves after catching fish because their feathers aren't waterproof & need to dry.

Samuel F.B. Morse founded Pebble Beach along the edge of the 5,300 acre Del Monte forest

Lone Cypress Tree is 250 years old.

We stopped at the Pebble Beach Golf course, visited the gift shop,purchased Robert 2 shirts & an ink pen. You do not want to know what the pen cost. The shirts were on sale, $35 apiece. I was hoping Robert would decide to retire a couple of his faded golf shirts that he has been wearing for the last 10 years. They must be his lucky shirts. Apparently he will be keeping them all.

We rejoined Hwy 1 and drove through the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Clint Eastwood was not to home.

Fog rolled in at 6 pm. A lifeguard told the surfers over a loud intercom to leave the water in 2 minutes because he couldn't see them.

This bucolic villate is one mile square. Many folks had yards where all the space was flowers or landscaped flowering trees. It reminded me of a Yorkshire hamlet. It was hilly there. The streets resembled a country lane. Houses for sale were represented by Sotheby's.

We had reservations with best Western Lanai Gardens in San Jose. I asked the reservations agent to help me find a room at a place on I-101 between San Jose & San Francisco. He was no help at all. Good thing we had the AAA book.

We knew the way to San Jose thanks to our gps but it was hard to get to our hotel due to a 4 lane interstate in front of it & a 4 lane street on the side of it. For a time it seemed like a mirage.

The new owners are Vietnamese & were very nice. The book says the pool is heated but it was not. They also had a box fan in the lobby to circulate air instead of central a/c working which made us wonder if it was also not working in our room but the system in our room functioned just fine. We got there in time to watch the 2 hour season finale of Desperate Houswives.
The room was discounted with AAA membership to $71.00. The free breakfast was nice, with make your own Belgian waffles.

1575 Tully Rd., San Jose 408-929-8100

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