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Old 26 Jan 24, 12:26 AM  
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Aulani Waves and Disneyland Days: An Ohana Adventure - Day 1 Pastries, Parrots and the Pacific Coast

Introduction and Index

Day 1 - Pastries, Parrots and the Pacific Coast
Collecting our convertible Mustang, Parker Lusseau Pastries, Monterey, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Bixby Bridge, Big Sur River Inn, Nepenthe, Pfeiffer Beach, In N Out Burger.

Andy, Izzy and I woke up at 3am, Immy woke up at 4am. We stayed in bed for a while and then got ready.





We left the room at around 6am and got straight onto the blue air train.







Within 20 minutes we we were at the Car hire cebtre and the Avis desk was completely empty. Picking up the car couldnít have been easier: we handed over our paperwork, showed our drivers licenses and paid a security deposit and then she said "OK, youíve got a Silver Mustang convertible, just go through those doors into the car park and itís parked bay X38!" The made up argument in my head when she told us we had been given a Chrysler PT Cruiser wasnít required, so I neednít have worried!

We found our car easily and then took a few minutes checking the car over and learning the buttons.



What a beauty!



We got settled into our respective seats, briefly considering having the roof down straight away but we decided to wait until we werenít in a built up area where we would be stopped at lots of traffic lights. We showed our Drivers licences at the barrier on the way out and they checked we picked up the right car and off we went!

We made our way to the Pacific Coast Highway and tried the roof down for a bit but it was still a bit overcast and chilly so it went back up. The views were gorgeous and we had so much fun listening to the playlist we had prepared specifically for this day.



We drove all the way to Monterey and parked near Parker Lusseau pastries and walked over to the bakery. We had done quite a bit of research and this place had great reviews so we were excited to try it.





We spent $52.94 in total and this was for 2 almond croissants a pesto and pepper quiche, a strawberry and rhubarb crumble tart, a fruit croissant and 2 lattes.









We also met this lovely parrot outside who was someoneís pet they had brought with them!



We wanted to get a drink for the girls as they didnít like anything there and after about 10 minutes we managed to find a Starbucks, the traffic was very heavy as there was a car show on. While in Starbucks getting a dragonfruit frappe and a cookie, we also picked up a California Starbucks mug to add to our growing collection! Our total came to $24 including the mug.

We parked just outside the Hotel Pacific where we stayed 5 years earlier, so decided that was a good spot to take a picture with Izzyís pretty drink!



We then set off towards Point Lobos Reserve, which took 20 minutes. This was another place we chose after doing some Youtube research and loving the look of the walking trails and stunning scenery. Entry is free, you just have to pay $10 to park. Immy ate her pesto quiche in the car and we all tried a bit and it was 10/10 delicious.



We lucked out and got the last space in the closest car park then started walking on the South trail. We stopped at a bench to eat our breakfast and finish our drinks and took in all the beautiful scenery.







A little visitor



After breakfast, we continued the trail and the sun finally came out. It was stunning here and we were also lucky enough to see a sea lion.





We continued the walk, taking in all the sights. Three of the trails here are wheelchair / stroller accessible, which we thought was great.





















We strolled back after a lovely walk to get the car. We were doing a whistle stop tour today but all agreed we would love to spend the day here trying all the trails. We tried the shortest one but from what I understand there are even prettier routes.

When we got back to the car we gave our space to a nice lady who had been struggling to park and put our roof down to finally enjoy some top-down time!



I can honestly say I donít think we will ever forget that feeling of driving in a Mustang convertible, with our favourite music blasting, sun shining, looking at the beautiful scenery - it was exactly as we hoped it would be and we all felt so happy.

After about twenty minutes, we had a short stop at Bixby Bridge to get some photos.











Then got back on the road again to drive down another 20 minutes to Big Sur River Inn.

Another YouTube find for us and a place we mustíve literally driven past on our 2018 trip. With so many options, this won us over because of the chairs in the river and it just felt like the most laid back, unique stop off for a light lunch.

As we literally had about 14 precious hours with our convertible to explore, I had planned this day within an inch of its life, working out all the stops and roughly how long each drive would take and how long we could realistically stay in each place without feeling rushed and building in some contingency time.

We pulled in to the car park and walked towards the onsite store. There is a restaurant here too and you (I believe) can order food from here and take it down in a cooler to the river or just eat inside or outside at the restaurant but we chose the little takeaway counter inside the general store. You can also stay here and there is a pool for residents or you can buy a day pass.
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Old 26 Jan 24, 12:26 AM  
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We bought some tacos, snacks including nerd clusters and drinks and wandered down to the river. We found some seats, put our feet in the cool water and enjoyed our food.

















Some people were having beers and sunbathing, others emerged from the water carrying inflatable rings having just floated down the river from their campsite and were stopping here for wine! Amazing!



The girls paddled here for a while and Andy and I just relaxed in the chairs, it was so peaceful and we would definitely come back and maybe even stay or get a day pass for the pool.





After lunch, we continued South and arrived shortly afterwards at Nepenthe / Cafe Kevah.





We had just missed Cafe Kevahís opening hours by 15 minutes (oversight on my part) but were still allowed to admire the view on the lovely terrace.



We were told Nepenthe had space upstairs and was still open if we wanted any food or drink (we always thought it was too busy there from what we had read online, so this was a pleasant surprise) we wandered up the stairs. The food looked lovely but we had only just eaten so opted for drinks only. Andy got an iced coffee, I got a raspberry lemonade and the girls got diet cokes. We were offered seating inside, on the tiered wall with cushions or around the corner where there was a better view. We started on the cushions and listened to the music and people watched whilst enjoying the California sun then moved round to the viewing area. It was a great way to spend 20 minutes.









The cocktails all sounded so good, if we werenít driving we definitely would have liked to sample some.

We had a little browse in the shop before we went and took a photo in the same place we did 5 years earlier!









Next on our itinerary was Pfeiffer beach, a place we had also visited on our previous trip but an absolute must do in our opinion. The info online when we were planning was a little outdated as it said parking was $12 and it was cash only so we arrived with this ready but it was $15 and they now accepted cards.

The drive down to the carpark is very long and windy and filled with potholes, we (Andy) had to pull in and reverse quite a few times on the way down but being a Devonian this wasnít an issue.

We parked the car and started walking towards the beach. On the way we saw the toilet block and the girls thought they would nip there first.

The girls went in and promptly came out again ďItís a toilet over a hole in the floor?!Ē I couldnít properly imagine what they meant so went in to check it out and it was exactly how they described! A plastic toilet and the bowl bit was literally a 10/12 foot concrete chute to outside! Can honestly say weíd never seen anything like this - thereís clearly no way of running plumbing down there! The girls werenít keen to use them and luckily didn't need to go that much so waited for the next stop. Something to bear in mind if youíre heading down there!





We had a lovely relaxing 45 minutes at the beach, watching bodyboarders, the girls paddling in the water and running away from the waves. The waves are pretty strong here, I was surprised to see anyone in the water, especially one being a child as there were no lifeguards and it advises against going in.



It was a bit busier than when we came the time before as it was later in the day; I imagine the sunsets are incredible here.















After our little stop off we wandered back to the car and started our drive back up North towards San Francisco and our hotel. We found the Mustang to be very good on fuel considering the engine size.

For dinner, whilst planning, we had weighed up the choice of Quail + Crane at our hotel (which would have been a blow out a la carte meal with cocktails) or In-N-Out burger which would be less than a 5th of the price and everyone decided In-N-Out Burger was the clear winner (Quail + Crane did look amazing on the reviews we saw; maybe another time!)

Checking out the scenery on the way back up!



We stopped at the In-N-Out burger near Monterey and managed to find a space (it was PACKED!)

We found a table inside and ordered. Andy had the 'double double' and fries and the girls and I had cheeseburgers and fries. It was all lush but I think we would all go for double doubles next time as the meat to bun / accompaniment ratio is much better.









Afterwards Izzy wanted to try a chocolate milkshake, I was keen too but we couldnít manage one each so we shared and had it in the car - it was SO GOOD!



We drove back to the hotel, filling up the car with fuel just before dropping it off and grabbing some Reeceís for Immy as Izzy had had the milkshake.





Dropping off the car was just as easy as collecting, you just go to the relevant level (Avis was floor 3) pull up in a lane where you are directed in the parking garage, they give the car a cursory check over and ask you to leave your keys in it and off you go. The only annoying thing is we left our nearly full bag of Nerd Clusters in the glove box - noooo!



We were back in our room by 9:15pm, which was 15 minutes after dropping the car off.

We originally planned to pop down to the bar and have a cocktail but we were too tired. We sorted our cases out ready for tomorrow, got outfits out and got ready for bed. The girls were asleep by 10pm and we were asleep by 11am.

Overall it was a perfect day, although a little tiring we couldnít have asked for more.

Tomorrow: HAWAII!
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Old 26 Jan 24, 07:41 PM  
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OMG what an amazing day with some lovely memories made. Thank you for sharing this, I love your trip reports 😊
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Old 26 Jan 24, 11:41 PM  
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Originally Posted by Florida1972 View Post
OMG what an amazing day with some lovely memories made. Thank you for sharing this, I love your trip reports 😊
Ahh thank you so much!
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Old 27 Jan 24, 12:26 AM  
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Wow, what fabulous day!
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Old 27 Jan 24, 09:37 AM  
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A fantastic day
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Old 27 Jan 24, 08:24 PM  
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Just a stunning day 😍
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Old 27 Jan 24, 11:00 PM  
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Wow, wow, wow, what an amazing day! It brings back so many memories, the views from Cafe Kevah and Pfeiffer Beach are still stunning 😍
Back last summer I took my mum on a trip to San Jose (we sadly donít fly there anymore) and we hired a Mustang too and drove down all the way to McWay Falls. I wish Iíd known about Point Lobos Reserve as that trail looks fab, a great find.
I donít think Iíll ever get bored of the California coastline, there is something so special about the PCH.
Such a great day, you did well to cram so much in!
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Old 28 Jan 24, 10:01 AM  
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Wow! What a packed day, you really made the most of the time you had available!

The perfect car for the day you had planned too, an absolute dream!

Sounds like you put some serious research and effort into every aspect of this trip, day 1 definitely seems to have paid off!
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Old 29 Jan 24, 12:11 AM  
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Originally Posted by Florida1972 View Post
OMG what an amazing day with some lovely memories made. Thank you for sharing this, I love your trip reports 😊
Thank you so much! Aww that's so kind - TFR and for your lovely comments x

Originally Posted by margyloveswdw View Post
Wow, what fabulous day!
Ahh thank you so much TFR x

Originally Posted by Cutiepie View Post
A fantastic day
Thank you! TFR x

Originally Posted by Pep View Post
Just a stunning day 😍
Thank you so much TFR!

Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Wow, wow, wow, what an amazing day! It brings back so many memories, the views from Cafe Kevah and Pfeiffer Beach are still stunning 😍
Back last summer I took my mum on a trip to San Jose (we sadly donít fly there anymore) and we hired a Mustang too and drove down all the way to McWay Falls. I wish Iíd known about Point Lobos Reserve as that trail looks fab, a great find.
I donít think Iíll ever get bored of the California coastline, there is something so special about the PCH.
Such a great day, you did well to cram so much in!
Thank you so much! Yes, it's simply stunning there isn't it. Oh that's so cool! Yeah, really happy to have found Point Lobos - would 100% go back. Yes, I know what you mean - I'd be very happy to live around there - it's so beautiful. TFR x

Originally Posted by Wonder View Post
Wow! What a packed day, you really made the most of the time you had available!

The perfect car for the day you had planned too, an absolute dream!

Sounds like you put some serious research and effort into every aspect of this trip, day 1 definitely seems to have paid off!
Thank you - so happy with what we managed to squeeze in - glad all my planning paid off TFR x
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