Discovering mystical, magical Monterey

The last time I was in Monterey, Calif., my husband was running the Big Sur Marathon. He had a big support crew of me, our 4-year-old son, his parents and his good friend from high school, who was running the half. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to explore, hike or really take in the beauty of the area.

Fast forward to 2017, when a friend asked if I’d like to join her at a family home in Monterey for a week. I could not type my answer fast enough — YES! It would be just before my birthday in April — what better way to celebrate? My son would be with my now ex-husband, and I could use my frequent flyer points.

It was late by the time we met at the San Jose airport, rented a car and headed south. Mary Ellen knew of a 24-hour grocery, so we bought some basics and found the house, which was on top of a hill above the bay. The modest stone one-story with a Dutch door surrounded by low maintenance gardens was clean and ready to be our home base for a week.

Find out what there is to do in Monterey, California, on

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