Jun21

My PCH Seekender Adventure: The Road to Monterey

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{Wearing: Motorcycle Jacket: Zara. Crochet Top: c/o Kore. Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters. Motorcycle Boots: Steve Madden. Sunnies: c/o T.J. MaxxPhotographed By Jorge Camaraza.}

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We sped off into the beautiful California day, leaving San Francisco behind, pressing onward to Monterey, the second stop on our Pacific Coast Highway adventure. Oh, Monterey. The things I had heard. The photos I had seen. None of them, however, would compare to what my own eyes would behold. The day was starting to cool down, the sun no longer directly above. The wind whipped at us, I zipped up my motorcycle jacket to keep her nip at bay. As we careened through the path, wildflowers surrounding us on either side, I spotted two doe running across the road. I felt like the intruder in their world, this place that was so crisp and pristine. God’s country, that’s where we had found ourselves. The sheer beauty, the serenity, the glory. I’d only seen this side of California in movies. And now, I was here, in all its magnificent splendor, and I was completely in awe. The Beatles, Queen, Zeppelin, Floyd, Bowie kept rhythm as we rode, filling our ears with something to balance out the weight of the beauty our eyes took in. The sheer volume of what my eyes were seeing, at times it felt overwhelming. And again, just like my last Hampton By Hilton Seekender adventure in Colorado, I felt small, so very small.

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And then I spotted it off in the distance, the edge of what very well could have been the world for all I cared in that moment. The water, the way the rocks stuck out over it, the vivid hues of the ground-covering flowers, the sky touching down perfectly into the ocean. This was Monterey. And it was spectacular. We parked the bike, nabbed the camera and ran to the edge of the jagged rocks. It was as though I was standing smack in the middle of a postcard. So raw, so untouched, such a reminder of how truly dynamic an artist God is, how masterfully he wields his brush.

We sat, we stood, we walked, we gawked. But we both knew eventually we’d have to leave. This trip lent to seeing so much, but in order to see it, lingering was off the agenda. We still had miles to go to our Hampton by Hilton in Monterey. So we climbed back on the bike, and rode the road.

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The rest of the ride was like thumbing through the pages of National Geographic. Cliffs, water, sunsets. Magical. Simply, utterly magical. Night started to fall and along with it our mojo. The adrenaline rushes had taken their toll on my energy. I was ready to crash. He had been piloting the bike for what seemed like eternity. I could only image his level of sheer exhaustion. The GPS directed us to the Hampton by Hilton Monterey that opened just a month prior. But as the computerized voice navigated our path, he veered off to the right and let out a squeal that shook me wide awake.

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Glowing just ahead was the neon red and yellow promise of savory passion: In-N-Out Burger. A veteran vegetarian, the West Coast-only burger chain holds little allure for me. But for him, we’d reached a meat-on-bun Mecca. And he was itching to worship in it’s booth, a burger and fries in hand. We rallied for this last adventure of the day. A smile radiating pure bliss slid across his face. There had been more than several servings of that bliss in this day. The last of which came, as I slid into the fresh, clean, white sheets of my bed. We were home for the night, residents of Monterey. But only for a day. Tomorrow, the PCH was ours to trek, to venture across, to wander and explore. But for now it was a deep and peaceful slumber that had my full attention.

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{Our home for the night, the Hampton by Hilton in Monterey, which opened just a month prior to our stop.}

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{What does it mean to be a Seekender? As an ambassador for Hampton by Hilton, I have the amazing job of finding adventures in and around its hotels during the course of a weekend getaway. Find out more here: http://hil.tn/1Y0gWK}