Monterey

I love this place!


Clarion Collection

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Big bear, Little penguin on June 3, 2008

Location: You feel like you're up in the mountain. Heading back to the hotel after dinner, we saw a deer by the street.

Reservation/ Wait: No problem with reservation.

Bed: We had a King-size bed and it wasn't comfortable... and I found two hairs on the bed.

Bathroom: Clean and enough space for two. The counter is a little too small.

Shampoo, etc: BYO shampoo and cond. Their soap is ok. Lotion was ok, but just use your own lotion.

Amenities: No (locker) safe.

Ambience: It was a little bit dark.

Service: We didn't ask for room service or cleaning during our stay.

Garage: We parked in front of our room.

Price: $179.18 plus tax (2 nights)

1 dot - Never again.
2 dots - Only when there is no other place to stay.
3 dots - It was okay but we'll go somewhere else next time.
4 dots - We like it but there's no place like home.
5 dots - Ahh! Fit for a King and Queen.
Clarion Collection Pacific Grove
1038 LIGHTHOUSE AVENUE
Pacific Grove, California, 93950
1-866-422-7635

Vivolo's Chowder House

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Big bear, Little penguin on June 3, 2008

RESERVATION/ WAIT: We were seated promptly.

APPETIZER: Calamari
Both: It was kind of bland. The breading on it had a weird taste.

MAIN ENTREE:
He ordered: Mussel and Salmon soup (with shrimp)
Both reviews: Oooh. I want some more but I'm full!

She ordered: Clam Chowder (Bowl). I just wanted some chowder. It look so good we forgot to take a picture before we devoured it.
Both reviews: Yummy, yummy on my tummy!

AMBIENCE: A nice place to eat dinner.

SERVICE: It was ok.

PRICE: $50.00 plus tax plus tip.

OVERALL (ARE WE GOING BACK?): Yes especially if we're craving for some chowder. Check out our posted pics.

1 dot - Never again.
2 dots - Only when I'm really hungry.
3 dots - It was good but I'll try some other places next time.
4 dots - Oooh. I want some more but I'm full!
5 dots - Yummy, yummy on my tummy!
Vivolo's
127 Central Avenue
Pacific Grove, California, 93950
(831) 372-5414

Holly's Lighthouse Cafe

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Big bear, Little penguin on June 3, 2008

RESERVATION/ WAIT: We were seated right away. We went during lunch time.

APPETIZER: Clam Chowder
Both: Oooh. I want some more!

MAIN ENTREE:
He ordered: Mushroom and Swiss Burger
Both: Yummy, yummy on my tummy!

She ordered: Pastrami on Rye (I chose Potato salad as a side dish.)
His: It was good but I'm having my Mushroom Burger.
Hers: It was good but I want the Mushroom Burger. The Potato salad was good, too.

AMBIENCE: A nice and casual place to eat lunch.
SERVICE: Friendly staff.
PRICE: $$, affordable
OVERALL (ARE WE GOING BACK?): Yes and we'll order two Mushroom Burgers. Check out our posted pics.

1 dot - Never again.
2 dots - Only when I'm really hungry.
3 dots - It was good but I'll order something else next time.
4 dots - Oooh. I want some more but I'm full!
5 dots - Yummy, yummy on my tummy!
Holly's Lighthouse Cafe
602 Lighthouse Ave.
Monterey, 93950
(831) 372-7006

Cafe Fina

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Big bear, Little penguin on June 3, 2008

RESERVATION/ WAIT: We were seated promptly. We went during lunch time and they weren't busy. We were seated close to the window and enjoyed the view of the ocean and the beautiful houses. After few minutes, it was only us eating in the restaurant.

APPETIZER: Deep Fried Monterey Calamari (breaded and served with cocktail and tartar sauce)
Both reviews: Yummy, yummy on our tummy! We wanted some more. The calamari tasted good with either sauce.

MAIN ENTREE:
He ordered: Pepperoni Pizza (8"). Pepperoni wasn't on the menu but the staff gladly made it for him.
Both reviews: Yummy, yummy on my tummy!

She ordered: Tilapia with shredded almond.
Both: Never again. I squeezed the lemon slice on top of the fish and I think the sour taste of the lemon was what made me not like the dish. Hmm, actually I probably wouldn't like it even if I skipped the lemon. I mostly ate the puffed rice.

DESSERT:
His: Raspberry Cheesecake
Both: Yummy, yummy on my tummy!

Hers: Cannoli
Both: Oooh. I want some more only if the shell wasn't too hard to bite on.

AMBIENCE: From outside we thought it was a small place but when we got inside, there was actually more room. I think they have a 2nd floor.

SERVICE: The waitress was very nice and accommodating. During our lunch, the owner was also having lunch with her child. They greeted us out when we left the place.

PRICE: $70 plus tax plus tip

OVERALL (ARE WE GOING BACK?): Only when we're craving for the pizza and the Raspberry cheesecake. Check out our posted pics.

1 dot - Never again.
2 dots - Only when I'm really hungry.
3 dots - It was good but I'll try something else next time.
4 dots - Oooh. I want some more but I'm full!
5 dots - Yummy, yummy on my tummy!
Cafe Fina
47 Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 372-5200

First Awakenings

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Big bear, Little penguin on June 3, 2008

RESERVATION/ WAIT: We went for breakfast. We thought we had to wait but there was no line at all. (It was a Wednesday morning.) You can either sit outdoor and indoor, we chose outdoor sitting. They also let us sit on the table that we liked. One of the owners was working and greeted us when we came in. He also led us to our table. He was nice and friendly. They started getting busy when we were about to leave.

MAIN ENTREE:
He ordered: The Works. Ham, bacon, sausage, mushroom, onion, tomato, melted cheese, sour cream and chives.
Both reviews: It was good but I'll try another pancake next time. He didn't like the potatoes. I did.

She ordered: Blueberry pancakes. Plenty of berries.
His review: It was good but I'll try another pancake next time.
Her review: Oooh. I want some more but I'm full! They'll make as many pancakes you want. I only wanted two and it was more than enough. They weren't lying when they said it had plenty of berries. I love the blueberry spread/sauce on the side. I didn't even touch the syrup. It was so good. (I also got two sausages and two bacon slices on the side. They were okay.)

AMBIENCE: The patio was actually nice. It wasn't very cold that morning so the patio was perfect. There were some Starlings and pigeons on the table next to us and they weren't bothering us. There were clean spoons and forks place on top of every empty, clean table. We were just concerned if those birds landed on our table and stepped on our spoons and forks before we walked in.

SERVICE: The service was great. Our waitress checked on us often and refilled our cup of coffee.

PRICE: $$
OVERALL (ARE WE GOING BACK?): We were expecting to be WOWed but we weren't. It was good but we'll try another place next time we visit Monterey. Check out our posted pics.

1 dot - Never again.
2 dots - Only when I'm really hungry.
3 dots - It was good but we'll try something else next time.
4 dots - Oooh. I want some more but I'm full!
5 dots - Yummy, yummy on my tummy!
First Awakenings
125 Ocean View Blvd Ste 1
Pacific Grove, California, 93950
(831) 372-1125

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Big bear, Little penguin on June 3, 2008

TICKETS:
The tickets were purchased online but we picked them up from the Ticket Holder Entrance. We got there about few minutes after 3 pm and they close at 6 pm. We were thinking that we won't have time to go around so we were told by the attendant that the tickets were valid for a year from the day they were purchased. So we decided to just come back. After 3 months we came back.

We enjoyed the SEA OTTERS, OUTER BAY, GLASS DOME filled with anchovies, WAVE TUNNEL, and the BAT RAY POOL where people can touch or pet bat rays. Check out our posted photos. I wish I can post the video since the photo doesn't give justice to how friendly the bat rays were to Big Bear over here.

STORES: They have about 2 or 3 stores where you can buy souvenirs. They have a caf, too. We ate before we went in so we couldn't tell you how the food was.

PRICE: For adult, it's $24.95. It's cheaper if you're a student ($22.95) so remember to show your school ID. They have Senior and Military discounts, too. For kids, it's $15.95 I think.

OVERALL: We give 3 and stars only because the penguins were not available, no dolphins' pool, and no whales' pool but still... we had fun.

1 dot - My fish tank is more interesting. We only charge a buck.
2 dots - You've seen one aquarium, you've seen them all.
3 dots - If you haven't seen an aquarium before, go see this place.
4 dots - If you've seen any aquarium place before, go here anyway.
5 dots - Ahhh! So this is how Aquaman feels like living under the ocean.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 648-4888

Monterey Bay Whale Watch

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Big bear, Little penguin on June 3, 2008

RESERVATION: Big bear placed our reservation online.

TIME: An hour drive out to the sea. An hour just enjoying the whale(s) and the sea. An hour drive going back. (3 hours)

TRIP: Oh my goodness. It was our first whale watching ever. It was a good size boat and the sea was rough. It was rocking the heck out of the boat that day. I decided to sit in one place and enjoy the trip, and then suddenly I could feel it. I was getting sick. Meanwhile, Big bear was at the bow (is that how you call it?) enjoying how the boat was rockin' like he was on a roller-coaster ride. I'm not kidding! All he needed was a seat with a seatbelt. The way the boat was rocking was not side to side but front to back. So he really looked like riding a roller-coaster.
When the staff and the biologist found a spot, I was already almost knocked-out. I heard the biologist announced that there were three humpback whales and a seal trailing along behind one of the whales. I took a peek and went back to my sorry a** seat and tried to get some rest.

SERVICE: The captain was so nice to me. He checked on me several times just to see if I'm ok. He offered me some ginger candies but it didn't help. Still, that was nice of him.

RESTROOM: Bring your own seat cover and antibacterial gel. They ran out of soap.

PRICE: $32.

OVERALL: Despite of my unfortunate first-time experience, it hasn't bogged me down. We will go to another whale watching and dang it... I will enjoy it.

1 dot - Only if the whales are giving free gas cards.
2 dots - You might wanna swim back than finish the whole thing.
3 dots - For a 3 hour tour, a three hour tour....
4 dots - Even Shamu would love this trip.
5 dots - I love the sea. Arrrggghhh!

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