Road Trip: San Francisco Day 3 - Monterey

We drove out south towards Monterey and had lunch at their FIsherman’s Wharf, at a British Pub there. Monterey is a pretty town, host of pop music festivals and art galleries. There is a cannery there that used to be a sardine cannery but is now a marine conservation area and a touristy shopping mall.

The aquarium at Monterey is huge and worth a visit, except for the pricey entrance fee (USD24.95 per pax!!!).

We drove up to the 17 Mile Drive after that, a coastal road that gives you spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Pebble Beach golf course. You pay USD9 for the privilege of driving along this scenic road, because it is privately owned. Still, it is worth a trip and we were lucky to not get any traffic jams along the way. Normally, this stretch is filled with cars. I suppose it was because it was not a weekend.

We decided to drive all the way back to San Francisco after that, a 2-hour-plus drive.

Gas here is about USD3.20 a gallon, which is about S1.28 per litre. Still cheap by Singapore standards but expensive by US standards. Our 3.5-litre, V6, 2-door Cheverolet Monte Carlo guzzles petrol like there is no tomorrow, and given the distances we travel every day, we were topping up on average USD40 a day.

Dinner was a Chinatown meal. We had to try US Chinese food, as part of our world tour food tasting extravaganza, which started in Paris. Er, it was not that good. Chinatown is a big place in San Francisco, and there are actually two. We went to the more well-known (but touristy) one.

After dinner, I decided to check out the Boom Boom Room, Fillmore Street at Greary, home to the blues and progressive funk, and where the late John Lee Hooker used to play. Great music and vibe, though the neighbourhood is a little rough (hey, the best places usually are in such areas though). Mike Dillon’s GoGo Jungle was playing that night.

Further up, you can go to the “Bermuda Triangle”, near Fillmore and Greenwich, where there is a hopping singles bar scene on three corners of the intersection.

After an hour of music at the Boom Boom Room, we decided to end our day, driving another hour back to San Jose.

We hardly looked at the map by then, seasoned American drivers we are liao.

Photos taken with an N95 kindly supplied by our sponsor, Nokia

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