By Sharon Brown
We three, my daughter, granddaughter, and me, were lowered down from our hovercraft and landed right in the middle of a big field of Brussels sprouts. This region is known for its contribution to feeding the world.
We took in the surrounding area overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The day was waning and the sun began to set low in the sky. We wanted to get to our Sunset Cottage to watch the sunset, so we boarded our hovercraft and zipped along the coast to the entrance of Sunset State Park. We found the cottage among other homes that sit above the ocean.
Once inside, we got settled. The cottage was well stocked for our comfort and convenience. The decor was reminiscent of a seaside cottage done in blues with shells and wood fixtures and a feeling fishermen were due home any minute.
We went outside to take pictures and watch the sunset, and found a path leading down to the beach. On the beach, you can see the whole Monterey Bay all the way up the coast to the Santa Cruz area, down to and past Monterey. The sand between your toes and the sea air are so intoxicating!
With an ocean view from every window and the ambiance of the cottage, we were given the feeling of being transported to an enchanted place. This atmosphere made our dinner and beverages taste marvelous. We played board games and listened to the high tide pounding on the sand and then a ssssssss sound. So peaceful. We were very cozy and slept well.
Early the next morning, we headed to the Kayak Connection to take our first kayak trip. We were a little apprehensive, not really knowing what to expect. The guide that would be accompanying us made our deer-in-the-headlight feeling evaporate as she explained every detail to keep us safe and to enjoy our trip. We were decked out with gear to keep us safe and dry.
We explored the Elkhorn Slough. We saw jellyfish, sea otters, sea lions, pelicans, and many more exciting creatures that live in the slough. It was just like being at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but we were right there in the water with these creatures. It was exciting! The guide answered all our questions and gave us great information about the area and the wildlife that hang out there. The owners, Jess and Dave Grigsby, are fantastic and so accommodating.
A jetty separates the slough from the Pacific Ocean. You can drive out on the jetty and walk to the ocean. We highly recommend this great outdoor activity to add a bit of adventure and to take in the beauty of the area.
We were very hungry with all the exercise of rowing and fresh air, so we headed to Phil’s Fish Market. The servings are ample, very fresh and yummy. The fishing boats come into the harbor and unload their catch. Can’t get much fresher than that.
Their menu has something for everyone, from clam chowder to bouillabaisse to hamburgers and, of course, fish and chips. There are delectable desserts to choose from — that is, if you still have room after your meal. There is an open bar and you order at the counter and they deliver your meal. There are individual tables and long tables with benches. It feels more like a family meal and you may meet someone from around the world.
Check out the memorabilia on the walls that tell about the origin of the area and restaurant. The restaurant sits right in the middle of the harbor and just a few steps from the sea.
Hope we whet your appetite for adventuring along the Monterey Bay!
Sunset Cottage, 84 Sunset Drive, Watsonville, California (can be found on airbnb.com)
Kayak Connection, 2370 Highway 1, Moss Landing, California 95039 (831-724-5692)
Phil’s Fish Market, 7600 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, California 95039 (831-633-2152)
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