Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

Our Thanksgiving tradition

January 16, 2014
For the second year in a row, we spent Thanksgiving camping near the beach. Does twice make a tradition?

Like last year, we wanted to use the four-day break to escape the city, and it doesn't make much sense to head north or west at the end of November on a motorcycle. That left us heading back to the Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur area.

We even stayed at the same campground as last year because it's one of the few campgrounds between San Francisco and Monterey that is open at that time of year. We recognized some of the other campers from last year, who had actually been speculating on whether we would return with the motorcycle. We did!

This year, we decided to be a little more festive with our food. Instead of standard camping fare, we stopped at Whole Foods to pick up turkey, pies and beers. We clearly took the minimalist route compared to the other campers, with their grills, giant tents and table settings.

We once again enjoyed a beautiful sunset and even took a stroll down the beach.

The next day Ben wanted to unwind from a stressful week at work so we returned to the Refuge, a hydrothermal spa where you move from a sauna, to a freezing pool, to a hot tub. We went last winter with friends, proving once again that California is awesome because you can wear your bathing suit in January.

I found a well-reviewed Hawaiian restaurant for dinner. Ben liked his wasabi tuna bowl so much that he's tried twice to recreate it at home.

At this point our plan was continue to Big Sur for a few days of hiking but Ben wasn't feeling well. Instead of making him sleep outside with a cold and a sore throat, we decided to spend another night in our Monterey hotel and to hike instead at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, considered by some the "the crown jewel" of California's state parks. It's usually too packed to park, but the rangers let us through on the motorcycle. We hiked the coastal trail, stopped for a picnic lunch and relaxed on the beach.

The next day we took our time making our way back home along the coast. The drive was beautiful as always.

- Steph

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