March 22, 23, & 24, 2009
Hosted by Harry Ozols and Dolly Hebert
Story by Bob and Judy Higday
Judy and I can just returned from a most wonderful 3 days in the Monterey area. Harry Ozols and Dolly Hebert put together a tour that rivals any for activity, planning and originality. CHVA members Dick and Charlotte Klass flew from Dallas, and Bill and Mary Schneider friends of Harry and Dolly joined us.
We started in San Mateo at Mimi’s Cafe for breakfast. The weather had rained during the night and was still showering, although had stopped as we set off. It was then a long drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains on back-roads some of us who have lived in the area for a lifetime had not traveled. We stopped at the San Gregorio General Store for a look around and then moved on stopping on the coast in Santa Cruz first at the Natural Bridges State Beach and then at the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. It just so happened that a big International Kayaking contest was going on at the time.
We traveled on down Highway 1 to Carmel where we had a great lunch at Bistro 211. Fred Wildenradt, our Redwood Region member, who lives on 17-mile drive, met us. He got us a free pass into Pebble Beach and led us on a tour of 17-mile drive. It was then time to check into the Seabreeze Inn at Pacific Grove for quick rest before leaving for dinner.
Dinner was at Lugano’s Swiss Bistro in Carmel, where we had a Fondue dinner with us all sitting around a large table. The proprietor Andre was a real character and a lot of fun.
The next morning was bright and beautiful and we were out in an Artichoke field where a wonderful lady explained to us all about artichokes. We came away with a whole new appreciation for artichokes. It was then over to the Giant Artichoke Restaurant in Castroville for breakfast. We also took pictures of all the cars in front of a huge artichoke.
Next on the tour was Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. We drove all around the track, not on the track, because that was not possible. We then stopped at the Skip Barber Racing School for a tour and a up close and personal look at all of their equipment. A lot of drooling and dreaming went on. It was pointed out that a lot of loving wives have purchased driving lessons for their husbands.
Then it was to the Wild Things animal compound, near Salinas, where all kinds of exotic animals used in movies and photography are trained and housed. This was much more interesting than visiting a zoo.
Our final stop for the day was the Monterey Bay Equestrian Center where we are all loaded onto a horse drawn wagon and were given a hour long ride around the country before returning to the center for a catered BBQ dinner. The dinner was wonderful and more than we could eat. We even had a marshmallow roast around campfires. The fires felt good because as evening came on the air became crisp. A 5-day-old filly that raced around the corral followed closely by mom entertained us. Then the Arabian stallion that sired the filly showed his stuff. It was quite a show.
The couple that owns the center, Mike and Madeline, brought out their collector car a 1978 Lincoln Convertible that was a special, with only 50 built. They joined us the next day and have indicated that they would like to join the Redwood Region.
It was back to the Seabreeze Inn for a good nights sleep. We were all ready for that.
Tuesday morning we didn’t leave until 9:45 because it was only a 15-minute drive to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. We had a most interesting docent who explained the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. It is a very unique cycle and Pacific Grove is one of the famous stops on their migration. We really didn’t have enough time to do the museum justice and will have to return for a much longer visit, as it is a very well done.
We then drove out the Carmel Valley Road to the 37.5-mile marker for Dio Robert’s Auto Gallery. Dio has a collection of very unique cars for which he likes to tell the story of how he acquired each one and something about the history of the car. He has a liking for Lincolns and Cadillac’s with a few Rolls Royce’s thrown in. The same caterer who supplied dinner the night before followed us out to the Gallery. This time it was a wonderful Italian Buffet. We relaxed and enjoyed the perfect weather before starting the drive home.
It was a most successful tour and everyone profusely thanked Harry and Dolly.