We have spent the past week parked in Gilroy, California. We chose Gilroy because it was the closest RV park to the Monterey Peninsula area that was available. We have visited this area before, once for the National Audubon Convention and once with our friends, Mike and Martha Weirich. So we did not revisit a few of the more popular tourist attractions, like the Aquarium and Cannery Row. We however could not stay away from the Big Sur. So we drove down the coast one day to get away from the 100 degree temperatures inland. We spent the afternoon walking the beach at Carmel and driving the ocean road in Pebble Beach. The evening before a forest fire had broken out in the mountains around Santa Cruz. Ash from the fire was falling all over the area down wind of the fire as you can see in the picture below of the fender of our Jeep. We could see and smell smoke in the air for three days.
Gliroy is the Garlic Capital of the USA, and the air always seems to smell like garlic. They have everything garlic for sale, including garlic ice cream, which we tried and did not care for. I also ate my first Pomegranate, Josie had eaten them before. I was not too impressed. Besides garlic, there are thousands of acres of artichokes, lettuce, strawberries, peppers and many other crops. We stopped at a few of the many roadside markets and bought fresh produce. On our first weekend in town, we made reservations at the local comedy theater. We thought it was going to be a stand-up comedy type act but instead it was a very funny play.
The Northern California Renaissance Faire was being held just down the road from the RV Park so we decided to attend. This was a first for us and we were a little surprised by how much the folks attending were into dressing and acting the part for that time period. But as you can see in the first picture below not everything was medieval with costumed participants using the ATM machines. We were not sure if the town drunk was really drunk or just acting.
When we visited this area with our friends the Weirich's 9 years ago, Mike and I were scheduled to play the Pebble Beach Golf Course, but Mike had his knee operated on and was unable to play so he drove the cart for me. On this visit I decided to play one of the other great Pebble Beach courses, The Links at Spanish Bay. The weather could not have been better and I was glad Josie could drive the cart for me. The course was in fantastic condition and we were fortunate to be paired with two very nice folks and our fore caddie, Bryan.
We will drive down highway 101 tomorrow to the city of Solvang, California.