Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Siren Song of Priceline......

basking in the rising sunlight by the gazebo firepit
 or, William Shatner would never steer you wrong, would he?

My better half is, indeed, weather obsessed. He moved to Northern California as a young man expressly to avoid the weather conditions of his youth in Long Island. This trait explains his urgent need to experience our recent bout of beautiful weather in the most lovely landscape our case, the Monterey peninsula. However, after discussions last Friday, we'd decided to skip a trip on this weekend. Contact with some skeevy chairs at a book signing on Thursday night left my leg extra-gimpy, so any hiking (for us, the point) would be out of the question.

Casanova restaurant in Carmel - go for the atmosphere, not the food

However, late Friday night someone started thinking about Priceline, and how it couldn't hurt to submit a ridiculous set of parameters.  Just to have a laugh.

Touring the Museum of Colonial Bedposts in Carmel
Well, the laugh was on us when someone's parameters were * accepted *. I found out late Friday evening that we were booked for Saturday and Sunday night at the Hyatt Monterey (on the Del Monte golf course). (No, neither of us plays golf.) I don't travel well or pack quickly, so i went into 'full frazzle mode' for a bit. But when we got to our destination, Carmel, Pacific Grove, and Point Lobos all shown with limpid light, and the air had little silver and golden sparkles floating around in it....

Point Lobos surf
But we did learn a valuable travel lesson. Our basic room rate beat the price we normally pay for bed and breakfast lodging. However.....Hyatt Monterey is a 'resort', so add $15.00 per night "resort fee".  The amenities include two bottles of Aquafina bottled water, refreshed nightly, and an in-room coffee pot which makes the world's most execrable brew.  Additional bottled water? Buy it in the souvenir shop! Cup of joe? The Starbucks coffee bar opens at 7:00am (caffeine starting at $2.50). All that food and drink adds up quickly.

Snapdragon and Salvia flowers brighten a Pacific Grove parking lot

Casanova's cheese platter tasted as good as it looks
 And it's at least half a mile to anywhere a tourist would want to go - downtown, the Aquarium, Cannery Row, the municipal beach (such a romantic name!) - but no jitney. B & B's have a full breakfast, unlimited coffee, tea, and cocoa. Many have very robust snacks in the afternoons (high tea or hors d'ouevres), free bottled water and sodas, obviating the need to go out to dinner. And most are located within easy walking distance of shopping, beaches, and other 'destination spots'. They also have great staff who are readily accessible to help with any arrangements you can imagine (even helping you call your mom about test results when you've forgotten your cell phone!).

Yarrow and Seathrift overlooking Point Lobos
So in the end we didn't save any money, and for the same amount of money we got less desirable lodgings. I hope we learned our lesson!


  1. Hilton or no. I am decidely jealous. Long ago, I left a comment on your other blog about a lovely day I spent hiking Point Lobos.

    BTW, my mother gave me a pair of leather ropers. The first pair of boots I own that even look remotely like your footwear...which I admire.

  2. Steph--so jealous. Pictures are just dreamy. Hope you had a great trip--you look fab! paula

  3. I'm a bit confused since here in Australia Priceline is a chain of discount pharmacies. (Seriously!

    However, confused or no, your pics are gorgeous and staying at the Hyatt is ALWAYS a good thing, no?

    And I am NOT giggling at the idea of a Museum for Bedposts. I can see that that is entirely necessary and important and would be a totally fun way to kill three minutes.

    On a serious (!?) note, I would love to see the detailing on your velvet jacket in the first pic and that fruit and cheese platter looks fabulous.

    Sarah xxx

  4. Ah, just to get away, though! And doesn't going to a hoity-toity resort make you really appreciate the down-home atmosphere of a B&B more, now?

    You look lovely, Steph! I hope your leg is better.

    I want that cheese...

  5. Hello Terri! i'm glad you mentioned that comment - i had NO IDEA that people were leaving comments over there! (i've changed my settings so i get e-mail notification.) i have some catching up to do!

    believe it or not, point lobos is even more magical now, with the resurgence of sea otter and harbor seal populations. so if you get another chance to come visit, don't turn it down! & good for ma - can you wear them now with your foot/ankle trouble?

    Thank you Paula - it was just gorgeous - it makes taking pics a lot easier ; )

    Sarah, you crack me up! mr. e started calling that house 'the museum of colonial bedposts' and i couldn't resist carrying on with it. here's a good look at the yak magic jacket (that's the brand):

    also, go here for the story: (no .au)

    yeah, Sheila, it's fun to just be someplace DIFFERENT, and i had a blast checking out the Hyatt's various 'amenities'. and it was very close to carmel by car (7 minutes), which was great. and thank you, my leg is calming down with rest.

    hee hee - your inner mouse is coming out!

    have a great day! steph