September 15, 2002
Hyatt Honeymoon Warm-Up

After all the stressing about the wedding-free weekend and declaring that we would NOT play golf, we ended up having a LOVELY wedding-free weekend that included golf! On Thursday Al suggested that we drive down to Monterey, and set about finding us a B&B. He sent me link after link via AIM, but though many of the places looked really nice and romantic, they were either booked or required a two-night minimum stay. We wanted only Saturday night.

Just for kicks, I looked up Monterey hotels on Expedia, and the first listing it returned was the Hyatt Monterey. It sounded great to me from the very beginning. I thought, "cool, a large, semi-lux hotel will have a clean, simple room, and we can always walk the 10 blocks to the beach if we want." Then I noticed that the hotel backed up to a golf course. This was *exactly* the kind of place I'd been looking for in Half Moon Bay earlier in the week. I didn't want to get my or Al's hopes up, though; no stress was more important to me then getting a tee time.

I asked Al if he wanted me to make a reservation, but he wasn't too keen on it. He was thinking that a big hotel wouldn't be that cozy, and that a B&B would be better. I said OK, whatever, you find a place. No stress for me, I thought firmly. About an hour later, Al AIMed to say, "go ahead and book the Hyatt." I did, noting on the reservation that we were getting married in three weeks, and we wanted to spend a weekend away from all the planning, so we'd like a quiet room. I said to Al, "we can bring our golf clubs in case there's a chance to play, but I don't want to work to get a tee time." He said OK.

The next day Al called to see about tee times, and they said they were wide open after 1pm on Saturday and after 11am on Sunday. We couldn't believe it! The Pebble Beach area is a golf mecca, and September and October are lovely seasons on the Monterey peninsula, so it seemed inconceivable that they wouldn't be booked. Al made no tee time; he just figured we could walk on if we wanted to.

We woke up around 9am on Saturday, and I showered, dressed, and spent about 30 minutes on checking house prices in Maryland while Al ran a couple errands. When he returned, we fed the cats, put our golf clubs and overnight bags in the car (along with a bottle of my favorite wine and some rice krispie treats), and headed out. It was just before noon. No rush.

First stop was in Saratoga for some coffee at Starbucks and a tank of gas, and then we continued on to Monterey. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery, but still managed to get down to the Monterey peninsula at around 1:30pm. We figured it was too early to check in, and we were hungry, so we went on to Carmel for lunch. We had burgers/veggie burgers at R.G.'s, checked out a fish market for another potential meal, stopped in the Safeway for a bit of chocolate, and visited the Long's Drugs for fiery Cheetos and some notecards.

We got a little lost trying to find the hotel because the only directions I had were from the north, and now we were coming up from the south. After a few wrong turns and a bit of frustration (which we blamed on the surly attitude of the clerk at Long's—we figured he'd temporarily interrupted our flow of happy vibes), we finally found the Hyatt. It looked GREAT. Instead of a high-rise hotel, it was a series of three-story bungalow-type buildings surrounding a golf course. There were flowers everywhere, and a fountain at the entrance.

When we checked in, the desk clerk saw the note in our reservation and congratulated us on our upcoming wedding. Then he read further and said, "oh, did I just blow something?" I said, no, and thanks very much, it's fine. He said he would upgrade us to a ground-floor golf course view room and added, "you can sit on the patio with a drink and enjoy the sunset from there." So nice! He asked if we had any dinner plans, and when we shook our heads, he said, "oh right, this weekend is supposed be about *not* planning." :)

The room was very nice, and it was adjacent to the 18th tee. The view was absolutely lovely. We hung out there for a bit enjoying the view, and then around 4:45pm we drove over to the golf clubhouse. Since it was after 4pm, the price to walk was $22 a person (more reasonable than practically anywhere we've ever played on the west coast), and they said we could head right out. We looked around for the starter for a while, and finally saw an employee who said, "oh, just go. There's no one out there." He was right: there was no one ahead of or behind us. We had the course to ourselves, which felt great. We played 9 holes and arrived back at the clubhouse at about 10 minutes to 7.

After a quick cleanup, a change of clothes, and a glass of wine, we went to the hotel restaurant for dinner. The food was adequate, not spectacular, but the atmosphere was very cozy and romantic. It was fun to relax and watch the people walking back and forth to the pool outside the window.

The next morning Al went out to Starbucks to get us coffee while I took a shower. He came back with the drinks and a Sunday New York Times, and we spent the next two hours or so drinking coffee, reading the paper, and first watching the Jets game on TV, then the golfers on the 18th tee (even the earliest golfers don't make it to the 18th until 11am or so). It was so relaxing that we didn't want to leave; in fact, we were determined to make the most of the 12pm checkout time.

When that time finally rolled around, we did the video checkout, put our bags in the car, and then walked around the grounds a bit, inhaling one last relaxing breath of Hyatt hospitality. We weren't quite ready to head for home, so we went back to the fish market in Carmel for lunch. A cup of yummy clam chowder (Lori) and a crabcake sandwich (Al) later, and we turned the car back towards Mountain View, where we are now. I hope our honeymoon is as nice as this weekend has been!

our room at the Hyatt Monterey

Posted by Lori at September 15, 2002 04:49 PM