Lying within just a couple hours south of San Francisco is Monterey. One might expect it to be overrun with folks from the city, but in early autumn at least, the area is all but deserted on weekdays, lending itself to prosaic moments of pastoral solitude.

It's hard to describe the beauty of Monterey. Picture, if you will, a perfect half-moon bay with a white sand beach. Now multiply by twenty the size you're imagining it to be, and you might be getting close. The bay is composed of a gaping 35-mile stretch of coastline that spans from Santa Cruz in the north, to Monterey in the south. It's size is massive.

Monterey isn't all about the beach, though (yes it is). There's also the Monterey Peninsula which sports the towns of Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach, and the city of Monterey proper. It goes without saying there's golfing, but also surfing's been a growing enterprise on the peninsula at Asilomar State Park especially, which has a perfect - albeit smaller - half-moon bay of it's own.

By happenchance I wandered onto the peninsula enroute to Seattle after a visit to LA. It was well off the beaten path, but what's that saying about taking the road less traveled? Take it and you won't regret it, or something to that effect? Well, my friend and I took it, each fairly certain we weren't going to find overnight accommodations in Pacific Grove. To our delight, not only did we find accommodations, we found off-season rates with fantastic food right on the premises. And if we were any closer to the beach we'd have been wading up to our knees. Sweet!