Chillin' Out at Pajaro Dunes Beach Resort on the Shores of Monterrey Bay

“Life is different at the beach. Time doesn’t move hour to hour, but moment to moment. We live by the currents and let the day unfold into relaxation and bliss in
the company of those we love.” —Dennis Augustine

After a walk on the trails and early morning yoga class, Cecile and I and Jason’s dog Daisy drove over the Santa Cruz Mountains for a day at the beach. We were invited to join Kim and Al Chien and their family for a pre-Mother’s Day celebration. Esconced in her designer travel carrier bag Daisy was as excited as we were to hit the road. Our son-in-law, Kyle and our daughter Michelle, Al’s mom Dana and dad Jack, Al’s brother RIch and wife Lisa and their precious children Olivia and Simone were awaiting our arrival. Having just attended a wedding in London and on his way back from a side trip to Paris, Jason wasn’t able to join us. What can I say, he inherited his travel bug genes from his parents.

With instant communication being what it is, we were told to look out for Kyle jogging at the side of the road a couple of miles from the beach house. We picked him up as well as Michelle moments later who got a later start on “her" morning jog.

We arrived near noon in time for lunch which included a hot bowl of Clam Chowder soup, followed by a walk on the beach. It was on the cool and windy side but we were able to relax in the comfort of a well appointed home with floor to ceiling windows that gave us a panoramic view of the ocean. Pajaro escapes the usual pollution that is common in modern day life. The only sound we heard were the hypnotic roar of the crashing surf, the chirping of shore birds and wailing and squawking of seagulls. Some of us played Mahjong, Gin Rummy, while Michelle and Kyle, Al and myself played Scrabble. Al was ahead of the pack until Michelle hailed victory in the final minutes of the game. 

Kyle, who knows how to take care of his father-in-law made me back-to-back Moscow Mules, a cocktail he introduced to me a couple of years ago. We all enjoyed a casual dinner that included: Cioppino, crab legs, shrimp, fresh Halibut, sautéed bell peppers from Phil’s Fish Market, a 4 1/2 star rated eatery in Moss Landing. After dinner we had an assortment of speciality cookies Cecile and I brought for dessert from our favorite bakery, “Icing on the Cake.”

Pajaro Dunes is a beautiful beach north of the Pajaro River dating back to the 1800s when it became a popular recreation area for picnics, camping, and fishing. Archaeologists discovered the remains of campfires that were made by a Native American tribe of the Costanoan people. After discovering a large grass-fed stuffed bird mounted on at the mouth of the river, they chose the name “Pajaro,” which means “bird” in Spanish. The Pajaro Dunes resort was established in 1973 and is located on a 1 1/2 miles of uncrowded, pristine, sandy beach on the shores of Monterey Bay, near the midpoint between Santa Cruz and Monterey. It is made up of very distinctive fully-furnished homes, condominiums and event facilities in a private gated resort that harmonize with a rich natural environment.

Thanks to our hosts, Kim and Al for a pleasurable, relaxing day!