MONTEREY, CA

One of our favorite places to go to in California has to be Monterey. There's a charm about it that's so enchanting and magical. Lucky for us, it's a lot closer to the Bay Area (about 2 hours or so) than it was when we lived in Southern California. To celebrate our recent 12 year anniversary of being together, J and I knew it was just the place to spend a long weekend together at, and revisit all of our favorite restaurants.

We found a last minute room at Portola Hotel & Spa, located right in the heart of Monterey, within walking distance from Fisherman's Wharf and downtown. The best bonus? Fresh cookies at check-in! It's really the little things. Nearby is also a free trolley that will take you directly to the Aquarium/Cannery Row so you really don't need to take your car anywhere. I can't rave about this hotel enough—there's even a breakfast buffet you don't want to miss out on at Jacks.

Our favorite restaurant to dine at has to be Monterey Fish House, located 2114 Del Monte Ave. Make sure you make reservations early, or you'll be stuck waiting in a crazy long line. They always have the freshest seafood dishes and the cioppino is my favorite. Another favorite that's a bit more casual is Mundo's Cafe for their tri-tip sandwiches with *extra* chimichurri sauce. There are a few locations now, so just find one that's closest to you. You also can't go wrong with the Old Fisherman's Grotto at the wharf. It's classic and has the best chowder on the wharf after sampling all of them in front of every restaurant—a really fun treat for this preggo, by the way.

We didn't get a chance to go to the Aquarium this time, but it's a must if you've never been before. It's amazing and you can easily spend hours at the jellyfish exhibit alone. There's really quite a bit to do in Monterey and perfect for all ages—we are excited to be able to take the little munchkin to this delightful little town in the future.

The DELICIOUS breakfast buffet at Jacks located at the Portola Hotel & Spa.

The DELICIOUS breakfast buffet at Jacks located at the Portola Hotel & Spa.