Monterey, Northern California
I'm trying to intermix my marathon of Bundts with some other posts... one can't live on Bundts alone (well, you probably can so I take that back).
Last week, I went to Monterey for the Internet Librarian Conference. The conference was interesting for the most part, and we were lucky to have just lovely weather in this Northern California seaside town.
If you go to any conference in Monterey, I highly recommend the Portola Hotel & Spa. There are two hotels just outside the Monterey Conference Center: Marriott & Portola. For this conference, both offered discounted rates of $204/night. (I know, crazy pricey, but it is beautiful Monterey). Last year, I stayed at the Marriott and it was, well, your typical Marriott.
Portola Hotel hands you a warm chocolate chip cookie when you check in. Dude, if you hand me a warm, made from scratch cookie after spending more than 5 hours in a car driving up from Los Angeles to Monterey? Well, you automatically have 5 stars in my book. It is like the Doubletree (I believe the hotel used to be a Doubletree) but the recipe isn't no Doubletree cookie (I've stayed a Doubletree in past). These cookies were sooooo good. After my Bundt adventures, my goal is to recreate them. I asked (twice) for the recipe, and they don't give it out...but they list the ingredients on the bag.
Butter, pastry flour, rolled oats, Guittard chocolate chips, butter, pasteurized eggs, milk, salt, baking powder and baking soda. All rolled up into such goodness. I'm sure the oats are pulverized (like those "Mrs. Field's Copy" recipes) as you couldn't see them. Um, and I may have gone up to the desk asking for another cookie. You know, for research purposes and all.
Anyway, back to the Portola. It has a LEED Silver rating and doesn't have air conditioning in the rooms - they have ceiling fans and sliding glass doors with tiny balconies (not enough to sit on...but higher price rooms may have). One thing I hate about hotels is the crazy A/C. Since Monterey has ocean breezes, I totally enjoyed the lack of A/C. (They do have heaters in the room). They have Keurig coffee & tea makers, and mini refrigerators in the room. And I liked that they had a recycling bin along with their trash bins.
I jogged from the hotel to the Monterey Aquarium one morning... I haven't been the aquarium for many years and hope to visit it again soon.
If you plan a visit to Northern California, don't skip beautiful Monterey!