California Offers So Much For

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California Offers So Much For You To Do


by Scott A. Sumner
    When you are a golf enthusiast the name Pebble Beach means one of  the best courses in the world. When I had the opportunity to attend  the 2008 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am you just had to go. Seeing some of  California in February with the cold days of Thunder Bay  also seemed  appealing to me.
     Getting to the Monterey Peninsula of California was easier than  I thought with a Northwest Airlines 7am flight to Minneapolis. A 4 hour flight to San Francisco, which with the 3 hour time change,  allowed you to land  at 11 am. Thats a pretty good connection. Airfares are quite reasonable with my flight costing some $550.00    When you ae going to San Francisco you have to see the city my  sister told me and I decided to spend two days touring this beautiful  area adjoining the Pacific ocean. The San Francisco airport is large with  trams to get you out to the parking and rental car area. My stop at  Alamo allowed me to get a 2008 Cadillac SRX complete with portable  GPS system. When travelling in a new area I highly recommend paying  the extra for GPS. I just punched in my destination ,the boutique  Hotel Diva, and got turn by turn instructions right to the doorstep of  the hotel. In San Francisco with so many one way streets it was a  great idea  and I was soon settled into a beautiful ,cool ,hotel. The  Hotel Diva, one of San Franciscos first boutique hotels is located right  in the heart of the city, near Union Square. Your location is excellent and puts you  right in the action of the city.
    To get an good overview of the city I recommend taking the  BlueLine city tour which is about 4 hours and lets you see  much including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Fishermans Warf and  the many cultural areas of San Francisco. The downtown area where I stayed  had some great retail  stores with a huge Macys, Saks 5th Ave and Neman  Markus. At Macys you can get a great meal at  the Wolfgang Puck  restaurant in a large food area on the ground floor. Seeing the sunny  weather with many people out in the streets in the hustle and bustle  of a cosmopolitan city was fun.image

    My next destination was about a 2  hour drive up the coast to  the Monterey peninsula home of Carmel, Pebble Beach and some  tremendous ocean views. Seventeen Mile Dive offers some spectacular  views of the Pebble Beach community with its multi million dollar 
homes and championship golf courses. Pebble Beach, Poppy Hills and  Spyglass are all included in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am rotation of  course which includes a large contingent of celebrities and PGA Tour  players. The weather was awesome all week and standing out in the  brilliant sunshine with the ocean waves crashing in on you at the 
18th hole of Pebble Beach is a special experience. As they say in the  Mastercard commercials, priceless. The famous Lodge is right on the  18th hole and you can stay here with enough notice. Be prepared to  spend some money at Pebble Beach as it is perhaps some of the worlds  most expensive real estate.

     After my stay at Pebble Beach it was back north to Half Moon Bay  a great resort town some 30 miles away from San Fransisco. My stay  here would be at the beautiful Beach House hotel located right on the  ocean near a marina. This was luxury as my penthouse room included a 
fireplace, separate living room area and large balcony overlooking  the crashing waves of the Pacific. The wind sailers were out in full force on a beautiful sunny day. A real treat for me was to play golf  at the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay. A luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel  forms the centerpiece landmark of this truely spectacular course with  many holes right on the beautiful Paciific ocean. The setting of the  Ocean Course is comparable to the famed Pebble Beachcoure I had just  spent the week walking. If you play the twilight  time at 2pmand sign up for their specials you can play the ocean Course for s little as $70, with  their normal green fee at $195.   This is really a great deal  especially compared to the $495 plus cart fee for Pebble Beach and  their up to 3 month tee time wait list. After a perfect day of golf  it was off to Sams a seafood restaurant right next door to the Beach  House for some superb fresh seafood.

    My one  week trip to California gave me a good feel for the beauty  of this state and what it has to offer.  I know I will come back to  explore more of the beauty of California.

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