Each December my dear friend, Barbara Benda, and I have a Christmas outing. It started with an afternoon in San Francisco visiting the large hotels and taking in the decorations. As you know if you look back to prior Decembers of this blog, the last few years we have made a weekend of it. The decorations have floundered over the years and we have looked to other amusements like The Lion King and some great dining experiences. This year a friend of Barb’s suggested that we take in Christmas at the Adobes in Monterey. So off we went to Monterey.
Most of the Adobes were erected between 1840 and 1860 from the clay that is prevalent in so many parts of California. This was an exciting and tumultuous time when California transitioned from Mexico ownership, to sovereignty , to a US Territory, to a State. The walls of these structures are over two feet wide and they have stood the test of time. Many of the buildings are now private homes and they are open to the public only at this two evening event. The first place we visited was the Custom House where volunteers dressed in costume and danced the popular dances. We then visited shops and homes and the first theater in California. Sailors paid $5 to see movies in 1850!
The 1849 Constitutional Convention that formed the State of California was held at Colton Hall. The roster of attendees is on display there as well as other artifacts from the period. Each building had cookies and some kind of beverage. I particularly like the horchata. The thing that surprised me most was the wonderful musicians that entertained us as we wondered throughout the homes. My favorite was the Jalisco harpist, William Faulkner. But then there were the bagpiper, harpist, soprano, pianist, flutist and various guitar players. It was, in general, a musical event as well as a feast for the eyes.
The decorations were traditional and the decor lovely. The company was the best. We were blessed to only experience a few raindrops as we traipsed around to the various sites. By 9PM our feet and legs were aching and the room was calling me back. I highly recommend that visit the Adobes at Christmas if you ever have the chance.