1208
Carmel Valley
Magical Monterey
From iconic shorelines to the home of John Steinbeck, from world-renowned vineyards to the Pacific Coast Highway and Big Sur, come see all that’s amazing in historic Monterey.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1208RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
885
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 1BR 4 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Carmel Valley, CA
D
Wright Hall

Activity note: Check-in available from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. When you arrive at Hidden Valley’s campus, come over to the main office next to the parking lot to register with the program staff, receive your room assignment, and get your welcome booklet containing your name-tag and up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute updates. All information for our week together will be reviewed at Orientation after dinner. Please let us know if you will be arriving late. At 5:00 p.m. we’ll meet our fellow participants for a wine and cheese reception in the Fireside Room. We’ll enjoy some California wines and/or juices and savor cheese and crackers before dinner.

Dinner: Like all meals at Hidden Valley, dinner will be a buffet in the Dining Room. Dinners will feature selections from the "salad bowl of the universe," as well as tastefully prepared entrees. All baked goods are also prepared on campus. Included beverages are coffee, tea, water, juices, and California wines.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone, review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Introduction of participants is done as part of Orientation. Every day before breakfast, there will be a very popular class of long, slow stretching and breathing in the Theater. Toast and juice will be available in the dining room before class. This is not an aerobics class and there is no need for special clothing or shoes and no need for a shower afterwards. A free afternoon is reserved for your personal independent exploration as a way to offer an opportunity to make the program more meaningful and memorable by engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Evenings will have a scheduled activity or class. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Chat with John Steinbeck, National Steinbeck Museum
Carmel Valley, CA
B,L,D
Wright Hall

Activity note: Every day before breakfast, there will be a very popular class of long, slow stretching and breathing in the Theater. Toast and juice will be available in the dining room before class. This is not an aerobics class and there is no need for special clothing or shoes and no need for a shower afterwards. Getting on/off bus; walking less than 1 mile; standing at museum.

Breakfast: Breakfast in Hidden Valley’s Dining Room is prepared fresh each day in the campus kitchen and presented as a buffet. Baked goods warm from the oven will accompany the normal breakfast offerings of oatmeal, eggs, grits, fruit, etc. with coffee, tea, juice and water.

Morning: John Steinbeck (never mind he passed away many years ago) will be in fine fettle to join us in the Dining Room and lead a class focused on his work and on his beloved Monterey.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy a lunch buffet in Hidden Valley’s Dining Room with soups and sandwich makings, all prepared in our kitchen and served by the staff that’s been with us for over 20 years. Beverages include water, ice tea, tea, and coffee.

Afternoon: Our famous guest, John Steinbeck, will join us on the bus for a field trip to the National Steinbeck Museum in historic Oldtown Salinas. En route, we will enjoy a drive along California scenic highways through oak chaparral and lush agricultural land while listening to a lecture given by Steinbeck and seeing the beautiful countryside that inspired him. Once at the museum, we’ll delve more deeply into Steinbeck’s life through independent exploration as we view art galleries inspired by his work, artifacts, and a rich local history. Docents will be available at the museum to answer questions, provide insight, and further enhance our experience at the museum. On the drive back, we’ll see more scenic country-side and go through historic Cannery Row where Steinbeck’s best friend, Doc Ricketts, had his marine lab. This was the site of the canning industry that defined Monterey for years.

Dinner: Back at Hidden Valley’s Dining Room, we’ll have a buffet featuring copious amounts of greens (some from our own organic gardens) and an entrée with water, tea, coffee, and California wines included.

Evening: A local winemaker will join us in the Dining Room for an introductory class during which we will learn about new wines, the process that goes into producing them, and ultimately experience them through a tasting. Carmel Valley is one of the seven appellations comprising Monterey County’s diverse wineries; of these, Carmel Valley is perhaps the most distinct. Nestled in the Santa Lucia foothills, our summers yield exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other red varietals.

DAY
3
Scenic Drive Through Monterey Peninsula, Free Time
Carmel Valley, CA
B,L,D
Wright Hall

Activity note: Before breakfast, there will be a very popular stretching and breathing class in the Theater. Getting on/off the bus and walking less than 1 mile; those who prefer not to walk may remain with the bus and still view the area. The drive will be around 50 miles, approximately 3 hours with stops. Be sure to dress in layers for the weather.

Breakfast: Hidden Valley buffet.

Morning: We will understand why Robert Louis Stevenson called this the "most beautiful meeting of land and water on the face of the earth" after spending this morning on a field trip by bus with our Study Leader. From fabulous coastal scenes to famous homes on Pebble Beach's 17-mile drive, to the historic Monterey Adobes that served as the capital of California when we were under Spanish rule, this area is a never-to-be-forgotten treasure of beauty and interest. On this scenic drive we’ll learn about the Monterey peninsula’s dynamic history, ecology, culture, and beauty. Pausing at scenic stops to stretch our legs and breathe the fresh ocean air, we’ll experience how all of these unique components fit together to make up Monterey. Be sure to dress in layers for the weather.

Lunch: In the Dining Room, sack lunches prepared with fresh greens, a protein, fruit, and water will be available for pick-up. You may wish to eat on-campus, take it with you on an outing, or enjoy a local restaurant on your own.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to your booklet or the office for Free Time opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Public bus service available across from the campus driveway.

Dinner: Hidden Valley buffet.

Evening: At Hidden Valley, we’ll enjoy a performance given by one of Hidden Valley’s talented instructors. It may be anything from a musical performance or a show by a local magician. Be surprised by magical Monterey.

DAY
4
Natural History, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Musical Performance
Carmel Valley, CA
B,L,D
Wright Hall

Activity note: Before breakfast, there will be a very popular stretching and breathing class in the Theater. Getting on/off bus; walking up to 1 mile; even sidewalks and pathways; standing at aquarium. Monterey Bay Aquarium is handicap accessible, has elevators as well as stairs, and has wheelchairs on-site. Benches are located throughout the aquarium to sit and watch the large tanks and a cafeteria with tables and chairs on which to rest.

Breakfast: Hidden Valley buffet.

Morning: A coastal biologist will join us in our Theater to introduce and explain some of the fascinating natural history of this extraordinary area. His presentation will be accompanied by a wealth of gorgeous slides to prepare us for what we will see in person later in the week.

Lunch: Hidden Valley buffet.

Afternoon: The bus will depart to visit the fascinating Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row. The beautifully constructed aquarium cares for more than 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species that fill 34 major galleries. With nearly 200 exhibits in all, the Aquarium is a window to the wonders of the ocean. Take some time for independent exploration and be aware that knowledgeable docents will be stationed at each exhibit to provide commentary and answer questions.

Dinner: Hidden Valley buffet.

Evening: A talented pianist, teaching from the keyboard, will introduce us to the music of Scott Joplin and others. You may even recognize some of his hit tunes from the turn into the 20th century that are still engrained in the music world.

DAY
5
Coastal Big Sur, Local Art Gallery
Carmel Valley, CA
B,L,D
Wright Hall

Activity note: Before breakfast, there will be a very popular stretching and breathing class in the Theater. Drive along the Big Sur Coast is about 65 miles, approx. 2 hours total on bus, getting on/off the bus, walking up to 1 mile on generally even pathways.

Breakfast: Hidden Valley buffet.

Morning: Our coastal biologist will continue the natural history discussion from the day before, focusing on the animals and marine life of Monterey. We’ll then board the bus for our field trip to Big Sur led by our coastal biologist. Upon arrival, we will enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the famous Big Sur coast and listen to stories told by our coastal biologist connecting us with the nature of the area. You may wish to participate in narrated nature walks or relax on benches and enjoy the ocean panorama.

Lunch: At a California State Park in Big Sur, we’ll enjoy a white tablecloth picnic lunch among the towering redwoods.

Afternoon: Continuing our field trip by bus through Big Sur’s isolated and staggering beauty, we will see why it has been and continues to be an inspiration to writers, artists, and musicians. 30% of Big Sur’s residents are artists and we will visit a local art gallery as the conclusion to our day in Big Sur. Artists-in-residence and gallery representatives will be available to discuss the art.

Dinner: Hidden Valley buffet.

Evening: Enjoy a film about Monterey or continue enjoying the company of new Road Scholar friends with informal activities such as board games, cards, puzzles, or sharing your favorite experiences of the day over coffee or tea in the Fireside Room.

DAY
6
Jack London’s Experience, Program Concludes
Carmel Valley, CA
B,BR

Activity note: There will be a very popular stretching and breathing class in the Theater. Casual check-out after brunch at 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: A light breakfast buffet of fruit, baked goods, coffee, tea, juice, and water will be available in the Dining Room before the last stretching class.

Morning: Jack London, once a frequent visitor to our area, will stop by Hidden Valley to share his recollections on "the old days" and talk about his works—a fitting farewell to the week in magical Monterey.

Brunch: In the Dining Room, we’ll enjoy a farewell brunch buffet to commemorate the great program we have had with new Road Scholar friends. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoyed your week in magical Monterey. Travel safely. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures and at www.facebook.com/HiddenValleyMusicSeminars. Best wishes for all your journeys!