Small House Big World

Monterey Bay and Minor Repairs

Anna Edgren • December 9, 2015

Our luck couldn’t last forever – something finally broke. Well, it broke on the drive from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay, actually, about 2 weeks ago.  When we pulled into our campsite, there was a burnt-sugar smell coming from our engine area.  I’m only bringing it up now because we decided to pretend that it hadn’t happened and camp happily by the ocean without a care in the world for a week. But alas, when we started the engine up again to make our drive to Monterey, the smell returned. We had no other symptoms – no overheating, no weird noises, no performance issues, so we decided to drive to our destination and hope for the best. You may find yourself asking: Is that the smartest thing to do?  No, probably not. 

After some internet research, Kelly determined that it was probably a coolant leak. And yes, that CAN be bad to drive with, depending on the severity of the leak… But like I said, we had no other symptoms, and no overheating, so we decided to risk it. Kelly bought more coolant so that we could fill the tank, rev the engine, and see if we could spot the leak. Sure enough, he was able to see the general area the leak was coming from. Unfortunately, it was buried deep and was not reachable without dismantling some of the engine, which no one was too keen to do.  So, we decided to find a repair shop to take a look.

Well, not exactly. If you hadn’t gathered by now we occasionally procrastinate. We spent yet another peaceful week ignoring the problem (we were just stationary at our campsite so it didn’t much matter. No sense in making an extra trip out of it).  


We stayed at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, which was high atop a hill and offered great views of the surrounding hills and valleys. It also is home to the Mazda Raceway, where they have motorcycles and cars speeding through during the day. Really interesting to watch!  

Whilst ignoring our impending repair bill we had a nice productive workweek (although short, because of Thanksgiving) and also got some sightseeing done in Monterey.

Highlights Include….

More Ridiculous Sunsets:

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I took a couple of nice long hikes with Max:

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Over the long weekend we took a drive down to Big Sur area, which was pretty stunning:

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And we decided to have a non-traditional Thanksgiving (I for one am a big fan of the non-traditional Thanksgiving meal) with a seafood feast.

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Crab cake appetizer.

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Seared scallops and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy.

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And the grand finale… I baked a cheesecake. All by myself. In the RV. Yes, I am insufferably proud.

To round out our stay, we had a touristy day of fun. We hit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and then went on a whale watching tour. 

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I am in love with these things.

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We saw adorable penguins.

We went on a 3 hour whale watching tour and saw whales, dolphins, and seals. Monterey Bay is especially rife with sea life due to the nutrient-rich waters that come pouring forth from Monterey Canyon, an underwater canyon similar in size to the Grand Canyon.  Slightly terrifying to know there is a full mile of ocean beneath the surface you so casually float across. 

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Kelly doing his best Jacques Cousteau

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Kind of hard to see but this thing is COVERED IN SEALS. The entire thing.

We had a great time in Monterey, it is a beautiful place. Slightly busy and touristy, yes, but for good reason. There is a lot to see and do in the area. 

And after all of that… back to our mechanical problems. We called around on Monday morning, hoping to find someone to take us same-day. …And we did! It was a quick fix. The mechanic found a small piece of hose that had a hole in it. He had the part on hand and was able to get it back in without issue. Hooray! $250 all said and done. Not terrible at all. 

Next up: L.A. area. 

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Anna Edgren • December 9, 2015

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