:: Monterey, CA - SimplyKris
Station/Boat Location~
Station Monterey

Date there~

The weather in Monterey stayed in the mid 60's all year around. There were a few surprise days throughout the summer that reached into the 70's. You will find no air conditioning units here. The winter months were very mild. NO snow but on the mountain tops and No winter coats needed. In the evenings it would get down in the low 50's on occasion the high 40's. Just picture it being early fall all year and you have Monterey. You will see some rain but it is more like a mist. You will also see some fog. Its not a dreary lurking fog. It comes and goes quit frequently.

Military facilities~
All military facilities are no more than 10 minutes from each other. Located right behind the Coast Guard station is the Defense Language Institute (Presidio of Monterey), further into town is the Naval Post Graduate school and in the town of Seaside (where enlisted family members live) is the former Fort Ord now referred to as Ord Military Community. Located in Monterey is LaMasa Housing for Officers.

There is a pediatric clinic on the Presidio of Monterey located behind the Coast Guard station. Spouses used local doctors and dentists.

On base housing is available to enlisted on the Ord Military Community base. They have single family homes as well as duplexes. The single family homes are three to four bedroom units. The duplexes are one to three bedroom units. Some yards are fenced. Occasionaly they would offer a program where they would offer supplies for you to build your own. All units are hard wood floors. All have washer dryer hook ups but unfortunately are in the kitchen. Each residence has a carport and a very small shed area. All units also had patio doors. The two to four bedroom units had two bathrooms. Everyone's bathrooms were all same floor plan but some had a shower in one and the tub in other or both in one and just the comode in the other. We left Monterey in May and there was talk of building new housing. Officer housing is located in down town Monterey at LaMasa housing. This is where you need to go to sign up for housing regardless of the base you live on. I have no information on Officer housing other than the outside of them look nice.

On base there is a decent size exchange and a very good size commissary. Out the back gate of Fort Ord, you will find Target, Borders, Payless, Albertson's, Costco, Marshalls, Circuit City and a couple of novelty shops. In Monterey is the mall. It is a small mall. The mall here is set up like a shopping center. Each store opens to the outside. Its a typical mall with Macy's, KB Toys, Bath & Body works etc. For larger shopping trips you would head into Salinas. 30 minute trip but the bigger mall is out there along with Walmart another Target, Dollar Tree, Home Depot etc. Downtown Monterey is home to Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf. Here you will find all the novelty souvenir stores. Exactly 36 minutes north of Fort Ord in Gilroy is an outlet mall. You will find Gap, Mikasa, Ann Klein, KB Toys, Kitchens Etc, Carters, Corning etc. There are tons. I am adding restaurants here. There is an on base Burger King. Off base there is McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, Kentucky Fried, Carl's Jr. (West Coast's Hardees), and Wendy's. All on the same street. Many of the restaurants around town have their menu posted on their doors. Look at them before you go in. It will save you the embarrassment. They can be extremely expensive.

Child Care/Schools~
Fort Ord has a daycare center right on base. They also have a daycare program at the Youth Center for older children for an after school program. The elementary school on base also offers after school child care. There are also a handful of spouses who are certified Childcare providers. Marshall Elementary School is located right on Fort Ord. They offer Kindergarten through 5th grad. It is an open school. All classroom doors open to the outside. Fitch Middle School could be said it is on base but technically might not be. It is also an open school. The high school is located just off base. Due to some extra curricular activities this school did not have, a lot of our military sent there children to Monterey High School. I had children in elementary and middle school. The classrooms were not over crowded and they seemed to handle the military children well. The school district was lacking in funds and they had to do away with the GATE program for the middle school children.

Adult Schools~
Fort Ord sold some of their property to a college (for the life of me I can't remember the name). They have transformed old barracks into dorms and have made that side of the base look alive again. I unfortunately did not taken advantage of my own education here but I know I had a lot of friends who attended college in Salinas as well.

Fun Activities~
Monterey has the ocean which is very beautiful. Unfortunately the only people you actually see in the ocean are diving. The water is extremely cold. Cannery Row has been around for many years and now is blocks of souvenir shops. The main attraction for our family and friends was to stop in at Bubba Gumps for dinner. Yes they play Forrest Gump all day long. Fisherman's Wharf is just a stones throw from the Coast Guard station. There is just a few shops there but you can catch a boat for whale watching. Now to get out of town, you would have to visit San Fransisco. Its just a little over 2 hours north of Monterey. Shopping there is amazing. Don't want to spend the money, just people watch. Plenty of activities going on in the streets to keep you amused. You can also visit Six Flags in San Jose about 1 1/2 hours away. Now just minutes out of Monterey is Carmel. This is the city that Clint Eastwood used to Mayor of. It is interesting to go look at the houses here and window shop in the little town. There are only a few shops here you can afford to shop at. You can also make friends with the Co and visit his/her home located on the golf course next to the lighthouse in Pacific Grove. Want to take a beautiful drive, head a couple of hours south and visit the Hearst Castle. It was the most beautiful drive we have ever taken. Hearst Castle on a normal road would probably only take less than an hour but with this curving ocean side road you can't reach a speed over 35. Sea lions cover the beaches on this trip and don't take the curves too fast or you'll miss the waterfall. We hate to spend money and we were able to do so much here on a tank of gas.

Additional Info~
All of the enlisted families from Station Monterey lived on Fort Ord. It is way too expensive to live on the economy here. This is a very old base and is mostly closed down and is now being sold off to the city of Seaside. Many many building are boarded up. Besides that, we were all very comfortable living there for four years. The only thing I missed was the change of my seasons.

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