Orbitz to make a reservation instead--and got it! So I guess those travel sites may hold blocks of rooms? In any event, we got what we wanted THE DAY we took our trip. Blessings all around. It was a happy anniversary.Holiday Inn Express Cannery Row - Excellent spot, a block above Cannery Row, nice rooms, etc. A little spendy but the convenience of the location trumps the expense. NOTE: We called the motel Saturday (the day of our visit) and were told it was full. Used
Capitola - Nice, crafty town with nice beach. We visited this place on our drive back Sunday.
We liked the beach near Pacific Grove around Asilomar (or may be a part of Asilomar). Not a lot of people, dramatic, rocky coast. Very nice. Lots to explore. I LOVE this stuff.
Need to also explore the hotels near Del Monte Center, where we saw Da Vinci Code. Look to be lot of nicely maintained placed. Would like to see the rooms. Since they are off the beaten path and not totally near Cannery Row, they should be more reasonably priced...in theory.
http://www.traveladvisor.com/ - Should give decent reviews of hotel/motel candidates.