PULL THE OTHER ONE: Summer may be here, officially and on the books and in all the calendar-approved ways, but many coastal areas of California are still under the veil of the annual observance of June Gloom. Go into the meteorological reasons as to why this happens -- clouds gathering over the ocean this time of year, marine layers, wind conditions -- and you'll have a rapt audience, if your audience happens to dig strange weather patterns. And to many people who don't call the Golden State home, it is an odd weather phenomenon, so odd they may prod you to "pull the other leg," believing you to be joshing. June is typically denoted by beach balls and suntan lotion and swimming pools and heat in most places, so the disbelief of outsiders is understandable, of course. And, of course, the heat will come, eventually (August, we see you on the horizon) but you can still steal away, into late June, if you have a midweek night free, and you can use the cover of June Gloom to do so. The Quail Lodge & Golf Club has a June Gloom package still on for midweek guests, people looking to, fingers crossed, catch a few warming rays, rays that often fall at the lodge's more-inland location. But how to make the most of your escape-the-gloom deal?
GOLF, DRIVING, SUNNING, REPEAT: The property has a "newly refined" 18-hole golf course, links designed by golf architect icon Robert Muir Graves. There's also an off-road driving experience with a Land Rover you can sign up for, or a bocce court, or the Mallard Lake deck (where cocktails and such may be enjoyed). The June Gloom rate starts at $225 a night, some stuff to do around the resort is additional, but hanging out lakeside and soaking up some Vitamin D is free as can be, once you've covered your room. We can't promise that June Gloom will be gone when you return home, wherever home might be, from your Carmel-by-the-Sea idyll. But appreciating California's unique weather patterns -- and taking a few days away from the fog, too -- is a rather grand way to start the summer. And, while we're at it, doesn't summer in California start on the Fourth of July, pretty much? And run through Halloween? Another offbeat anomaly in a pretty offbeat place.