The weekend before last, Cam and I made the drive down to Carmel, California! It's such a charming little town and we had the best time. I took lots of pictures, but what else is new! (Seriously, like I took an insane amount...it's just such a beautiful place I couldn't help it) I'd been wanting to go to Carmel all summer, but since it's about five hours from our house this was the first time we'd had the chance since moving to Tahoe. However, our drive down flew by and it was super hot all the way there. However, when we got to Carmel, the temp had literally dropped 50 degrees...and no, that's not an exaggeration! In Sacramento, temps were in the 105-107 range (crazy hot) and then by the time got to Carmel on Friday evening, it was in the high 50s and super foggy. I'm still not used to weather on the coast!
We checked in to our room at the Garden Court Inn, a dog-friendly b&b that I originally read about over on Eat Live Run. (I swear I mention ELR all the time, but I'm obsessed--Jenna's recipes are fabulous and because she lives in the Bay Area, she has lots of great recommendations for Northern California!) The room was clean, cute (albeit a little dated), and it worked out perfectly for the weekend. (Plus, they have an awesome deal where when you buy one night you get the second night free!) As soon as we got settled, we immediately headed out to dinner because we were starving!
|I had originally planned to wear this shirt by itself but since it was freezing out I had to wear a coat...womp womp.|
|As I was taking this picture, Cam was saying "I'm literally so hungry I can barely smile..." Ha.|
We ended up going to dinner at a restaurant called Casanova and it was excellent! Apparently it's ranked as one of Carmel's most romantic restaurants, and it was easy to see why as the place had a very charming rustic yet upscale European vibe. Despite the cold, we ended up sitting outside because we brought the dog along. Even though it was a very nice restaurant they were really acommodating of Lola, and this was definitely reflective of how the entire town is--it's super dog friendly! We sat outside in the little garden under the heater and it was indeed very romantic :) I didn't get any pictures of the restaurant or the food because it was dark and then the glow from the heater was turning everything orange...plus it was nice to just enjoy the evening without trying to photograph it. I ended up having the Linguini alla Scapesce which had lobster, clams, mussels & shrimp withwhite wine, Meyer lemon, chervil & crème fraîche...amazing. Like seriously one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had, so if you're in Carmel I'd highly recommend Casanova.
This photo of Casanova Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor
After dinner, we ended up making a fire in our room, which made Lola super happy and it was perfect for the chilly evening.
In the morning, they brought breakfast to our room--the blueberry muffin was warm and out of this world!
Although this place was dog-friendly, dogs were not allowed on the bed which made Lola really upset and confused the whole weekend.
|Literally the thought bubble over Lola's head all morning could haver read: "It just doesn't make sense, WHY am I being told I can't get on the bed?! I ALWAYS get on the bed in hotels! I just don't get it!"|
|So then she went to pout in her crate...ha.|
Saturday morning, the sun was shining so we headed out to explore the town.
|Even though they brought breakfast to our room, we still had to stop for coffee...|
|Coffee...that's what we stopped for...yeah...|
We walked through town to the ocean as that seemed to be the thing to do, and for good reason! The beach is beautiful and it was so much fun to people/dog-watch. Although the sun was shining, there was still a thick layer of fog hanging around. It's so interesting to me just how intense the fog is on the California coast, it's has this crazy presence the way it just rolls in and out all the time.
The beach was packed with people and dogs, and I loved that dogs were allowed off the leash. Lola had a blast running around and making friends.
|"Hey, where are you going...wait up!"|
|She was clearly not so sure about this little guy|
|She was loving the sand and insisted on rolling around in it like crazy. Cam tried to rinse her off in the ocean and she was not such a fan of that.|
|"Dad! You're embarrassing me in front of my friends!"|
One thing I really love about living out West is being so close to the ocean. Even though Lake Tahoe is beautiful, it's so different from being on the coast. The massiveness of the Pacific Ocean really makes you realize just how big the world is and I love watching the waves roll in and out.
After spending some time on the beach, we walked around to check out all the unique homes... there are so many different styles, but they're all beautiful!
|I love their cute street signs!|
There were tons of amazing flowers in bloom all over the city.
|I saw lots of pretty succulents too!|
For lunch, we ate at The Tuck Box. This was an English-style tea house that was in the most whimsical cottage. We sat outside in the little garden area and the setting could not have been more perfect. If you go, you have to get their scones, they're out of this world!
There are lots of adorable shops and art galleries in downtown Carmel and it was fun to walk around and browse.
|This shop had the most unique stuff, I loved everything in the store!|
|They had these awesome grammar dishes for sale and my inner nerd wanted to buy them SO bad.|
|They had an amazing dog boutique, and so Lola even got in on the shopping action!|
After lunch Saturday, we decided to head out of town to do some exploring, but later on in the afternoon we returned to Carmel and visited the Carmel Mission.
The mission was opened in 1793 and so it's really old and completely gorgeous. The beautiful grounds were filled with colorful plants and it was very peaceful to just walk around and take it all in.
|There were tons of humingbirds everywhere!|
We actually drove up to Monterrey on Saturday as well, but since this post is already crazy long I figured I'd save those photos for later! After checking out the mission, the weather really started to cool down. We headed back to the b&b to get ready for dinner and ended up choosing a place called La Bicyclette. I originally read about this restaurant over at ELR (surprise surprise!) and I thought it looked so adorable when we passed by it earlier in the day (aka when I snapped this pic). I didn't end up getting any photos of Saturday night's dinner, but it was really delicious! Ironically, this place is owned by the same chef as Casanova (where we ate Friday night) although this place has a more rustic, trendy vibe whereas Casanova is more traditional. Cam ended up having the 3 course dinner that came with a lovely fig appetizer, a carrot ginger soup (so good!), these incredible wild boar ribs--they were falling off the bone! I decided to try one of their wood-fired oven pizzas, as it was their big specialty on the menu. I got a quattro formaggio pizza with prosciutto--it was really tasty, although I can't say it was the best pizza I've ever had. Overall though, we really enjoyed the restaurant and the atmosphere!
Sunday morning, we took one last stroll around downtown and stopped to get coffee at Carmel Valley Coffee Rosting Co. The weather Sunday was beautiful, so we decided to hit the road to drive a little farther down the coast--to Big Sur!
|Oh you know, just traveling with my personal wind machine...ha. My hair is crazy long right now though!|
I'll be back later on with pictures from Big Sur and the rest of the weekend. Until then, have a fabulous day everyone! Xoxo