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Carmel-by-the-Sea

on
Monday, October 24, 2016
I had always heard that Carmel-by-the-Sea was beautiful, so when I was sent to Palo Alto, California for work earlier this month, this seemed like the perfect road trip.  


Mike and I set out down Highway 1 early on a Saturday morning, and arrived in Carmel-by-the-Sea just in time for lunch. We immediately discovered that Carmel is as charming and beautiful as it's described. It's easy to see why it's a hub for writers, artists, and movie stars. (Marilyn Monroe was rumored to love this little beach town, and Clint Eastwood once was mayor) This European-style beach village is filled with cottages, secret passageways, lovely shops and restaurants, and cobblestone streets that lead you all the way down to the white sand beaches.  No chain restaurants or street addresses are allowed in Carmel, which really adds to its charm.

Although it's just one square mile in size, it's difficult to check out all the restaurants and shops that line the streets. Eventually I just became mesmerized by the pretty storefronts and immaculately landscaped yards we were walking by.

While Carmel is indeed charming, it is also quite swanky. Plenty of high end boutiques and luxury cars reminded us that Carmel isn't exactly a retirement destination for us any time soon. But it sure made for some fun people watching!

While in Carmel we enjoyed lunch at A.W. Shucks, and dinner at Porta Bella,  and stopped for wine tasting at a few wineries. My favorite winery was Caraccioli Cellars, which specialized in bubbles. Cool atmosphere, and lovely bubbles!


Mike and I really enjoyed Carmel beach the most though. The beach is nestled right next to Pebble Beach golf course, which Mike really enjoyed sneaking a view of.


Carmel Beach is super dog friendly. Everyone brought their dog to the beach! It was so fun to watch dogs of all shapes and sizes leap in and out of the deep blue waves that crashed on the shore. I was amazed at how pristine the beach was with all the canine visitors.



We walked the beach when we first arrived, and once again at sunset. Gorgeous views and soothing sounds of the sea. So glad I can say I've been to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

A few 'musts' of Savannah...what are yours?

on
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Life has been crazy busy lately but as I was watching the scary hurricane coverage a few weekends back, I was reminded I still had lots of Savannah memories to share from our trip in early September. I am so glad the hurricane didn't hit Savannah as hard as expected. It was crazy to watch the weather coverage from River Street and to think we were just there.

Mike and I really enjoyed our short stay in Savannah. Here are a few of our favorite stops that we made - I know we only touched on a few of the good ones. We can't wait to make a return trip. What Savannah suggestions do you have for our next visit?

River Street

 A bit touristy, but super fun, River Street is full of shops, restaurants, and great views of cargo ships on the Savannah River, We browsed in the shops and grabbed a couple of drinks, but both of us were more intrigued with the giant cargo ships headed out to the Atlantic Ocean. 

It might have made for a cute photo, but it over 90 degrees in Savannah
 on this day. I think my tush suffered second degree burns sitting on this post.

Mike watching the HUGE cargo ships go by on the Savannah River. 

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

I visited the Cathedral both times I've been in Savannah. It's just gorgeous inside. Even if you just have a few minutes, it's worth going in to view the beautiful architecture and 50 some stained glass windows.





Forsyth Park

I remembered how much I enjoyed running through Forsyth Park on my last stay in Savannah. This iconic park is as beautiful as it looks in the photos and postcards. I love going on an early morning jog around the park viewing the beautiful historic homes and looking up through the canopy of Spanish Moss. The fountain is a must for a classic Savannah photo op. 

Iconic fountain at Forsyth Park

Mercer House

If you've read the book or seen the movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," the Mercer House is a definite stop. Even if you haven't, you'll enjoy the tour of this grand Southern Mansion as well as the elaborate collections of Jim Williams.


Rocks on the Roof at the Bohemian Hotel

Our friends Andrew and Ashton gave us a head's up about the Rocks on the Roof bar at the Bohemian Hotel. It definitely had one of the best view's in Savannah. I can only imagine what the view from this bar was during the hurricane though. We went for a rooftop drink before dinner at the Olde Pink House. Great view, and great atmosphere - be prepared to wait or be a little competitive for a table with the perfect view though.  I did a bit of both.
Of course, I ordered Champagne. What did you expect?

My cute hubby - always game for a scenic happy hour. I love him. 

The Olde Pink House

One of my favorite restaurants! So much history, so much charm! Oh, and the food is amazing, too. This historic house was built in 1771 by James Habersham, a founding father for the city of Savannah. For all my history buffs out there, the home also served as the headquarters for General Zebulon York during the Civil War. Today it is said to be haunted by ghosts from the past, but the amazingly romantic atmosphere, and delicious Southern fare overrides any spooky encounters for me.

Mike and I were seated upstairs in a dimly lit room that was super romantic and charming. We ate way too much She Crab Soup, Grouper, and Collared Greens but it was so worth it. Absolutely one of my favorite dining experiences. If you go to Savannah, you must make a reservation at the Olde Pink House! You won't be disappointed.


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