A Travellerspoint blog

17 Miles of Memories and Beauty

Carmel

sunny 67 °F

It's hard to determine one Top 10 from the other when the skies are blue and the temperatures are in the 60's. I had to work to avoid a sunburn today. However we did find yet another Top 10 bakery - this one might even be higher than a 10. I was eyeing a cannoli in the display window. Apparently I look like some sort of cannoli expert; the young woman thought I should have a freshly made one – a liitle bit of a wait but it was heavenly!
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store front window

We strolled around town, mostly looking at art galleries and admiring that there could be so many talented people. It's the week end; so the town is mobbed with fellow tourists - parking is at a premium. We reluctantly gave up our primo spot and head to the 17 mile drive. As we headed toward the summit Philip said "it's settled, we have to start buying lottery tickets; we have to live here." Right! Part of the fun of this trip is all the memories - like the time we were almost missed a friend's wedding because we took a wrong turn. And the golf courses – we’ve played most of them…Poppy Hill where we played the 1st 3 holes in a drifting fog. The players ahead of us had to shout back to tell us the hole was clear and we had to do the same to the people behind us. How we ever found our balls – I don’t know. We stopped at Spanish Bay, a golf course, but also a beautiful stretch of beach.
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A rather unique sign!
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Cypress Point
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Philip at Lone Cypress - a tree 250 years old

And finally to our true destination - Pebble Beach!
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1st tee

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View from the lodge out to the 18th hole - we had lunch on the veranda

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Philip at the 18th hole

Posted by ChinaBecky 16:38 Comments (0)

La Bicyclette

Eating

sunny 61 °F

The evening we arrived; noticed this restaurant was packed with people and decided to check it out. I read the reviews on Tripadvisor and while it was favored for good food - noted the service was lousy and the owner isn't nice to old women. Intrigued and alarmed we made our reservation.

Wow! We barely entered the door when a young man, dressed as a chef came up and ask us if we were looking forward to a good meal. In my usual witty way, I started my part of the conversation with "uh, well yes, at least we hope so." He said someone would be with us shortly; about 30 seconds later he was back asking us where we wanted to sit. I'm thinking he's joking and Philip is asking for a seat and I'm telling (I never have trouble with that "uh" stuff when I address Philip) Philip - "he's the chef, not the waiter." The young man says, it's my place, you've come to eat; follow me." We ordered a bottle of vino verde and the young man appears again to discuss the menu with us. I was looking forward to butternut squash risotto, no longer on the menu. Instead he recommended the fresh crab risotto with fresh peas. Philip ordered a mushroom pizza - excellent. A waitress brought the pizza; the chef arrived with my entre. Honestly, I was starting to get a little intimidated and Philip was highly amused.

I recommend La Bicyclette - food and service were outstanding!!!

Posted by ChinaBecky 08:43 Comments (0)

NIRVANA

sunny 62 °F

According to Philip, today was a Top 10 day. He tells me that he and his good friend, TC, always rated the best days. After breakfast, we walked about 4 blocks to the beach; stopping to talk to other beachcombers – lots of people walking dogs and then walking back to one of my favorite bakeries – Philip rates Top 10 days; I rate bakeries.
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Heading south on Hiway 1 (according to Philip, we're in Prius Heaven) we stopped at Point Lobos - a favorite whale watching spot. We didn't see whales (at least not there) but we could hear the seals and see them and saw otters and pelicans. The fog was at least a mile out and the day was beautiful with the tide out and lots of tide pools to explore.
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Further south, Big Sur, Big Sur Phieffer and finally Nepenthe - a place which was my hang out back in '69-70 and later introduced to Philip. Believe me, it's worth the drive - the food and the scenery.
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Then it's back to Carmel.

Posted by ChinaBecky 18:00 Comments (2)

The Road Not Taken

sunny

I write this entry from The Normandy Inn in Carmel, CA. I am calm now, having finished off most of a bottle of wine. A few hours ago that was not the case. In fact, at a stop sign, I got out of the car and announced “Get me out of here.” I headed off in the dark and cold, with no coat, to see if I could locate the damn Normandy.

Believe it or not - that wasn't the high point of today's journey but certainly memorable. The fact that we're now in our room, talking and laughing (well not exactly haw hawing) but we're still together; speaks volumes of our ability to endure and survive obstacles.

We left Lexington, on time and arrived at the Chicago airport to see them de-icing planes...not a good sign. We make our way to the gate (stopping for Auntie Anne’s hotdogs) just before the plane boarded. Philip notices our name on the 1st class upgrade list. Yes indeedy, we got 1st class - lovely way to travel.

We land in San Francisco - 1 minute ahead of schedule - make our way to baggage claim, onto the tram to the rental cars and pick up our car. That's when then next 3 hours completely falls apart. It's pre-rush hour as we merge to 280. We live in Kentucky - our idea of a traffic jam is 5 cars making a left turn. Not only has Philip carefully studied the map, we have our handy dandy GPS with our destination programmed. I call Normandy Inn and tell them we're coming in a day early and blithly say - "we'll be there in about 2 hours."

We are in awe of the amount of traffic but we're cruising along. Then comes our old nemisis - Highway 17. It's a horrible road between Santa Cruz and San Jose - climbs over the coast mountains, twisting & turning and generally impossible to travel more than 40MPH. Philip knows he wants to continue driving south but the GPS is telling us to head to San Jose which he doesn't want to do and I'm saying, probably in a voice more forceful than needed – “well you sure as hell don't want to go to Santa Cruz.” (I’ve noticed a directly corollary between my sarcasm and our mistakes) We end up on the road to Santa Cruz. Philip is upset and I'm not talking..which might have been more helpful earlier. Nevertheless, even tho this detour probably cost us 15 extra mins. we're zipping along at the speed limit and begining to relax.

We merge onto Hiway 1 and come to a complete dead stop. 5 lanes merging and no one moving - no one! It took us almost 1 hour to go 2 miles ... and there was only about 100 ft of shoulder road work. There is stop and go traffic all the way to Watsonville and then the road changes to a 2-way road ... does it get more fun????? We're on 3 hour jet lag, the sun has set and oh did I mention we only then realize that our headlights aren't on!!!

Philip turns on the headlights but then the inside lights dim to the point he almost can't see the dashboard and there's no place to pull over. So yes, by the time we reach Carmel, where we take another wrong turn and the city doesn't believe in street lighting - my one goal in life is to get out of the car.

Eventually, I find the Inn, Philip finds a parking place and 2 wild eyed people stumble into the office. Philip couldn't stop talking about the drive and I'm wanting everyone to be quiet, give me the damn key and let's get our luggage - which will need pack mules to bring to the room.

We walk a few blocks to a store, buy a lovely bottle of wine, mortadella and cheese and head back to the room … we have arrived, we’re in one of our favorite towns, we’re out of the dreaded cold, the world’s starting to look pretty good….

Posted by ChinaBecky 16:34 Comments (0)

And we're off

overcast 31 °F

We started planning this trip last fall; before my neck/back surgery. I wanted to set a goal - to get me thru the rough spots. So...the goal was to go see nephew Ben in Ashland, Oregon and on the way stop at some our favorite places...Carmel/Monterey/Pacific Grove - where we were married; San Francisco - we lived in the area for 12 years and then north to see Ben.

We're ready to go but Mother Nature, being capricious, seems determined to upset our careful plans. We're to leave Lexington Thursday night; fly to Sacramento - arriving about midnight. Instead there's a massive winter storm billowing on the Great Plains - probably going to ground planes in Chicago. Philip's fretting; wondering if we should have a back up plan. Me...I'm wondering why we care. We're retired, we'll get there when we get there.

Later....well....you hear it here 1st; Philip could be right. Maybe we should try to Get Out Of Dodge. I called United and said "Uh (always a good intro) we're flying to Sacramento tomorrow and are not looking forward to spending a night in Chicago airport; any alternative like getting out on a different flight?" Turns out United tried to call me (oh, that was the unidentified # on my cell phone) to ask if we'd be willing to change flights. So Instead of a leisurely Thursday, packing - we're leaving in about 14 hours and I need to scramble to get ready.

Posted by ChinaBecky 16:00 Comments (0)

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