Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 3: Big Sur

We spent the sunny afternoon driving down Highway 1 towards Big Sur.  While BK navigated the windy roads, I enjoyed the magnificent views.

We stopped at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to do some hiking

McKay Falls

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 3: Cannery Row and Carmel by the Sea

Our final full day in CA and the sun finally came out!  The view that greeted us in the morning:

We spent the morning poking around local yard sales and then driving back down to Monterey to the Cannery Row Antique Mall.  It was huge and well organized and was super fun to look through.

Then we went back to Carmel for lunch at Basil--probably one of my favorite meals on this trip.  Love the seasonal dining concept and the delicious warm crusty bread and specialty "basil" dip.

BK had the Thai shortribs which melted right in your mouth

And I hoarded the freshly made spinach tortellini in an amazing truffle cream sauce with prosciutto and asparagus

Seriously--if you are anywhere near this place, you MUST GO!

Carmel-by-the-Sea was super charming to walk around--great for window shopping, enjoying the cool weather, and admiring the gorgeous flowers and plants.

Next up: Big Sur!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 2: Point Lobos State Reserve

To cap off our day, we headed to the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, located close to our hotel in Carmel.  There are several trails that you can hike and since we had about 2 hours till sunset, we chose the three most interesting to us.  First up was Sea Lion Point trail where you could see (with binoculars) the sea lions out on their rock islands, frolicking and making a general din.   Even with the cloudy day, the hike was still beautiful.  Love seeing the mountains in the distance and the fog just adds a little mystery!

Then it was on to the trail furthest south where you take these very steep steps down...

All the way to a gorgeous beach--China Cove

Our final hike was Cypress Grove Trail

Monterey Cypress trees are rare and only grow in this location (something about the combination of the soil, weather and sea air).  These magnificent trees grow over 70 feet and live as long as 300 years.

Stay tuned for day 3--when the sun finally came out and we did more hiking, including my kind of urban hiking...through an antique mall!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 2: Monterey Bay Aquarium

We headed next to Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  It was by far the best aquarium I've ever been to.  My favorite exhibits were the jelly fish and this huge tank teeming with tuna, sea turtles, sharks and mackerel that resembled the open sea.  Truly amazing.
The penguins and sea horses were pretty awesome to see as well.
The aquarium is housed in an old cannery (sardines were Monterey's top industry back in the day). 

Best of all, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non profit organization that educates and furthers the efforts to conserve our oceans.  They protect and rescue many of the animals and fish there and seek to educate the public about sustainable seafood that is healthy for you and the ocean.  You can learn more and support their efforts here.

Still to come, more of day 2.  And...there's hiking involved!  Surprised?  I was too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 2: Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey

We packed in a lot on day 2 but had a great time!  Started off our foggy morning at the Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey

We quickly found our breakfast spot: Crepes of Brittany, which I highly highly recommend

We had the ham and egg buckwheat crepe (delicious) and the nutella and strawberries (oh California strawberries, how I love you!) dessert crepe.  I'm pretty sure these were the best crepes I've ever had. (and you know I've had a lot of crepes)

We walked around the wharf a bit--it's filled with seafood restaurants, gift shops and candy stores.

There was a car show in town and we walked up and down the streets checking out all the amazing restored cars on show.

Found this adorable vintage shop
Back to the wharf for some lunch at the Old Fisherman's Grotto

Delicious clam chowder, coconut shrimp and crabcakes
On next to the aquarium--this day isn't half over yet!  To be continued...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 1: Monterey/Carmel

We landed in Monterey and headed straight to Compango's for lunch.  These were the half sandwiches and they were huge--highly recommend the "Marines" special and the Reeses peanut butter chocolate cake (our slice was as big as our sandwiches!)

Then it was on to Trader Joe's for our regular favorites and some new items since we have a kitchen in our hotel suite.

Love California produce--have you ever seen raspberries this perfect??

Checked in to our awesome hotel off Hwy 1

And finally enjoying the foggy but still beautiful view of the Pacific out on our deck with some birthday champagne

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On the road again

Love this little cartoon.  And looking forward to traveling with my Charlie Brown.  Doesn't hurt that we're headed here either.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Vintage Monday: blue glass

Picked up this little blue glass jar/vase at an estate sale recently.  The sale tag on it said "Blenko" but there aren't any markings on it.  I bought it for its color anyway, not the manufacturer.  There are lots of enthusiasts out there, and a really helpful site for identifying Blenko glass here, but I'm not sure if I have the energy to figure it out. It's tough enough keeping my Pyrex and Fiesta ware straight :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Favorite Friday Recipe: Ham and corn salad

We're hopefully headed into our last 100 degree weather day but meanwhile, we're keeping cool and taking advantage of summer produce to make simple and easy salads for dinner.  This is a particular favorite b/c we cut the corn fresh from the cob and also, did I mention croutons?  Yum.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday: Kilim throw pillows

I am in love with Kilim throw pillows, especially the ones made from vintage rugs.  With fall coming, maybe it's time to cozy up the living room with some of these!

(sadly sold out)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The last of our summer vegetable garden

Any ideas on fall/winter vegetables to plant?