Bird Island at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

2022 California Vacation Part 2

posted in: Personal Essay, Photography, Travel | 0

Day Seven: Relaxing in Carmel

After walking and hiking a lot the previous 2 days, we decided to take things easy the next day.

We had a nice breakfast at Village Corner, which we’ve been to on both our previous trips and which is conveniently close to Svendsgaard Inn. We’ve only been there for breakfast, but we want to try their lunch and/or dinner on some future trip.

I had the banana pecan pancakes, and Holly had avocado toast.

Since we had no plans to leave Carmel, I left my Nikon Z fc in our room during the day and had my Samsung Galaxy S9+ on hand for food and drink, but I also broke out my Olympus XA. I already posted about the photos I took with that.

Because we were going to be away for so long, we knew we would need to take a break and do some laundry and that day seemed like the day to do so. Not only were we in need of a walking break, but we were right about at the halfway point of the trip.

Although doing laundry doesn’t sound like vacation fun, it actually fit with our relaxing and somewhat lazy day. It was nice to just sit and read while waiting for our clothes to finish washing and drying. It was a pleasant day so the doors were wide open and the sun was shining through the plentiful windows.

We probably should have returned to do more laundry at some point as we were both cutting it close with our remaining clean clothes by the time it came to head home.

We returned to our room to put our laundry away and continued relaxing with our books.

We walked around town a little bit before lunch and stopped into The Pleasure of Writing. The last time we were in Carmel, we weren’t as into pens and stationery as we are now. We had poked our heads in the last time but were more curious about it this time. They feature a lot of pens that are well out of our price range, but they had a nice selection of notebooks. We each picked up a Carmel-related notebook. We’re not into surfing but liked the idea of bringing home a Carmel notebook.

California Notebooks
California Notebooks

We were soon ready for lunch and went to Alvarado Street Brewery and Bistro. Last time we were in Carmel, it was called Yeast of Eden. The ownership didn’t change, just the name and, to some extent, the approach. Yeast of Eden beers are a bit adventurous focusing on sour ales with native microflora and hyper local ingredients. Their location in Carmel still offers some Yeast of Eden beers but offers a wider range of more approachable beer as well.

Holly had the fish and chips, and I had a wonderful BBQ mushroom sandwich. Of course, we had a couple of their beers as well.

After lunch, we walked around town a little more, and then headed to Wrath Wines for an afternoon tasting. Wrath is another tasting room we had been to before and liked. We didn’t branch out much during the week, mostly relying on places we knew we liked. We tried only 1 new place for wine tasting later in the week.

Wrath Wines
Wrath Wines

We were interested in trying some other places in nearby Carmel Valley, but we didn’t get there this trip. Hard to believe we spent 8 days in Carmel and still didn’t have enough time to do all the things we wanted to.

Dinner that night was at Pescadero, a Mexican restaurant that focuses on seafood. We shared a tamale and a salsa tasting that had 4 salsa of varying styles and heat. We each had tacos for our entrees. Holly had one each of avocado, rockfish, and shrimp. I had 2 shrimp and 1 rockfish. All were delicious, but I particularly liked the shrimp.

Spicy Margaritas at Pescadero
Spicy Margaritas at Pescadero
Tacos de Pescado at Pescadero
Tacos de Pescado at Pescadero

They also had a Keystone Everflash 10 camera among other paraphernalia in their window.

Keystone Everflash 10 at Pescadero
Keystone Everflash 10 at Pescadero

As usual, we didn’t have any plans for the night. We have busy days and are ready to just relax in the room after dinner.

However, since we didn’t walk as much that day, we walked down to the beach to see the sunset. We had talked about wanting to do so and that day was the perfect opportunity.

For that, I went back to my Nikon Z fc with my 18-140mm lens.

Sunset at Carmel Beach
Sunset at Carmel Beach
Sunset at Carmel Beach
Sunset at Carmel Beach

Day Eight: Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

We tried a new place the next morning for breakfast, Katy’s Place, after our usual coffee in our room. We sat outside on their pleasant patio. They offer a wide variety of Benedicts, and I had Katy’s Eggs Benedict with thinly sliced, lean smoked ham. Holly had an egg white omelet with tomato, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, spinach, and avocado. Both were delicious and, in fact, we found ourselves back there later in our trip.

Katy's Eggs Benedict at Katy's Place
Katy’s Eggs Benedict at Katy’s Place

After breakfast, we drove down to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve which is only about 3 miles from Carmel. We went there during our last trip, but it’s a fairly large park so we went on different trails this time.

I mostly used my Nikon Z fc with my 18-140mm lens, but I also took a few photos with my Olympus XA which I mentioned already posting about above.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Bird Island at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Bird Island at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

On the way back, we tried another new place, From Scratch, which is located in The Barnyard, a shopping area just outside downtown Carmel. Based on their menu, we were excited to try it but were, unfortunately, underwhelmed by the experience. Their patio was nice so it was a relaxing place to sit after our long walk, and we also got to see a blue jay.

We hadn’t planned it this way, but that day turned out to be a day when we tried all new places. We went to Windy Oaks for a wine tasting which was quite good and has been added to our list of places to go back to.

Then for dinner, we tried Edwin’s Kaona, which was also very good and worth a return visit to in the future. For appetizers, we shared the Crispy Island Veggie Rolls and an order of steamed Manila clams. I had the Balinese fried chicken, and Holly had the Singapore prawns. 

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but there was some kind of mix up in the kitchen that resulted in us getting a free dish of pasta as well.

Balinese Fried Chicken at Edwins
Balinese Fried Chicken at Edwins

Day Nine: Jacks Peak

The next day started, after our usual coffee in our room, with driving back to Monterey to have breakfast at Loulou’s Griddle in the Middle. We had been there before but that was probably in 2010. Twelve years!

Our good luck with the weather continued, and we sat outside in the bright morning sun. I had their crab cakes and eggs, and Holly had an egg white omelet.

After breakfast, we took our last big hike of vacation. We went to Jacks Peak which, as the name suggests, is at a higher elevation and provides great views of Carmel and Monterey.

View of Monterey from Jacks Peak
View of Monterey from Jacks Peak
Tangled Trees in Jacks Peak
Tangled Trees in Jacks Peak

We went back to Carmel for lunch at Little Napoli. We had not been there before and weren’t sure what to expect. From the outside, it seemed a little touristy, but we’re always interested in Italian food so decided to give it a try and were very glad we did. Our lunch was fantastic.

We started off with a couple Aperol Spritzes and then shared a few small plates: Ffied artichoke arancini, bruschetta con piselli, roasted Gilroy garlic bulb (which included olives, roasted tomatoes, and fried goat cheese), and calamari fritti.

Roasted Gilroy Garlic Bulb at Little Napoli
Roasted Gilroy Garlic Bulb at Little Napoli

After lunch, we checked out the Carmel Arts Festival which was smaller than I expected and not as interesting as I had hoped.

Our wine tasting that day was at Silvestri, another place we had been to on our last visit and wanted to return to. 

For dinner, we went back to Cultura Comida y Bebida. As our vacation was winding down, we wanted to make sure we enjoyed our last dinners so went back to places we knew we liked.

We started with the chips and salsa and then we each ordered enchiladas. Holly got the yam, and I got the chicken.

We finished by each getting The Oaxacan cocktail.


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