Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Because Jonathan needed to work and I needed to spend my days revising, his parents did a lot of exploring on their own while they visited. However, we were able to take a day and go to Carmel, which proved to be a good experience.

Carmel is short for Carmel-by-the-Sea, and it's a little more than an hour south of us, on the coast. We had originally hoped to go past Carmel and on to Big Sur as well, but there had been a mudslide and the only roads that go there were completely blocked.

Carmel was founded in 1902, so it's fairly young. However, the people living there were all poets and artists and writers, so they decided not to number buildings. seriously. The streets have names, but everything within the 1-square-mile that is Carmel has no number. All addresses are given by the name of the place, or simply something like "on sixth between Lincoln and Dolores." We did not see a single number on anything until we were outside the city! We drove through the main street and found a 30-minute-parking spot. I was kinda weirded out that we saw SO MANY DOGS. They were all on leashes and everything, but there were just TONS of them! And many establishments put out water bowls in front of the door for the doggies! And there were leash tie-ups all over the place! Well, as it turns out, Carmel is a very dog-friendly city, and it always has been. There's even a leash-free beach! And, many of the hotels let you have dogs as well. We walked up and down a few streets, grabbed pretzels at the Carmel bakery, and went into a few shops.

Then, we drove a very nice scenic route that wound along the coast, treating us to beautiful, one-of-a-kind houses on one side, and the Pacific ocean on the other. We pulled over a few times to look around and take photos.
 
Then, we attempted to get as close to the Big Sur as possible. Jonathan and his dad found an alternate route that would be a dirt road but might work, except the roadblock was before you got to it, even though everything online said that you could get to the Bixby bridge.
 
 
On the way back, we decided that we were hungry so we stopped in Carmel to try the Little Swiss Cafe, which was recommended in Frommer's. It was a quaint little place, with cute paintings on the walls. I ordered the cheese blintzes, which was good. They were quite sweet, but I imagine that's how they should be (I'd only had them one time before, and I don't remember them all that well). Hot chocolate, coffee, and corned beef has all had good reviews from everyone, and neither Jonathan nor his mom finished their sandwiches, so we took half of a corned beef sandwich home, and half of a french dip. They didn't last long though, so they must've been delicious!

Afterward, we headed back to our house and had a low-key afternoon before grilling for dinner, which also yielded a yummy meal (though, unfortunately, we also found out that Lucky makes a very sweet potato salad, LoL).

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