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Showing posts with the label Monterey

Exploring through Carmel and Pebble Beach

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My friend Tracy picked me up at L’Auberge Carmel after I finished the delicious breakfast delivered to my room (included for all guests). We had a final full day of fun ahead in Monterey County . We were actually remaining in Carmel by the Sea, but moving to an adorable inn a few blocks down. The Lamp Lighter Inn is actually a group of adorable cottages and guest rooms just a few blocks walk from both town and the beach. While it is called a bed & breakfast, it’s a lot more than both, with cute gardens, flowing wine and a deluxe continental breakfast in the morning. We stayed in the Bluebird Cottage which looked like it belonged in a fairy tale (there is also a Hansel & Gretel cottage, so I think I have the right theme). It has a king bed and bathroom downstairs with an electric fireplace, and twin beds upstairs (witha teddy bear on each). The upstairs became Tracy’s domain. There wasn’t long to spend admiring the room as we were soon off for our full da

Carmel From Valley to Sea

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There’s nothing like waking up to a fresh breakfast delivered in a comfy cottage on an estate full of horses. That’s exactly what I had to greet me at Stonepine Estate . It was another hard place to leave, but I had lots to do on my journey through Monterey, California , and it was going to continue in Carmel by the Sea. Our first stop of the day was at Tor House . This property is right on the Pacific Ocean and once belonged to poet Robinson Jeffers. Koleen Hamlin, the public relations representative for Monterey County , and I toured the house, learning all about the rich history of both the literary time period he lived in and the Carmel by the Sea house itself. From Tor House we headed to downtown for lunch at Dametra CafĂ© . I learned about Carmel by the Sea , it’s celebrities (Clint Eastwood and Doris Day both live here), quirks (no mailboxes or addresses on buildings are allowed) and rules (no high heels or chain stores, but dogs were more than welcome). I also e

Exploring and Tasting Carmel Valley

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Carmel Valley is one of the warmest places in  Monterey  with accommodations of all kinds. Koleen, the Monterey County public relations representative, and I were staying at some of the top properties in the valley (no argument here), starting with  Bernardus Lodge .  I had such a great time there -- especially in the spa -- it was hard to leave, but I knew there was another great place at the end of an exciting day. We were prepared to spend the day downtown after stopping to look at some great little hotels, like Tasa Hara Hot Springs Resort and  Los LoralesLodge & Saloon . We then made a quick stop at the gallery of Jean De Luz, who collects everything from sculptures to Italian fountains from Europe to sell to homes around here. Then it was off to the wineries. Our first stop was  Parsonage , a family owned winery that only does 2,000 cases a year. I liked their 2009 Sonsrap Chardonnay. Which was done half in stainless and half in oak, giving it lots of butter, bu

Re-Discovering Monterey in Carmel

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As a child, my family frequently traveled to California. I have fond memories of Monterey, especially the stop we always made at the Dennis the Menace Playground. I had actually only been to the area twice as an adult, once with my friend Jaimee, when I discovered the first wine I would ever remember by name (Jekel Johannisberg Riesling) and a second time take my daughter to the Monterey Aquarium when it first opened. I knew this trip would be different than any other to Monterey County and I was excited to discover the first class hotels, fine dining, wineries and, of course, scenic coastline. The trip didn’t quite start out the way I would have liked, with an hour and a half on the runway, followed by a bumpy four and a half hour flight and a bus ride, but things immediately started to feel better when I saw the Pacific Ocean. Koleen, the public relations rep for the county, was waiting for me on the other side and ready to show me around Carmel. It was going to be a qui