1/1/12

The McCalebs Go to Carmel

Hi! I'm back to tell you all about the second leg of our honeymoon. You are fired up, I can tell.

After three lovely days in Napa, we packed up our cherry red Altima with the push button start and headed south and then west towards the Pacific Coast. I drove this leg of the trip, big ups to me for not panicking when the California traffic got hairy.  The trip from Napa to Carmel took about 2 hours; once we got to the Coast it was absolutely amazing.  I'm glad we had switched drivers at this point, I would have driven us into the ocean because I was looking so hard at everything.  We drove through Carmel and went straight to Big Sur.  We stopped at the Big Sur Deli, picked up some sandwiches, and set out to find Parrington Cove. This is a gem of a spot on highway 1; it's got hiking trails to both the ocean and through the woods.  It's about 6.5 miles from a restaurant called Napenthe.  We didn't go there but I hear it's rad.  Anyway.  It's on the right side of the road,  you park on the side of the road and slip through a gate.  A fire road leads  you down to the most beautiful site I've ever seen.  What i've read about it says that it was an old whaling cove.  Which rocks.  Not that whaling rocks, it's kind of barbaric I hear but the idea of that kind of history rocks.  AND you get to walk through this super cool tunnel.    

 

Once you get through the tunnel it's rocks and waves and peace.  The water is the most amazing color I've ever seen...the pictures don't do it justice at all!  We pretty much had it to ourselves aside from some random tourists like us.  After enjoying our picnic lunch overlooking the water, we got brave and did some mild rock climbing.  It was terrifying.  And awesome.  Very near death but I liked it.   

Look at that handsome fella...


So we left the water and went the other way on the trail towards the woods and the water falls.  Brandon shot up what appeared to be a small mountain to do some further exploring, I took this opportunity to snap a pic of the directions from Napa to Carmel that were written on my hand.  Trash. 



We left Parrington Cove and headed towards Pfieffer State Park. Did some hiking and some looking at tall trees, it was sweet.  We started up a trail that would have led us to a huge water fall and an ocean view, but turned around when we learned we had another 2 miles to go until we reached the top.  One cool thing: we came across a couple snapping pics of each others while leaning against trees.  We told them we were on our honey moon, they told us they were celebrating their 30th anniversary.  I, being the nosy person that I am, asked them what their secret was.  The said it was compromise, acceptance, and laughter.  Everyone keeps saying that....it must be true.   



We said goodbye to to the tall trees and headed back to Carmel.  Our hotel, The Tickled Pink, was absolutely amazing.  Quite the step up from the best western.  The most amazing thing was the view.  This is what we saw when you stepped out on the balcony...

The second most amazing thing was the sweet wine and cheese reception they offered.  It was held on their patio and went down at the same time as sun did.   


We rested, showered, called a cab, and headed into Carmel.  This was Monday and the 49ers were playing on TV that night.  We went to a bar called Brophy's Tavern.  It had a nice laid back feel, basic bar food and cold beers.  One of Brandon's friends and his girlfriend drove up from Malibu to hang out...a large time was had by all.  Interesting Carmel fact that we learned is that there are no house numbers / addresses.  I can't wrap my brain around how this works.  That Clint Eastwood...he's a trip. 


The next morning we set out for more exploring.  We got some coffee in Carmel and headed towards the 17 Mile Drive.  I had no idea what this was, only knew that people said we had to check it out.  So glad we did...it was beautiful.  It's the main road through the Pebble Beach Community (which I absolutely do not understand) and boasts some amazing views.  We saw surfers and otters and lone cypress trees. 


We ended our 17 mile drive trek at the Stillwater Bar and Grill.  We had mimosas, bloody marys, calamari, and a view of the famed 18th hole at the Pebble Beach Golf Link.  I don't even like golf, but it was pretty cool.  We even snuck onto the tee box (is that what you call it?).  Rebels. 


We went back to Carmel proper and did some exploring.  It's such a cute little town, fancy too.  Lots of dogs in strollers.  We had a late lunch at Shucks where I had some rockin' fish tacos and Brandon had a crab cake.

Carmel really knows how to do a sunset.  The sky is a million colors, the ocean looks purple, and the sand seems to sparkle.  It's mind blowing, really.  We caught the sunset on the beach our last night there...put it on your bucket list.



We set out on foot to try to find Clint Eastwood's piano bar, turns out it was further than we wanted to walk and didn't want to call the cab again.  We decided on a tapas place called Mundaka.  It had a super cool atmosphere and a waiter that underestimated my ability to eat massive amounts of food.  He tried to steer us away from ordering the Paella, exclaiming we would never finish it all.  Humph.  Little does he know....

It was a wonderful trip; hard to come home but I'm so grateful for the opportunity to travel out there.  

Everyone:  go see the pacific coast!  It is amazing... 

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