Carmel Sister Retreat

Sister getaway

We started our journey to Carmel late morning and by the time we got to San Jose, we were starving. We consulted Google and were directed to this area. We drove by Faz and without even knowing the kind of food they served, decided to stop. 

The food was mediterranean and delicious! Lynette had a grilled sandwich and I had a chicken kabob with saffron rice. Delicious! While we were waiting for our food, they brought out a plate of flatbread with hummus, baba ganoush, Tzatiki and hummus with a small cucumber and balsamic salad on the side. Wow, so much food! But it was all delicious. We were stuffed and avoiding the food coma, journeyed on. 

We arrived at our hotel The Gateway just before the 4pm check-in. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw this hotel. It was very nice and located right on the edge of the downtown area. 

Our room was on the bottom and tucked away under the stairs. 

A very nice room with a kind bed. 

Cool bathroom floors. 

When checking in, they told us there is a wine and small plate reception in the lobby from 4-6pm. Perfect timing! We put our stuff in the room and headed on over. 

All kinds of veggies, pita chips, spinach dips and so on. I made a plate of veggies and fruit with a nice glass of merlot. 

Lynette had herself a lovely Bellini. Yum. 

After snack time, we went for a walk to check out the downtown area. 

Street after street of small shops. Tons of art galleries and restaurants. 

And then we happened upon this place. A nice little bakery with all kinds of handmade desserts. 

We browsed the window and were sold. 

We split this yummy creation. A raspberry danish. It was yummy, but a little dry. 

After our little stroll around downtown in the cold wind and fog, we were freezing. Decided to stop into the lobby for some hot tea and to sit by the fire. We also played a couple of games. This is Jenga. 

And connect 4.
Lynette said she had never played, so I told her the basics, then she proceeded to beat me, over and over. We sat in the lobby until we were toasty and warm. Time to go and relax in the room and call it a day. What a fun way to start our vacay. 

Day 2

The next morning, we came in for the breakfast buffet. Wow. 
This was some of the best breakfast food I've had and to have it served in a hotel buffet, I was very surprised. I didn't have this because of the fish, but the avocado toast looked yummy. 

Slices of a breakfast burrito. 

They also had a super delicious and fluffy frittata, fruit and waffles. What a great way to start the day. 

We had a full day to explore around, so we decided to head down to 17 mile drive. 
We arrived at Pebble Beach and decided to check out the lodge. 

First views of the ocean from the gift store. 

Major champions. Interesting to see the names. I've watched some of these tournaments. 

I vividly remember this one. The US Open appears to be played here about every 9 years and will be here again in June of this year. They were already doing preparations and selling so much stuff that had US Open 2019 all over it. Very cool. 

The famous 18th hole is just to the right of this tree. 
I didn't quite capture the entire thing, but it's a cool sight. 
This part of the resort is absolutely beautiful. 

As we made our way further down 17 mile driver and through the Cypress Grove, we stopped to enjoy the shoreline. 

Nearing the end of the drive, we stopped to enjoy the beach. Lynette got out and walked around a bit while I stayed close to the car, I was freezing cold in the breeze. 

We made our way into Pacific Grove for some lunch. A cool little coastal town. 
This is a quaint little downtown area. 

We walked around a bit trying to decide where to eat and settled on The Monarch Pub & Restaurant. 

It was a funky little place, but kinda cool inside. 

Turkey sandwich with sweet potato fries. Lynette had fish and chips that she thoroughly enjoyed. 

We had a bit more time to kill before our escape room, so we decided to get a pedicure at the nail shop right across the street. 

Our perty feet! 

We talked about an escape room and found this one online. 
We decided to venture into the One Way Bank room to assist in a bank heist  ;-)

60 minutes? Let's do this! 

For obvious reasons, we can't take pics inside the room of any of the clues, but here we are with all the loot we gathered during the adventure. It was fun. We did need some clues along the way, but it was fun to try to figure stuff out. 

After another stop into the lobby for free snack of veggies, chips and fruit, we went for another stroll downtown. Funny how we find our way into some type of dessert shop! 

I think this was Hansel and Gretel's house. 

And wow, this place had walls and walls of old time candies, dummies, licorice and an ENORMOUS selection of truffles, fudge and handmade chocolate of all kinds. 

I was almost considering getting a piece of fudge, but there were so many kinds, I couldn't even choose. Lynette on the other hand, had no problem deciding...

Chocolate Heath Fudge. WOW

We continued to walk around downtown and it's chilly and windy. We walked by this place and decided to peak inside. There were cases of delicious looked baked goods. As we were trying to decide if we were hungry for some food, a patron told us they had the best clam chowder she had ever had on Fridays. Just our luck, it's Friday! 

Got a cup to go. Lynette concurred. This was delicious! 

Day 3

We started our day with another awesome breakfast buffet at the hotel. We are definitely being thrifty with breakfast here and wine and snacks for dinner. Lynette discovered that the avocado toast that had smoked salmon yesterday has prosciutto today! I was stuffed when the discovery was made, so I couldn't even try any or I'd have to roll down the street to our massage. 

Breakfast by the fire. Such a nice way to start the day. 

We left the hotel to walk around the streets of Carmel a little more before heading to our massage. 

Shops of high end jewelry, art and clothes. We aren't shopping, just looking. 

Love all the different styles of building architecture here. 

We finally found the massage "spa" tucked away in an alley. 

It's a bit funky, but trying to stay open about the massage still being awesome. 

It's a "couples" massage, but we're sisters, so this could be fun to have at the same time. That way we can chat while having massages. haha

Post massage hair and puffy eyes. 
Honestly, I'm glad Lynette chose who she chose, she actually got a decent massage. My therapist was most likely not licensed, very inexperienced or under the influence. My massage was not very good. 
Glad hers was at least very relaxing. 

Our time here in Carmel is over. Now we make our way home. 
We stopped in Morgan Hill for some lunch. Little did we know there was a wine stroll just kicking off when we arrived. Lots of people out and about, but the restaurant still had plenty of room. 
Found this place on Google. Reviews were very high. 

And we confirmed the rave reviews. Even though we just had sandwiches, they were delicious! 
Ladera Turkey and Avocado Bacon Sandwich. YUM!

Cajun Chicken Deliciousness. 

We had a wonderful few days away. Wishing we could do this more often. It's great to spend some nice and easy, de-stressing time together. 

Until next time.