Sunday, March 8, 2009

1st trip sans kiddo and newlywed or nearly dead

Andy and I were lucky enough to get away to one of our very favorite places this week. We left Addison in the care of both sets of our parents (who took shifts) and dear friends who filled in in between so that we could get away Wednesday - Sunday to California.

I was so excited when I was planning the trip, but reality began to set in of leaving Addison for five days...by far the longest I"ve been away right before we left. She did wonderfully though and we were able to enjoy ourselves so much.

We got into Carmel, CA on the Monterey Peninsula Wednesday afternoon and spent the day shopping, eating, and enjoying the sunset.

Lamplighter Inn...so wonderful and lived up to its number 1 ranking on TripAdvisor.com. Just a short walk away from shops and the beach.
I failed to take a picture of the #6 attraction in Carmel that we spent much of our time at.....the Coach store. Yes, Trip Advisor listed it as one of the top cannot miss attractions...and why??? Because everything in the store was about 75% off! If this isn't a silver lining of a desperate economy, I don't know what is!

Sunset at Carmel Beach (Wed. night)
I wrote Addison's name in the sand (I was in slight withdrawel the first night) and then a dog ran across it and I thought it was perfect because we were in Harley withdrawel as well!

Wednesday night we went to the best Greek restaurant. It only held about 30 people and was owned by two brothers that kept hugging and kissing all of the ladies in the place. The food was outstanding.

When we were almost ready to leave a man came and sat down and introduced himself as Dr. Charles Harper. In 10 minutes of conversation I learned that he was newly divorced after 25 years of marriage, got married at the age of 18 and had been retired for 14 years. You do the math.

He told us that he comes in that restaurant every day to eat and reminded us that people who live in Carmel are all newlywed (the tourists) or nearly dead (the locals) (except him). "No one here works, we just get up, work out, and worry about where we're going to go eat that day". Really? People live this way? Umm...sign me up, except for the working out every day part....



Thursday Morning was very hazy, but we drove south on Hwy 1 to Big Sur. The views were absolutely breathtaking!



Hiking at Point Lobos Reserve, just south of Carmel


One of the many cool doorways in Carmel....led to a beautiful cottage house right near the beach

Thursday afternoon we hiked from Carmel Beach down and up to Pebble Beach golf course and then took a drive down and around 17 mile drive

Is this not amazing? (taken from 17 mile drive overlooking Pebble Beach)

Lone Cypress to the right
Taken at Ghost Tree. I was here over 10 years ago and took the most amazing picture at sunset. I tried to duplicate it, but we were a little bit early.

At the Lodge of Pebble Beach watching some players finish up on the 18th green. Andy didn't get to play this time, but maybe it's an excuse to come back...

Thursday night we went to the Resort at Spanish Bay to watch the sunset and have dinner. It was so chilly but they had these firepits that you could sit and eat/drink with blankets while you watched the sunset.


A bagpiper played right before sunset

Friday morning we drove from Carmel up through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate to Muir Woods. It was one of our favorite parts from our trip a few years back that we knew we wanted to do again.

Taken from Lombard St.
Across the bay looking back on the city

Muir Woods redwoods

Friday afternoon we arrived at Napa and stayed at the Inn on 1st. which is the BEST bed and breakfast I have ever stayed at. If you go to the wine country DO NOT MISS this place!!!
We were served a gormet breakfast by Jim every morning.

Saturday we met friends of Andy's from Shell's office in San Diego who were also visiting. It worked out so well because we had a driver take us around to 5 different wineries and didn't have to worry about a thing.

Joseph "Michael" Phelps winery....our first stop
I asked Andy to hold my purse and then I think he forgot he had it on while talking to Chance, but it made for a classic blackmail picture.
Since we went in March, the grapvines have all just been pruned back and it looks quite different from when we were there in the summer before.
Still beautiful though!!
Rubicon was next, which is owned by Francis Coppola. Little known fact...Nicholas Cage and Francis coppola are cousins!
Enjoying our tasting at Rubicon

What makes this time of year beautiful in Napa is the mustard that's growing everywhere. This is one of my favorite pics from the whole trip!

Vincent Arroyo winery was our 3rd and favorite one. It was a small family owned winery and we spent two hours talking with Vincent and Tedddy, tasting, eating, and of course buying lots of wine to take back!


Vincent brought us up two special bottles from his cellar to take home as a thank you. We were pretty excited and didn't want to leave, but we still had 2 to go!
August Briggs was next, but this is actually a picture of the 5th winery (which funny enough, I can't remember the name of)....a long day of tasting will do that to you!
We had such an incredible time and I can't wait to go back again. Coming home to Addison tonight though was the perfect ending to a much needed getaway.

10 comments:

Lacey said...

Man...that was some trip!! AWESOME!! And did you ever find out how that guy retired at 29??? What on Earth did he do?? Wouldn't that be the life. You could have your hubby home all day to help you raise the kids...dreamy...

Mary said...

wow, andy really carries that purse well! this looks like so much fun - what beautiful pictures!

Callie said...

this looks like SO much fun!! So glad you guys got to get away! Chris and I definitely need to plan a trip soon too!

Becky Todd said...

Oh my gosh! BEAUTIFUL pictures, Melissa! It looks like you had a great time. I am happy for you all! Call me...we leave on Wednesday for Steamboat.

Ashley McWhorter said...

So fun!!! Getting away with your hubby is always the greatest. Love the pictures! :)

The Manuel Family said...

Those are beautiful pictures! We were supposed to go to Napa this weekend but had to cancel last minute because something came up at Kev's work. I will definitely ask you for advice when we reschedule! I am so intruiged by the Coach store...God bless the recession!

Shannon K. said...

Oh man....that really made me miss home!!! What an awesome trip!

Mike and Jess Richey said...

Hi Melissa! I don't know if you remember me from grad school but I stumbled upon your blog from Lacey's. Just wanted to say hello and tell you that your daughter is just precious!! Take care.

Jessica Christopher Richey

The Cocke Family said...

You are getting really good with the new camera...great pics! So glad you guys had fun on your trip!

Becky Fenn said...

Those are beautiful pictures! I am so glad you guys got to go on that trip...it looked like so much fun!