California Part 3–Carmel By the Sea, Big Sur & Pebble Beach

After a disappointing In-N-Out experience and a late night arrival in Carmel, w e woke up bright and early the next morning to a lovely (and complimentary!) continental breakfast delivered to our room.


Since we had missed much of the beauty of Big Sur in the dark the night before, we decided to backtrack before driving back to Pebble Beach. Of course we couldn’t leave Carmel without exploring a little, so we finished our croissants and left the Carmel Lodge on foot to check out the town.

IMG_0275 IMG_0282IMG_0283 IMG_0285

What a quaint, whimsical little place Carmel is, just like it’s name, Carmel By The Sea. Of all of our California destinations, Carmel is the one I would most like to return to. It’s quiet, the people are friendly and it is so beautiful! Between the gorgeous shoreline, the tree lined streets and the magical looking shops and homes, it’s absolutely one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been.

IMG_0281 IMG_0287

Each little shop had unique architecture and a beautiful doorway, each unlike the next. It reminded me of the trip to Italy I took with my sister two years ago and all the different doors we saw in Rome. One thing I dislike about living in Hilton Head is that many neighborhoods have such strict codes that all of the houses look exactly the same. I know some people prefer this aesthetic but I find it so much more enjoyable to walk down the streets and see different colors and designs everywhere you look.

IMG_0289 IMG_0291

IMG_0296 Gnome Home

It was too early for any shops to be open, which was fine by me since we didn’t really have time to shop, but Carmel is the sort of place you could easily spend a whole day wandering from store to store and browsing the day away. We walked down to the ocean and took in the views for a bit, making guesses about how close we were to the golf course before jumping in the car and heading back towards Big Sur.

IMG_0307 IMG_0309


The drive back through Big Sur was breathtaking and we stopped for lots of photo ops of the beautiful cliffs and scenery along the way.

IMG_0327 IMG_0332

IMG_0334 IMG_0342

There are several areas along Highway 1 where you can pull over and hike down to the beaches which we made sure to take full advantage of. In December it was too cold for swimming but just right for exploring and photographing.

Continue reading

California Part 2 – LA Farmer’s Market and Highway 1

If you missed the beginning of our California trip, catch up HERE! Our second day in Los Angeles began much better than its predecessor (thank goodness!). Robert woke up feeling 100% better and both of us were starving after no dinner and an early bedtime the night before. A quick Yelp search landed us a few miles down the road at Jacks and Joe in downtown LA. I loved the cute name (you know how I feel about pancakes) and we hit them just before the breakfast rush and were immediately seated at the end of a long communal high top that snaked through the center of the restaurant.

 Jacks N Joe

The menu was full of delicious sounding pancake combinations with adorable names, my best/worst nightmare.

 Jacks N Joe Menu

Although I consider banana pancakes to be manna from heaven, I had seen a yelp photo of the most delicious looking breakfast burrito I’d ever laid eyes on and couldn’t get it out of my head. I was bummed out and confused not to see it listed on their menu, so I asked the waiter about it. Apparently California has a thing with “secret menus”…I’m looking at you In N Out…and Jacks and Joe was no exception. I don’t really understand this whole secret menu phenomenon, but it makes me both excited and nervous all at the same time.

The server explained to me that regulars sometimes ordered said breakfast burrito (and or loaded hash browns) since the kitchen had all the ingredients on hand, even though it wasn’t on the menu. I got the impression that the kitchen staff found the secret menu orders kind of annoying and he didn’t really want me to order it (maybe because I was clearly not a local and only a sneaky yelper) but you guys…that photo…I had to have it!

Breakfast Burrito  Breakfast BUrrito 2

I can’t even remember what Robert ordered (probably french toast) because I was way too into my burrito. It had Portuguese sausage in it which was absolutely divine, chorizo, bacon, hash browns, cheese, big chunks of avocado and an OVER EASY EGG! This basically made the burrito have it’s own delicious sauce that ran out all over it when you took a bite. So. Good. It was also the size of my head which made lunch unnecessary.


Continue reading