We love visiting Carmel for the holidays. It is a seaside town that got a taste of stardom when Clint “Dirty Harry” Eastwood became mayor for a short time in the mid-80’s. We stay at Doris Day’s Cypress Inn, and bring our dog. Bring holiday guests or come on your own, the natural beauty will blow everyone away.
We’ve been going to Carmel for many years, and more recently, it has become “our little spot” for Thanksgiving. We love the beach, the peace and quiet, the art galleries, and the dog-friendly attitude that pervades the town. This year, amidst the kick-off of our Christmas shopping, we explored beyond the little Carmel hamlet and found a few new spots that we loved.
Rocky Point Restaurant is located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean. The day after Thanksgiving, we headed south on Hwy 1 and made the brief ten mile drive to this spot that opened as a roadside lunch spot in 1947. The weather could not have been better, so we sat outside on the patio.
After our lunch, we hiked out to the rocky cliffs below the restaurant along an easy path. Hikers report that dolphins and whales are often spotted from the path, but we they didn’t appear on the day we were there. Another reason to return!
On our way back from Rocky Point, we stopped to tour Carmel’s Mission. Founded in 1770 by Father Junipero Serra, the mission was the headquarters of the Alta California missions. As all California 4th graders can tell you, there are 21 Spanish missions, or religious outposts dotting the state from San Diego to Sonoma. The Missions were established by Spanish Catholic priests between 1769 and 1833, to expand Christianity among the Native Americans northwards into what we now know as California. Simple, peaceful and full of interesting exhibits in five small museums, the Carmel Mission boasts a beautiful stone church, as well as the surprisingly bare room in which Father Serra lived and died. It was well worth the visit.
Are you on Instagram? (Follow me: https://www.instagram.com/trueheartgal/) I started using because I love keeping up with what interests my 14-year-old nieces, but now I do it because it is fun and inspiring. I follow Kim of northerncalstyle, and she recommended a stop at Tancredi & Morgen, which we did on our way out of town on Sunday. It’s adorable and full of holiday decorations and gifts!
This little shop is located in one of the sole remaining buildings from a ranch that was once located on the spot. We met Roger Alldis, who, along with his wife, established the business. Roger hails from South Africa and loves traveling to France and Turkey among other spots to find the treasures that fill the store. We found an array of Christmas decorations, old hotel silver, handmade pillows, copper pots, textiles, antiques, furniture and clothing to name just a few items.
I didn’t wind up buying anything, as I’d already purchased several items from downtown Carmel shops.
Next time, I’ll be sure I visit Tancredi Morgen early in my visit!
Of course, my favorite moments were those I spent on Ocean Beach, the doggiest beach in the world, with my darling husband and our rescue dog, Mia. She is ten now, and slowing down a bit, but few things make her eyes sparkle as much as chasing tennis balls at full speed.
Watching the sunsets on the beach is a spiritual experience.
A few links I hope you will enjoy:
The anatomy of a scene: Amy. I hope you’ll see the movie.
A photographer imagines herself as her mother’s childhood friend.
I’m loving “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having.” Check it out!
Meet: the kitten nanny.
Oscar winner Julianne Moore acts for tips.
“Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman.” How do you respond to Amy Schumer in the new Pirelli calendar.
Finally, I write as I listen to the news about the mass shooting in San Bernadino. This just after the attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Which was just after an attack at Umpqua Community College. Which was just after eight people killed in a home outside Houston. Which was just after the shooting during a prayer meeting in Charleston. Which was just after a shootout in Waco.
This was the 355th mass shooting this year. We must come together to change our gun laws. Enough. Enough. Enough.