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jewelhawg Dec 7th, 2007 06:20 AM

Girl'sTrip Report ~ Carmel in Nov./Dec.
We picked the perfect time to go to Carmel...November 28-December 2...the weather was PERFECT! Sunny and mid to high 60's during the day and low 40's at night. Carmel was festive with Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. Along with Christmas decorations, Tickle Pink Inn was still covered in colorful floribunda. @};- ((F))

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Tickle Pink Inn. We 4 girls originally booked 2 full ocean-view rooms, but they were not adjoining. When we arrived, they offered to show us the only two adjoining rooms they had available at the time. But, they said they weren't full ocean view. We were hesitant, but decided to take a peek anyway. WOW! They were perfect and had very nice ocean views down the shoreline! We ended up in a one-bedroom suite with a fireplace (which we enjoyed every morning and evening), nice sitting area and large balcony that adjoined to another nice room....and the price for the two rooms went down about $130 per night! While settling in our rooms, a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates were delivered to each room...nice surprise!

Tickle Pink Inn has a wine and cheese reception every evening on their beautiful terrace with an incredible view of the sunset. The terrace is completely open at the top, with full glass sliding windows around the edges. Along with space heaters, it was always comfortable sitting out.

They also have a very nice continental breakfast every morning with freshly baked pastries, a hot egg dish, etc. etc. It's served in a cozy fireplace room with a couple of tables and nice sitting area. Or you can take it out on the terrace. If you prefer, they will also deliver it to your room.

After we checked-in, we walked to The Highlands (a Hyatt property) and enjoyed a late lunch and wine on their terrace. With the sun ((#)) shining on us, it was almost hot!

Our first full day, we shopped in Carmel and had an incredible lunch at Casanova's. It's a very special place and I highly recommend dining in their heated outdoor garden. It was delicious food, friendly attentive staff and bright, yet cozy atmosphere.

Later in the day, we also enjoyed The Cheese Shop in Carmel. What a fun, entertaining and tasty place!

Day two was spent driving down to Big Sur. It's a lovely drive down Highway 1 with nice stops along the way. We shopped about two hours at The Phoenix shop at Nepenthe...a delightful ecletic shop with a great boutique downstairs. Then on to a late lunch at Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn. It was just as fabulous as I remembered. We wined and dined on the terrace and soaked up the sun ((H)) and the indescribable view.

When we finally peeled ourselves out of the chairs, we drove down to the Mercantile...Post Ranch Inn's shop. (Yes, we girls can shop anywhere!) It was amazing how many wonderful things we found in a tiny shop! We all ended up buying yard art and fun trinkets for our homes. Everything had to be shipped...not sure I want to see that bill.

Before we headed back to Carmel, we decided to check out Ventana. It's across Highway 1 from PRI. They had a welcoming, roaring fire blazing in their bar area, so we settled in for a while. After drinks and a fun visit with their very knowledgable bartender, we realized their gift shop was still open! It was filled with art, beautiful jewelry, etc., etc. and wine. Believe it or not, we only walked out of the with a bottle of wine.

17-Mile Drive was on the itinerary for day 3. It's a beautiful drive with many places to stop and explore...or you can just make the beautiful drive. One of our stops was the Inn at Spanish Bay. We just wanted to go in for about 15-minutes so I could show the girls the lobby and view of the grounds. Well, that 15 minutes lengthened to an hour, with Bloody Mary's by the fire. We enjoyed and took pictures of their eye-catching Christmas decorations, too.

We continued slowly along 17-mile drive to Pebble Beach. Yes...we shopped in the "Shops of Pebble Beach" and ended up with golf apparel for ourselves, our husbands, sons and fathers.

We were lucky again in getting a great waiter and a table by the windows overlooking the 18th green. It was another perfect lunch and dining experience before heading back into Carmel to catch some of the many shops we'd missed the first day.

We ended our final day on the outdoor patio at the Hog's Breath. We patiently waited for a table by one of the several outdoor fireplaces as it was getting chilly.

jewelhawg Dec 7th, 2007 06:40 AM

I noticed that the final paragraph of my trip report didn't post.

I just wanted to say the only down side to our trip was we needed a couple more days. We didn't make it to Carmel Valley for wine touring and tasting. We also didn't get to the Mission Inn for an evening in the entertaining piano bar ((8)) ((8)) . A day in Monterey would have been nice, too.

These are just good reasons to return again...soon!

ruwithme Dec 7th, 2007 04:05 PM

Thanks for sharing your report; your trip sounded perfect! I am sure great memories were made.

SeaUrchin Dec 7th, 2007 05:11 PM

Isnt that area the best?!! I was wondering how you liked Hogsbreath. I haven't been there in a while and wondered about the quality. Sounds like you all had a great time.

kimamom Dec 8th, 2007 08:33 PM

Sounds really fun, we have spent several anniversaries in Carmel this time of year. We just returned from 4 days in Southern CA, we enjoyed 3 nights at the Casa Laguna Inn in Laguna Beach which was heaven on earth! ***kim*** ((f))

seagrover Dec 11th, 2007 07:41 PM

Thanks for such a great trip report!
For a few seconds it transported me there...ahhh Carmel!! You hit on all my favorite!! Great glad it was such a perfect trip...great memories!!

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