Weekday get-away to Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur

IMG_1461I’m just back from my best ever mini-trip to Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur. Taking off on a rainy morning under dark skies, the sun breaking through in the distance promised stunning views, delicious meals, and a relaxing break. Enjoy.

Lunch was first on the agenda with a stunning table-side view of Anton & Michel's flower-bedecked fountain courtyard in Carmel

Lunch was first on the agenda with a stunning table-side view of Anton & Michel’s flower-bedecked fountain courtyard in Carmel

A glass of Saint Hilaire French Brut brushed aside memories of a longer than usual trip down

A glass of Saint Hilaire French Brut brushed aside memories of a longer than usual trip down

...and a hearty bowl of lentil beef vegetable soup felt so welcoming

…and a hearty bowl of lentil beef vegetable soup felt so welcoming

The smile of a charming waitperson added to the charm

The smile of a charming waitperson added to the charm

An entree of blackened swordfish on a spinach salad did the trick

An entree of blackened swordfish on a spinach salad did the trick

And as every woman knows, a well appointed restroom is an added bonus

And as every woman knows, a well appointed restroom is an added bonus

After a bit of shopping, it was on to Monterey and checking into the Merritt House Inn with its fun room themes, mine Hawaiian

After a bit of shopping, it was on to Monterey and checking into the Merritt House Inn with its fun room themes, mine Hawaiian

And admiring my shopping finds, a fringed suede shawl and an adult coloring book and colored pencils

And admiring my shopping finds, a fringed suede shawl and an adult coloring book and colored pencils

Before dinner a two mile walk along Monterey bay over to Cannery Row

Before dinner a two mile walk along Monterey bay over to…

IMG_1481

…Cannery Row

Ending with a delightful shot of a dolphin sculpture outside the Monterey Plaza Hotel with a early evening moon above

Ending with a delightful shot of a dolphin sculpture outside the Monterey Plaza Hotel with a early evening moon above

Then back to Carmel. I had made a reservation earlier in the day at Andre's Bouchee Restaurant and Wine Bar, knowing that their foie gras would be on the menu but disappointed to hear that the duck confit was "out"

Then back to Carmel. I had made a dinner reservation earlier in the day for Andre’s Bouchee Restaurant and Wine Bar, knowing that their mouth-watering seared Foie Gras a la Orange Sanguine would be on the menu but disappointed to hear that the duck confit was “out”, gobbled up by greedy tourists the day before.

But much to my delight, the waitress announced that the chef, hearing of my desire, had found a way to make the duck confit just for me. On it's bed of gnocchi

But much to my delight when I arrived, the waitress announced that the chef, hearing of my desire, had found a way to make the Confit de Carnard just for me on a bed of skillet browned gnocchi with mini root veges swimming in garlic parsley butter. YUM!

And could I resist the Crème Brûlée wiht Espresso and Frangelico...of course not!

And could I resist the Crème Brûlée
with Espresso and Frangelico…of course not!

The next morning called for a walk on the Carmel beach

The next morning called for a walk on the Carmel beach

Then as a last treat, a trip down Hwy 1 to Big Sur

Then as a last treat, a trip down Hwy 1 to Big Sur

And lunch at the Nepenthe restaurant...

And lunch at the Nepenthe restaurant…

...with its spectacular view

…with its spectacular view

...and a cup of delicious tomato bisque soup

…and a cup of delicious tomato bisque soup. Even the dreaded trip home in Friday afternoon rush hour and holiday traffic couldn’t erase the memories, the tastes, the views of my relaxing get-away.

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