Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Carmel is just as charming and quaint as I remember.
It almost feels like we took a quick trip to Europe!

I even spied a Welsh flag outside of one gallery!

We spent all day Saturday exploring the nooks and crannies.

It takes all day just to see all the antique stores, art galleries and boutiques.

There are no bargains here for sure, but Carmel is so romantic that you don't mind.

One of our discoveries was "Forget Me Not," an antique and design store.
Shirley, the owner was a blast to talk to and we hit it off right away.

Her store is filled with unique treasures like this one-of-a-kind sea shell lamp.

I was crushing on this faux bamboo armoire. Isn't it amazing?

There was even an antique bee skep covered with mud.
I thought of my friend Lisa who is collecting them right now.

A lovely collection of tole and crystal chandeliers caught my eye.

And my favorite, Bella Notte linens too.

Carmel is so much fun to visit. I just hope we don't wait for another 5 years until we visit again.

Just north a few miles is Monterey.
We spent time on the wharf and Cannery Row.
Lots of history here, I'm always reminded of John Steinbeck and his novels about this area.

Of course you have to have oysters for lunch here...

...while watching the sea lions out the window.
They were quite a site, lounging in the sun...

...and frolicking in the water.

And so, we headed home feeling like we were gone for a week.
It was our first trip as official empty nesters. It seemed weird that Dexter wasn't with us.
I found myself looking in the back seat a few times to check on him. It's just habit I guess.

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-danielle- said...

that looks gorgeous and SO CHARMING! I'm jealous - just took my first vacation to California and can't wait to go back !!
I'll always look behind me for where my girls are - I can't imagine how it'll be as an empty nester >_< thanks for sharing !

Terri~terrileeauthor said...

Thanks for sharing all your beautiful pics. I get to feel like I had a little vacation too. ha ha
You know what I love about Carmel?
I love the name Carmel-by -the-Sea
What town has a name like that? It's just enchanting. It's been decades since I've been there. I was a young girl on my last visit, I'm sure I wouldn't even recognize it now. But it looks like all the charm has been carefully preserved.
I'm still sad for you, about your beloved Dexter. I know how it goes. Radom little moments can bring back memories, where we forget just for a second that he is no longer there. Peace be with you.

Lori E said...

The memories are flooding back. It has only been a year for me but I can feel that sunshine on my face and see it glinting off the water.
Great shops though most were way out of my price range. I recall one of those little laneways ended up in the Hog's Breath Inn. A great stop for a cold beverage.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What fun. We visited there a gazillion years ago and I so want to go back.

Mary Ann Pickett said...

I know that new empty nest feeling. But we were just in Florida and saw our son and daughter. What a great little get-away you had. I haven't' been to Carmel in years...need to get back! Thanks.

Kathy Walker said...

I love exploring Carmel! It is one of our favorite spots. I know the feeling when there isn't anyone in the backseat!

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

What a delightful spot to visit. Thanks for bringing us along!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Have never been to Carmel by the Sea...this makes me want to book a ticket right away!!..beautiful town!

Mulberries and Lace said...

I love Carmel. Years ago when I was in school in SF that is where we would all run away to for a relaxing week end away from the books. Thanks for reminding me of what a quaint little place it can be. ~m

Karena said...

So gorgeous, one of my favorite spots to visit! My late husband took me on my 40th birthday!

Love the Forget me Not shop! the armoire the chandys, all beautiful!

Delores, Do come and enter the $100 Giveaway from Soft Surroundings on my site! ( they have superb linens)

Art by Karena

Michelle said...

all I can say is WOW I'M JEALOUS! :)

Table Escapes said...

Hi Delores, What a refreshing post, It feels like I took a ten minute mini vaca...great shots, every one of them. Congrats on being empty nesters!! The fun has just begun! Thanks for sharing, Sharon

AntiqueChase said...

I looove Carmel and this reminds me that is has been way to long since I was there. I was there 15 years ago when I was pg with #2.... I had morning sickness and remember just wanting to go home! Oh, now you make me want to plan a weekend getaway and I must visit that shop with the bamboo-ish armoire!! I would LOVE to take that home!!! :) If I don't bring the kids, maybe I will have enough room in the car :)

Sandy said...

Good Morning... Since Carmel is my HOME town, I thought I must comment on your lovely trip taking me down memory lane. It's always fun to see it thru others eyes... I've enjoyed myself so much. Thanks for the tour! Growing up on the Monterey Penn, has afforded me luxuries that I never want to take for granted. I feel blessed to have been lucky enough to live there. Gotta admit, it has changed over the years..the freeway into Carmel was once a two lane highway...those were the days!
Carmel is still Carmel and will always remain the same. ENCHANTING!
Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts and pictures.

Victoria said...

I love Carmel and Monterey. Haven't been there in decades, but I remember it fondly. You live in a beautiful part of the country.

Sally@threeblondeboyz said...

I would love to go visit Carmel. It looks so beautiful like a fairytale place. all the quaint little shops and winding paths. Lovely photo's. Looks like you had a wonderful time there, Sally x

Kathysue said...

Hi D! So fun to see Carmel through your eyes. We love it there and go as often as possible. We discovered forget me not store this last trip and I debated on the Belle Notte pillow shams in the blue, but they were just not tailored enough for me. Loved both the shops so much eye candy there. Of all the times we have gone there we have never been in that particular shop until last trip. It is definitely my destination of choice. So glad you and Mr. A had a wonderful time, xo Kathysue

Sarah said...

Delores, Carmel is one of my all time favorite destinations here in the states. It was a vacation of choice more than once during the 80s and 90s when my husband had business trips to CA. We are long over due for a little trip there ~ yes, indeed. Your photos have sealed the deal. ~ Sarah

Marsha said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with us! I loved it!

Nothing But Blue Skies... said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your trip!
Funny, I just did a post today on our day trip to Santa Barbara. I just love the charming towns in this beautiful state!

Janie said...

Truly one of my favorite places!!!!
I hadn't been back for almost 20 years!!! We went back last Summer, but we only spent an afternoon, we had my 18 year with us. As charming as I thought it was, he was not impressed and I moved it along, sigh.
We did take our golden retriever for a romp on the beach. I was surprised how many California beaches are banning dogs.
We also hit Cannery Row and I was surprised how much that changed!

Marlis said...

Delores, thank you so much for taking me back to beautiful Carmel. I was there several years ago with my husband, we had the best time! I was so enchanted with the sweet hamlet. I am putting on my "must go back to" list.. your lens captured the aura of the place perfectly.. xo marlis

Pura Vida said...

Oh my gosh! What a wonderful trip. Each photo made me gasp. I love Bella Notte, I love oysters, I've been a few places in California and have heard of this, but never been. It looks wonderful, thanks for sharing!

Renae Moore said...

Oh my goodness, how much fun! I haven't been to Carmel since I was a little girl. I can see on my next trip to Cali, I need to go back. I totally get the 'looking in the back to see'. We've been empty nesters for a while now and it never gets any easier. Each time one of the boys's comes home I get that little lump in my throat when they leave. It's fun to see how they grow into being great young adults!

Kate said...

Hi Delores
Its been twenty years since I have been to Carmel and after this post I need to go back. Love every photo you shared. How beautiful and I too love Monterey. Have a blessed week!


La Dolfina said...

It has been way too long since I have visited and I used to live there when I was in High School!!!

The enchanted home said...

What gorgeous pictures and a perfect day. I havent' been there since I was maybe 20. I think I am due to go back....craving a trip to California. So charming and beautiful!

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

My nephew got married on the ocean in Carmel a few years back. It is so charming and so pretty there. What a day that was!
The architecture is lovely isn't it? I did not get a chance to shop the little town during that visit... tight schedule! Thanks for reminding me I need to go back to take it all in at a leisurely pace, Delores!


Babs said...

I've often heard of Carmel-by-the-Sea but never have had the opportunity to visit there. It looks like the perfect place for a getaway. Love the quaint buildings and my gosh those oysters look huge.
Thanks for sharing your outing,

The Tablescaper said...

Ahhh...Carmel. One of my favorite places, but we haven't been there in years! Love the architecture and all of the treasures.

- The Tablescaper

Carole said...

Nice post. Carmel is on my Travel Bucket List

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