Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Carmel by the Sea

Today was a LARGE day, as my dear friend Donna would say!

We started out with coffee at Starbucks, then off to beautiful downtown Carmel. What a lovely little town. Did lots of window shopping--can we say $pendy? Very $pendy! Lots of fun to window shop, though. David and I had a nice, leisurely lunch at a sidewalk cafe (actually, I think they call them all Bistros in California!) David had a portobello, fresh mozzarella, arugula and sundried tomato sandwich; and I had a caesar salad with grilled shrimp. Was delish!

We then headed south to Point Lobo State Park--a very pretty place. Not at all "beachy", but rocky with lots of crashing waves. We walked along the hiking path for quite a ways and sure enjoyed it. Here we are! Next on our itinerary was to head inland to Salinas. Yet another charming small town--they even still have diagonal parking on the street. I just love that! Can you tell I was raised in Alaska where we didn't have any of that charming small town stuff?? There was also a really big and fun antique store, but don't tell my friend Deb!

Salinas is most famous for two things: John Steinbeck was born and spent most of his childhood there. Here is a picture of his birthplace and childhood home: The other thing that Salinas is famous for (or so the sign says!) is that they grow 80% of the lettuce that we eat in the U.S. They call themselves the Lettuce Capitol of the U.S. Well, they also grow ALOT of artichokes around here, especially in Castroville. Yup--you guessed it!! They call themselves the Artichoke Center of the World! Says so right on the sign as you drive into town, complete with a BIG 3 dimensional artichoke! Now, you also remember that Gilroy calls themselves the Garlic Capitol of the World? That's alot of pretty important real estate, huh? I noticed a town called Capitola--It must be the Capitol of all those Capitols. Only in California ;)

Well, after visiting all these agricultural wonders it was dinner time--and we were hungry! We had spotted a restaurant in Moss Landing that we wanted to try--Here is the wonderful view we had during dinner: As you can see, the view was beautiful, we enjoyed watching the pelicans, the boats come in, etc.
Dinner was scrumptious! David had grilled shrimp on eggplant, with a chipotle lobster cream sauce; and I had grilled shrimp on crab stuffed ravioli with a lime cilantro cream sauce.
A nice touch was when the owner came around to several of the tables to chat. He asked where we were from (do you think we LOOKED like tourists???) --I should have told him that we were food critics for the Spudville Times!

It was a most excellent day!

Tomorrow--we are bypassing San Francisco, and heading north to Redwood country.


  1. What a gorgeous house! I love that victorian style, theres just so much character.
    And ew to the grilled shrimp salad.
    Haha. [:

  2. Can't wait to see the redwood trees. Wow that house is nice - imagine having to clean that one? Are you anywhere near Waterford, A? If so you should find Colette and Tom Mink.

  3. I feel like I have my own personal tour guides. The victorian house was beautiful and the food your eating, right off of the food channel. You go so many places, when do you relax? The redwoods next. I get up in the morning and run to the computer to check the blogs. I love this. Tomorrow I plan on a beach day with Shelli, Sophia and Shelli Mom, Paulette. I will take pictures for my blog. I am boring compared to my friends! Love ya, Brenda

  4. OK Di, I might have to stay sick forever if you serve me Cioppino. Yep, I googled it before you drove me nuts.....tomato based seafood soup. I read the entire recipe and kringed the whole time! Please Di, if you ever made me soup when I'm sick....serve the minestrone soup you always made us in Alaska with cranberry orange bread. I'd settle for chicken soup but please no CIOPPINO.