Monday, February 24, 2014

My Birthday in Carmel

This year my birthday fell on a Tuesday so my husband and I took off work to relax, celebrate, shop, dine and drink wine (it was also National Drink Wine fitting). Luckily, for us we didn't have to go far for some of the best food, wine and shopping. Carmel-by-the-Sea is right in our backyard. 

Below is our day (my day) described in pictures!

Cheers to the last year in my 20's!

What I wore to celebrate being born!

Hat: H&M
Boots: Great Boutique Find
Jeans: Gap
Sweater: J. Crew
Jacket: Bebe
Sunglasses: Armani
Purse: Target 
Does everyone else get really excited about a great Target find?
Scarf: Vintage from my Grandma's closet

What I did to celebrate!

The Carmel Bakery and Coffee Company was a great way to start our outing! They have delicious fresh pastries and coffee.

This enchanted alley led us to a Thomas Kinkade Gallery
I love how you can spend a whole day just eating, drinking, shopping and looking at art galleries on one adorable street.

There are over 10 tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea. I say over 10 because we heard different stories throughout the day. 12, 14, 16...who knows...but there are enough to make a day of it and from what we have experienced it is worth it. You can also get a wine walk passport at the Carmel Visitors Center. If you will be tasting for more than one day, visit the area often or are a local this is something you should look into...quite a deal.

Galante Vineyard was our first wine stop!

How cool is this cowboy boot chair in the Galante Vineyard Tasting Room?

Once we started tasting we started to get hungry, again, so we headed over to Grasings for some delicious mid day treats and drinks. 

These Filet and Chophouse Chips were AHHHMAAAAZING! The White Truffle Parmesan Popcorn was pretty damn good as well. 

Next it was off to do a little Birthday shopping!

Carmel has some cute boutiques as well as some popular stores. The Carmel Plaza, an outdoor shopping mall, is a great place to stop and shop.

If you like boutiques be sure to check out Paloosh on Ocean Avenue and if you like make-up don't forget to stop by Cos Bar in the Carmel Plaza

Okay, back to wine tasting we go!

Caraccioli, Silvestri and Vino Napoli were all fantastic. 

Caraccioli has a great vibe. It is easy to relax and have fun here. If you like the sparkly I suggest you stop in. If you are more of a red wine fan and not so much the sparkly (like my husband) then this might not be your spot but I loved it.  

Silvestri is a fun experience because it is the wine of Alan Silvestri, Grammy winner and Academy Award Nominee. Have you heard of Father of the Bride, Castaway, Forrest Gump? What about Predator or Back to the Future? Yep...he was the composer for all these and several other popular movies. This fun fact makes the conversation different from all of the other tasting rooms but the wine is enjoyable and can stand on it's own without the link to Hollywood. 

Vino Napoli is one of our go-to spots when we just want to get a glass of wine, maybe an appetizer, and relax. They have a TV and a fireplace and we feel right at home when here. Next door is their restaurant, Little Napoli, a local and tourist favorite that I definitely recommend. 

Next, we discovered Trio Carmel and fell in love. There is art, wine, olive oil and vinegar tasting! We really enjoyed ourselves here and being that both my hubby and I are "chefs" we did not leave empty handed. We scored some peach white balsamic vinegar, coconut white balsamic vinegar and wild mushroom sage olive oil. 

After all of our wine tasting it was time for dinner. I wanted to try something new so we headed down Ocean Avenue to Merlot Bistro where we met up with my parents for a delicious meal. 

We started with gnocchi in a creamy gorgonzola sauce and red grapes...yum! Next I had halibut, which was good I gobbled it up before I could even get a picture; then we finished with a yummy birthday dessert that I am still not sure what it was but something like a meringue. The service was fantastic, the ambiance was nice and on top of that we all loved our food. 

If the first day of the last day in my 20's says anything about how the year is going to be I can confidently say it is looking good.



Random shots on the streets of Carmel! 

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