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ditching normal

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Carmel-By-The-Sea

July 29, 2017

Last weekend Mat and I were able to go on a quick getaway to Carmel, California, also known as Carmel-By-The-Sea. It had been several weeks since we had been anywhere (last place was Palm Springs), so I was itching for another vacation. Mat, who hates the extreme heat that Boise gets in the summer, was ready for a break from having to sit directly in front of a fan 24/7 to not sweat, so he was happy to book flights to Oakland.

We both love San Francisco (it’s where we met 10+ years ago!), so it made sense to start our weekend there on Friday night. Plus, Southwest has a great flight option that allows us to work a full day on Friday and get into town early enough for dinner! So we packed our bags in Betty Lou (the name of our car) on Friday morning so we could head straight to the airport after work. We had a few minor delays getting into town, but we were still able to make our dinner reservations at The Saratoga.

Saturday we walked to a nearby bakery and picked up some breakfast and coffee, then made our way up to Twin Peaks. We were extremely lucky to get a clear day; typically it’s quite foggy in San Francisco. It was an absolutely gorgeous, sunny morning and it was so cool to see SF from this view. Our plan was to stop in Santa Cruz on the way from San Francisco to Carmel for either brunch or lunch, but we ran into the ever-dreaded California traffic. We have actually been extremely fortunate that each time we have been to California, we haven’t ever had to experience this notorious headache. We were not so lucky this time. We realize now why Californians are so drawn to Boise!

We ended up making it to Santa Cruz, but just for a brief pit stop, since we had now missed brunch and didn’t have enough time for lunch. We attempted to drive to the boardwalk, but there were sooooo many cars we would have never made it driving. We parked and walked the last mile, all while noticing that cars were backed up, bumper to bumper and not moving, in every single direction. It was nuts! We were in Huntington Beach last year for the Vans US Open and don’t remember this much car traffic. I was convinced that Santa Cruz was where Beyonce’s first outing with her twins was, because why else would everyone be there?!

We decided to keep moving to Carmel. This town looks like something you would see out of a storybook; cottages, bungalows, gardens and huge, mature trees everywhere! It’s gorgeous! It’s also quite chilly. I’m always cold, but I had to layer up with scarves and sweaters to be comfortable. Mat was absolutely loving the temperatures. This town is so cozy and romantic. We overheard a waiter say to another table that it is in the top five most romantic cities in the world. I just wanted to walk around in my cozy sweater, cuddle and drink wine all day, which is pretty much what we did. The highlight of the trip for me was buying a bottle of wine at the market, taking a blanket down to the beach and watching the sunset before our dinner reservations.

Before heading out Sunday morning, we made sure to check out Clint Eastwood’s ranch/estate, The Mission Ranch. Wow, this property is gorgeous. From what I read, the ground was set to sell to build commercialized condominiums, but the town wasn’t happy about that. Clint Eastwood (who served as Mayor of Carmel in the past) came along to save the day and bought the property. It has since been renovated to include a restaurant and lodging options, but still kept as a ranch; sheep and all!

Before flying home on Sunday, we made a stop in Monterrey for breakfast and, of course, more coffee. This town is adorable! We were intrigued with Monterrey originally because we have been watching Big Little Lies, which is filmed and based in Monterrey. We walked down Fisherman’s Wharf and watched the most adorable sea lion/otter swim just a few feet below us.

It’s amazing how many things you can see and experience in 48 hours when you aren’t stuck in a cubical. 😉

 

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Lifestyle

Ditching the Normal Date Night

March 20, 2016

Mat and I love “ditching the normal” anything. Hence the name of our blog. That means ditching the normal way to travel, ditching society’s views on how we should live, ditching the normal wedding ceremony, engagement rings, etc. That also includes date nights. Don’t get us wrong, we like to watch Netflix as much as the next couple, but after an entire winter of hibernating, it’s nice to get out try something different. To mix it up. That’s how we came up with the idea to have a “patio party” date night. It just so happened that we were able to score a few hours at an incredible downtown condo, not to mention the exact one that started our entire downsizing craze!

We wanted to keep it simple and romantic (and budget friendly), so we brought almost everything from our house. We brought cozy blankets, pillows and poufs as well as wine glasses and our Idaho cutting board. We stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up some light appetizers, wine and flowers. Prepping for the date was half the fun!

We spent the afternoon drinking wine, checking out the gorgeous and intimate views of downtown from the patio as well as playing a little card game. Mat won. Weird. (<—Sarcasm. He wins everything.)

We were lucky enough to have Damon of Dynamic Shutter Photography tag along to capture it! Not only is he an amazing photographer, but it turns out he’s a craftsman/wood worker as well! The end table in the photos was handmade by him! How cool is that?!

If you find yourself growing bored of the typical date nights, keep in mind that your options aren’t limited to dinner and a movie. Get creative and don’t be afraid to ditch the norm! Let us know if you have any fun ideas that we should try for our next date night.

P.S. Even with the wind, how smooth does my hair look?! That’s all thanks to the Brazilian blowout that I had that day by the lovely Shawna Hines! This woman is a hair genius and is fun to hang out with while she is working her hair magic. If you are lucky enough to schedule an appointment with her, mention my name and you get $25 off. 🙂

 

All photos in this post are courtesy of Dynamic Shutter Photography

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