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hidden gems: carmel-colored

May 9, 2013

it may have taken me nearly 8 hours, a bag of almond joy m&m thingers and facing my greatest fear in the world {flying into/out of denver, don’t ask…} but if you ever have the chance to visit carmel, california…take it.  the whole experience was a hidden gem.  but i worry that carmel as a destination is not so much a hidden gem so here are a smattering of my favorite things about carmel:

eat @ carmel belle

come hungry.  leave with a bag of granola.  or a gluten free salted peanut butter cookie.  or both.

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carmel belle became my spot.  and i was only in carmel for two days.  if i were a local, it’s the place i would shuffle into on a sleepy sunday morning, with a fashion magazine in hand, and sunglasses on my nose.  i’d order a latte or a sparkling water, and sip and eat until i shuffled my way to the beach for more reading and loving of life.  carmel belle sells food that feels good.  it feels real.  and, pardon the trademark, it feels like whole food.  for lunch on saturday i settled on the citrus, pistachio and goat cheese salad with lemon vinaigrette on the side.  i nabbed a bag of homemade granola to go.

on my birthday, i made a point of getting back to carmel belle.  because a friend had ordered a pb cookie the day before and it was all i could think about.  that and how much i absolutely adored their granola and wondered if they’d give me the recipe.  though they were out of peanut butter cookies, they were stocked with chocolate chip cookies…and you can guess how i feel about that.  pretty darned good.  it was dense and rich and sweet.  all things that birthdays should be.  i enjoyed my cookie before i popped in to

shop @ gbg

isabel marant stud pumps to floaty frocks by elizbeth & james, alice & olivia and a.l.c.  my eyes were wide with delight and my wallet was hidden in fear as i combed the bounty at gbg.  the sales staff was knowledgable, friendly but not too much so.  like a sister, they’d offer their opinions when asked and then go back to their business.  i don’t like being smothered {i have a problem with sharing my personal space} and the two super fun ladies working the floor were perfectly professional.  i only wish i hadn’t blown my entire life’s savings on my plane ticket…or maybe i’m glad i did.  otherwise i wouldn’t have a carmel belle cookie in my tummy and a picture of myself in gbg’s dressing room trying on an amazing graham & spencer dress.  unfortunately that was my only souvenir from gbg.  but i will be back.  and i’ll make sure to hit their sister store, paloosh, too!

see @ 17 mile drive

though it costs $9.75 to access the road, it’s kind of worth it?  17 mile drive winds along the coast from carmel to monterey.  you drive past pebble beach, some barking sea lions and lots of jaggedy rocks.  good thing we made a stop at the fifth-oldest lighthouse in the u.s.- point pinos lighthouse.  it’s not really a road to anywhere in particular, but it was a scenic and worthwhile trip.  if you’ve got $9.75 and a love of sea lions.

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pebble beach

oh, and the sun was ridiculously shiny and perfect so that didn’t hurt either.

IMG_1636and there were funny, but then again not funny at all, signs that made the ride memorable.

as if i’d forget a place like carmel.  or that carmel belle granola…

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