Hi, friends! I hope your Thanksgiving weekend (if you celebrated, of course), was just lovely. Dave, Rudy and I road-tripped the short two-hour drive down to Carmel-by-the-Sea to spend a Carmel Thanksgiving holiday with his parents and little sister, and we had so much fun. Lots of beautiful views and food coming your way.
This was our third visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea, and each time we go, we do different activities, eat at different restaurants, stay at different places and have totally different experiences.
The Hideaway Hotel in Carmel
After a short workout on Thanksgiving morning, we hopped in the car and headed down to our destination with very little traffic (we didn’t have any on the way back on Sunday either, which is a Christmas miracle). We arrived to The Hideaway, a cute boutique hotel right in the heart of downtown Carmel, just before lunch-time. Our room was small, but modern and well done. And the common areas included a big lobby with seating and a fire pit …
We all agreed that the hotel’s location was perfect, the set-up was comfortable, and the complimentary breakfast and happy hours each day were awesome (house-made granola each morning for all of us, yummy!). I’d definitely stay at The Hideaway again, but next time ask for a second-floor room, because the bottom floor was a little loud with foot traffic. No big deal though. The pumpkin pie and free wine definitely made up for any disturbances at night, and yes, it was dog friendly for Rudy.
Point Lobos State Reserve walk
Soon after we arrived, we greeted Dave’s family, dropped our bags and all headed out just a few minutes away to Point Lobos State Reserve for a pre-feast walk. The park was really busy and we walked down a couple of cliff-side trails for about 30 minutes, soaking up the cool weather and views.
We also picked up a few snacks on the way and had a “snacky” lunch, so we didn’t fill up too much before the main event later. (By the way, they don’t allow dogs at public parks like this, but I kept Rudy in my jacket and held him the entire time, and nobody even noticed. He left less of a trace on the land than we did.)
Tasty Thanksgiving dinner at Grasing’s
Then came the big meal! I had never eaten Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant before and was worried it wouldn’t seem festive, but it was totally fine. Our group of five had a 5:30 p.m. reservation at the super-full Grasing’s restaurant, and we each ordered the traditional turkey meal off the menu. The turkey was so good, and I’m not that much of a turkey person!
Funny thing about that night is that the restaurant had run out of the pecan pie by the time we arrived, and we were a little disappointed — so the manager invited us to come back the next day for a free slice, and we did. Nice work, Grasing’s Coastal Cuisine! (The pecan pie and vanilla ice cream we enjoyed the day after Thanksgiving was the best dessert I had all weekend.)
On Thanksgiving evening, we had good conversation and sat around the table for more than two hours before it was time to make the short walk back to our hotel for an early bed-time for all. Oh and we also said three things we are grateful for, carrying on my grateful theme I proposed last week, so let’s see if I can keep it up. How about you?
Pebble Beach Resort visit and lunch
On Friday, we went to Pebble Beach Resort to walk around the incredible golf course and area. It’s right on the Pacific, and is just breathtaking (and the homes in the area are worth more than $20 million each, and you can definitely tell) — not your average neighborhood, for sure.
Dave was lucky enough to play golf at Pebble Beach once before, and said it’s one of the highlights of his golfing career. That day, we had lunch outside at Pebble Beach’s The Bench restaurant, and enjoyed a great meal. I had a California Cobb salad with chicken, and it was perfection. Just the right amount of greens to follow up a big Thanksgiving meal the day before.
By the way, there was an absolutely massive dog sitting right across from us with his owners, and he was an 125-pound Newfoundland. So big! Especially compared to little Rudy, who was a bit nervous around the big dog. Of course, after the meal, I got caught on my phone posting my lunch picture on Instagram, with Rudy’s help …
That afternoon, we went back for the pecan pie at Grasing’s (mentioned above, totally delectable), and Dave and I hit up a tasting room for a wine flight. In the evening, we all were still pretty full, so we elected to sit in the bar area of Anton & Michel and order small plates to share. The stand-out that night, although un-pictured, was a naan bread pizza. Totally going to try to recreate that at home one day!
Big Sur adventure and last night out
The state of California is incredibly gorgeous, and just when I think I’ve seen most of it, another gem presents itself. On Saturday, we drove to Big Sur, which is only about 20 minutes from Carmel. Dave and I didn’t realize we had been missing out on such a spectacular vista of all the times we’ve stayed around the area. It was unreal!
We took in the views and had a wonderful outdoor lunch at Rocky Point Restaurant, which has one of the best settings possible. While it had been rainy in the morning, the clouds parted for about an hour, so we could really soak up Big Sur outside.
We climbed some rocky cliffs for some photos and vistas and then dined on tasty food overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I had a shrimp and crab Louis salad, which was amazing, and really pretty too. We seriously lucked out that the rain went away just for our quick trip to Big Sur, because it would have been a shame to have had to see it from the safety of a car if it had stayed raining.
That night, on our last night together, we played a game of Scrabble in the hotel lobby, had a tasty Italian meal at Casanova, then finished up with dessert at Basil Seasonal Dining. I would totally go back to all of the restaurants that we ate at during this visit and even repeat the hotel and Big Sur. Such pretty views, delicious food and fun time with family. A fabulous time was had by all on our non-traditional Carmel Thanksgiving holiday!
On Sunday, we had breakfast at the hotel, headed back to Walnut Creek and got all organized for the week ahead. Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to get in the Christmas spirit! We’re super excited to have a trip to Florida on the agenda for late December, woohoo!!
My weekly workout recap
From travel to fitness, let’s look at all of my recent exercise …
- Monday: Took a one-hour Vinyasa flow class at CorePower
- Tuesday: Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class, taught a one-hour Bootybarre class
- Wednesday: Took a one-hour Vinyasa flow class at CorePower
- Thursday: Did a 30-minute full-body weights workout
- Friday: Rest day
- Saturday: Rest day
- Sunday: Took a one-hour yoga sculpt class at CorePower
Overview of the week
This past week included a lot of yoga, and it felt great. I was a bit off of my normal schedule with the holiday and travel, but did manage to fit in picking up weights three times, which is always my objective. I also had a very rare double-workout day on Tuesday, because I had agreed to sub a Bootybarre class for another instructor in the evening on a day that I always teach my own BODYPUMP class in the morning. Two full rest days featured as well (gotta take at least one rest day weekly), so this past week was just right.
That’s it from me! Have a great start to your week, my friends!Carmel adventures, including #beautiful #California scenery, #food and #fitness by @apstyle ... Click To Tweet
P.S. Thanks to Meghan for today’s “Week in Review” link-up.
Questions of the day
How was your Thanksgiving?
How many rest days do you take each week?