Picture perfect sand and a 3-legged dog
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Any small town whose local jewellers is Tiffany's and whose favourite bag store is Coach is going to be either ridiculously well located or naturally beautiful. Carmel got the latter. Arriving at the beach, I finally, finally, finally got the Californian beaches I was looking for. Rolling white sands, crashing waves, beautiful people and frolicsome (pure breed) dogs. Admittedly my dream didn't have a pristine green golf course coming up to the far end of the beach but it somehow added something.
I parked the car (no mean feat in this town!), walked to the sand's edge and kicked off my flip flops as I began to walk. After almost getting bowled over by four identical labradors I found a perfect patch, flopped down and almost went to sleep. This was the California I'd been looking for.
It turns out that lots of other people were looking for it too. So much so that apparently restaurant space costs $25,000 a month to rent in this town. Which explains why I was charged $5 for a small juice.
I didn't stay in Carmel, I was lucky enough to have found a wonderful couple with a charming house just north in Pebble Beach.
Sarah and Evin are two wonderful human beings who I found via www.airbnb.com. Sarah's blow-you-over loveliness and her singing (she's a singer songwriter) and Evin's insights on just about everything (the guy probably saved people's lives with an article he wrote on the American healthcare system...) and his ability to balance rocks were added extras you could never find in a hotel.
They left me wishing I could stay longer (partly for the licks of their three legged dog Zeus - no discernible breed and all the better for it).
I had a busy work time while there - I ran several teleclasses and was on Skype to my colleagues back in London, plus scrabbling around to find accommodation in San Francisco for the next Monday, so I didn't leave the house until 2pm most days.
But I saw enough to know that I love their part of the world - a little haven between the towns of Carmel and Monterey, where fogs meet deserted (kelp covered) beaches, and Free Range Humans can roam and film whatever camera-facing videos they fancy.
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