More Carmel, day 1

Trip Start May 14, 2009
Trip End May 29, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, May 15, 2009

Ahh, the first day at Carmel.  And were we in for a nice surprise.  We expected Carmel to be cute, with some fun shops.  It not only met our expectations, but exceeded them, and we haven't even gotten to all the fairly tale cottages yet that make Carmel famous.

We started the day out (after our breakfast and checking in) with a short walk of only about 2 blocks.  That's how far we got before we started ducking into shops and down alleyways trying to find some of the cute "hidden courtyards" by following a map.

Then, we hit the "mother lode" so to speak.

"Secret Garden".  A *very* cute garden shop that you reach either by going through a bookstore, or down a narrow alleyway lined with bamboo, potted plants, and garden treasures.  Every corner of the shop led to more goodies, and the shop ended in the bookstore that was more than a bookstore.  Books, gemstones, jewelry, music CDs, and some various new age materials focusing on meditation, calm, peace, and so on.  The people working there were wonderful, and we found most of the souvenirs we wanted right there.  Predictably (at least to those who know us) that includes some books on Carmel and other little knick-knacks.

Once we finished up there, I returned to the Inn for an hour nap.  It was only noon by this point, but after our long day yesterday (Up and running from 8am to 1:30 am for me), I was tired.

Mom came back and woke me up from my nap to go get lunch.  She would have given me more time to sleep, but ran into a slight problem with her camera... somehow she'd bumped it from normal single shot mode to a 3 second timer mode and it was driving her crazy :D  Then we encountered the one thing we don't like about her little camera -- it is *hard* to get the battery/memory card compartment open.  But other than that, her camera is a wonderful little thing, taking great pictures and of perfect weight for her with all the features she needs.

Anyway, I digress.

Once we went back out, we continued down Dolores to the Tuck Box Tearoom.  This is a Carmel landmark.  One of the really cute houses.  This one reminded me of the White Rabbit's house in Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

We had their special (meatloaf) and a salad, but the thing we liked best (beyond the house itself) was the book (there's that word again >.> ) of sketches of the original fairy tale cottages.  It includes a map of those buildings still standing as of 10 years ago.

After lunch in the Tuck Box, we explored the really cute shop behind it.  "A Great Place", I think it was called, and well named.  At least for garden and knick-knack lovers like us.  It was full of Marty Bell paintings and prints, brass sculptures, glass sculptures, water fountains, a whole garden out back...  I think our favorite from that shop were very cute gnome gardens.

So many desired hobbies, so little time and energy (not to mention money).

The next hour or two were spent doing more shopping.  By this time, I was getting chilly and wanted a lightweight blouse to wear as a jacket...

One thing we learned about Carmel, or at least what we found so far... don't go shopping for clothes unless you want to spend a lot.  We also learned I have rather expensive tastes.

We thought it was bad when I found one blouse I liked, walked in and looked at the price.... $240.

I turned right back around and walked out.

Then about 30 minutes later.... I discovered that was nothing.  Another shop had a kind of fancy shirt.... $2400. Unless I read it wrong, but I did look at it twice.  Then -very- carefully walked out of that shop. 

Some very nice outfits and shirts, I found some of the type of thing I was looking for... but not at those prices.  Oh well, we'll stick with books and tomorrow I'll wear longer sleeves. :)

After that, we came back to the room again and both took a nap.  Dinner ended up being leftovers from lunch, and some of the goodies we picked up last night on the way in.  Then downloaded pictures, etc.  Rather modest so far... only 175 for me and 111 for mom.

Hey, digital pictures are cheap :D

More adventures tomorrow :D
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