Big Sur with the Family!

11/30/2014


Monday we hit the road for a two hour drive to Big Sur.  

On our way there we stopped in Caramel to take a look around, its the cutest little town! So many shops and little restaurants all along tree lined streets with ocean views. I was really slacking and didn't take any pictures, but it really is a beautiful town. I think my mom could have stayed there all day and been happy but I knew they would love Big Sur so after we looked around a bit we hopped back on highway 1 to head south for Big Sur. 


We stopped at the iconic Bixby Bridge to take pictures, it was so beautiful! 


^^^ How cute is my little brother in his "take a hike" shirt :)


We had perfect weather all day, no fog in sight. 

No traffic in sight either! Highway 1 can get so congested sometimes, it gets a bit stressful. Two lane road hugging the coastal cliffs with hairpin turns is stressful enough, add in a million cars and tourists driving huge rv's and its terrifying! 


^^ Lounging in the river chairs at Big Sur River Inn.


We packed our lunch and then stopped at Cafe Kevah to get some coffees for desert. The views at the cafe are breathtaking, its a must see when in Big Sur. Nepenthe right next door is great for lunch as well!



Family visiting!


Last Sunday my mom, stepdad, and little brother flew in from Ohio! 

After picking them up from the airport we headed straight to Gray Whale Cove, it was a beautiful day and I was so excited to show them the beautiful California coast. 


We had lots and lots of yummy food. ^^^ million dollar spaghetti, yum! 


Lots of Charlie cuddling time, he loves having company over and I know he really missed playing with my little brother! 


And lots of catching up!

I'll be sharing more of our jam-packed week of exploring and sightseeing soon!




Pacific Star Winery

11/18/2014


It's no secret that Allen and I love our wine, so Pacific Star Winery was a must see for us while we were in Mendocino. It's actually a bit off the beaten path about a half hour drive north a Mendocino but well worth it. 



The winery was in a really beautiful house, you walk right into what in a normal house would be a garage but in their case it's a full on wine production area. It had such a homey feel to it, we even got to meet their beagle! He was so cute just wandering around the property greeting everyone. 



We both did the tasting for $5 each. We sampled 7 different wines, they were all fantastic. I couldn't get over how inexpensive the tasting was, when we toured the wineries in Napa $5 wouldn't even get you inside the door of most wineries. 



After our tasting we bought a bottle of
 " It's My Fault " and headed out to their picnic area to enjoy the incredible views. 



Van Damme State Park

11/12/2014



Just when we thought our B&B in Mendocino couldn't possibly get any better we found out that there are trails right out the front door that lead to Van Damme State Park! 


Both mornings we got our cup of coffee to go and headed out for a morning hike. 


The trail was about a mile or so and led straight to the coastal bluffs. It was so breathtakingly beautiful. 


Our first morning it was really sunny, the second morning was completely different. There was a thick layer of fog and the waves were huge! The ocean looked so menacing. It was really pretty in a weird way.


Apparently November is the best time for mushroom picking, we passed a couple with a bag full of huge mushrooms. 



This sign was on a bench along the trail. I loved the quote, Allen and I always wonder about the kids that are so lucky to grow up in California and if they appreciate how beautiful it is or if you just become immune to it after awhile! 





Glendeven Inn @ Mendocino

11/11/2014


While we were in Mendocino we stayed at the Glendeven inn. We love love love staying at B&B's, they are so unique and fun compared to a typical hotel room. 



The B&B was an old farm house built in 1867 on 8 acres of oceanfront land. 



We stayed in "Ettas Suite".  Etta was the daughter of builder who originally built the farmhouse. This house has tons of history, I was a little worried it might be haunted! 


Etta kept a diary for most of her life and they left a copy of it by the fireplace, it was so interesting!


In their farm they have 50 laying hens. They left a cute little bag of food in our room so that we could go out and feed them. They also had llamas, they were so fun to watch!



My favorite part about B&B's are the little details that they always seem to remember, it just feels so much more personal than a standard hotel. We pulled into the B&B and we even had our own parking spot marked with a sign with our name. When we checked into our room they had a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for us. fresh baked cookies, a birthday note, fresh flowers and the cute little bag of chicken feed!

Diamonds were not included, Allen got me those pretty little things for my birthday present, I am one lucky lucky lady :)


Our room was huge! It had two different different rooms, the bedroom with a fireplace and a little sitting area, and then another larger living room. My favorite part was the huge balcony with views of the ocean and llamas. 


B&B's are a bit more expensive than hotels but breakfast is included so I think it ends up evening out! We enjoyed a three course breakfast each morning delivered right to our door. I thought it was really neat that they used eggs from their farm every morning. 



From 5:30-6:30 every evening they host free wine & hors d'oeuvres hour. The wine bar[n] was beautiful. It was really nice to walk over and enjoy the local wines and food. 



We had such an amazing time at Glendeven Inn, I hope we get to go back sometime!



Birthday Dinner at Albion River Inn

11/09/2014


Someone pinch me! We just spent the weekend in the most beautiful place imaginable, Mendocino California. 

My birthday (November 5th) was less than spectacular. My car battery died and I almost missed work. A bit stressful but all the birthday wishes and cards/gifts from friends and family made it a much better day. We really wanted to to plan a little getaway for my birthday to relax and Mendocino sounded like the perfect place to do so. 


We checked into our bed and breakfast on Friday afternoon, showered and headed to Albion River Inn for dinner. We wanted to watch the sunset before dinner so we had to make super early reservations at 5:30. 


The grounds at the restaurant were amazing, it sits right on the edge of a bluff along the ocean with beautiful flowers all over. 


The staff was so sweet, our server offered to come outside with us to take a picture in front of the sunset, they even had streamers at our table for my birthday!


The inside of the restaurant was so romantic and cozy. It had exposed wood beams for the ceiling, a rustic brick fireplace with a fire going, they even had someone playing the piano. 



I ordered the italian style ricotta cheese gnocchi with caramelized onions & mushrooms with a roasted tomato and gorgonzola cheese cream sauce, it was so fresh and delicious. If there is gnocchi on the menu then thats what I usually order, this gnocchi was my all time favorite though! Allen ordered the pepper crusted new york steak, he really enjoyed his meal too. 


Our table had a perfect view of the ocean, we loved enjoying our wine & dinner while watching the sun set.

 For desert we had the chocolate raspberry cake and chocolate mousse, I thought it was really cute that they put a candle in our desert. 




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