Driving up north to Carmel from Orange County took about 5 hours. If you’ve never driven from Southern California to Northern California, well, you’re in for a ride through mostly seeing the valley, mountains in the background or occasionally seeing cows roaming in a wide open space. In short, make sure you have a good music and a great company to keep you entertained.
After several sips of coffees, eating munches and switching through music, my bf and I eventually arrived in Carmel late in the afternoon. Not wanting to waste any time, we checked in to our hotel room, changed and headed right back out the door.
Between sitting in the car far too long and being excited we couldn’t wait to hit the beach. Having our hotel room located in downtown was a very good idea as everything we needed was literally within walking distance. At last, we arrived and the salty beach smell welcomed us with open arms as we stood at the entrance taking in the beautiful scenery right in front of us.
Carmel beach was definitely my favorite part about our trip because it is one of the most picturesque beach I’ve seen in California with white sands and plenty of space to move around. There’s something about it that is quite alluring.
In one of our walks, we accidentally found a scenic path along the coast with a view of the ocean and the other side from us were beautiful homes. My mind wondered what it would be like waking up with oceanfront views. The life! Anyhew, the only thing to really keep in mind at the beach is the fact that there are no lifeguards on duty and the waves seemed to drop right at the shoreline making it difficult to enjoy swimming. Nonetheless, people did not mind at all as they sprawled out tanning on the beach, surfing in the water or playing on the sand all day.
After we had enough of the beach, we realized we were hungry. Come to think of it, we haven’t had a meal since breakfast that day and since California was still in between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of re-opening businesses, we had to double check online to see which restaurants were open and made a few calls. It was difficult to get through any phone lines, therefore, we decided to wing it and walked to town.
Downtown Carmel is very charming with cottages and villages that made me feel like I was part of a movie set on Hansel and Gretel. There were streets with alleyways that hid restaurants or shops you would never have known unless you walked through it. The town doesn’t even have regular street signs which truly makes it more unique.
During our search for dinner we found a few restaurants open for dining outdoors but, most of them were way too busy and had line out the door. Also, we weren’t ready to dine in restaurants anyway so, we kept searching. Eventually, we found a cheap Chinese restaurant to order for take out that didn’t have a long line. We ordered our foot, ate our dinner in our hotel then, called it a night.
On Saturday morning we spent a few hours on a short hike at the Mission Trail Nature Preserve. The preserve is quite a nice place to be in complete seclusion away from the city with not much noise except birds chirping and walk in serenity between lush trees. We took 2 routes out of the 5 main pathways that you can take. At some point, we arrived at The Flanders Mansion that was built in the 1920s which, later became part of the Mission Trail Preserve. At first, I thought we accidentally entered into someone’s property but, it turned out that we were in one of the main entrance to get in to the preserve. We found no one around so, we took a couple of photos in front of the building before we headed back to our route.
The rest of our day we decided to drive to San Francisco for a few hours. My bf had never been there and all he wanted was to drive through the Golden Gate Bridge and come back. We did exactly that except we ended up re-routing to stop by Pier 39 to walk around and get lunch. Then, we also passed by the famous Lombardy Street reminding me a little bit of the time when I used to live here. That time in my life seemed so long ago yet, it felt like I was seeing this city for the very first time. Visiting Pier 39 again felt weird without a lot of people around granted that stores are still closed and we are still in the COVID19 situation. However, in light of post semi-lockdown, San Francisco never looked so beautiful with the sun beaming upon us. People walked around with shorts on and it felt like summer was truly here.
With a blink of an eye our 3-Day weekend had come to an end.