Carmel {+Our 2 Yr Anniversary Picture}

We're on the last leg & final recap of our west coast trip!
--->Lake Tahoe-Napa Valley-San Francisco-now Carmel.
If you missed any of the earlier cities, I would recommend starting here

Is anyone else sad about this besides me?
Don't answer that if the answer is no. 
It hasn't been fun recapping all of this..it's been real fun.
I mean, I may be biased, but looking at these pictures again and again definitely makes my day a little brighter. This trip was by far our favorite that we've done and we will remember it forever. 
Enough with the sap, let's get started!

After driving the PCH into Carmel, we decided to go visit Point Lobos State Reserve.
Point Lobos is the common name for the area including Point Lobos State Reserve and two adjoining marine protected areas: Point Lobos State Marine Reserve and the Conservation area. It is known for it's sightseeing, scuba diving, hiking, picnicking, etc. 

We took two different walks and one that led us to a big rock where there were a bunch of seals, sea otters, and sea lions! The views were breathtaking and the trees in this area were half cool, half spooky. 
*I would highly recommend going here if you visit Carmel!

At the end of one of the hikes, we turned the corner and walked into, literally, a couple of deer. They weren't scared at all and just kept walking around us. Billy laughed at me because I thought this was pretty cool.

After Point Lobos, we went to check in our cute b&b that we were staying in for 2 nights in Carmel By The Sea. If you aren't familiar with Carmel, it is such a romantic, old, charming city and Carmel by the Sea is the "downtown" area that has a bunch of shops and restaurants and is a good place to go by the beach. It couldn't have been more perfect for the last stop on our trip.

We stayed in the San Antonio house, which is just an old house converted into an inn/b&b. The house is on San Antonio Ave which is just one block up from the Carmel Beach and is located in the heart of Carmel By The Sea. 
*tip: I would recommend staying right around this area if traveling here because it's close to everything.

Much like the place we stayed at in Lake Tahoe, we were just looking for an affordable, clean place to stay. Nothing fancy. This place was really cute, had a fireplace, great location, and a nice sitting area in the room (room was a bit outdated but we didn't care). Two thumbs up.

After we popped bottles (wine-remember I told you Billy turned into a wino at this point?), we went and explored all the shops and had a romantic dinner at The Grill On Ocean Ave. The dinner and service was fantastic. We walked around to the shops and stopped in the candy shoppe to get some sweet treats to bring back to our room. 

The next day in Carmel, we woke up early and made the 20-25 minute drive to Big Sur,
and had a pretty special stop on the way. The views of the coast on the way to Big Sur were crazy stunning, and I knew this is where I wanted to do our 2 year anniversary picture!

I saw the idea for annual anniversary type pictures on Pinterest, 
and before I left I spray painted an old picture frame red and put chalkboard paper
 in it and wrote "two years".

I'm so happy with how it turned out (first pic at top of post) and I love seeing last years picture when we were in Boston and this years together. 
Just an easy, cute little tradition.

Moving on, Big Sur was really cool to see. Would I do it again?
Eh. Probably not. Unless Edward Cullen was hiding in the trees, or something.
The trees were massive and the smell of evergreen was so lovely, but I think seeing it once is enough. We did a short hike (only a mile) that led us to a waterfall and then made our way back to Carmel to head to Monterey.

While we were in Monterey, we went to Fishermans Wharf, had lunch, and watched the sea lions play from right across our table. 

Next, we did the famous 17 Mile Drive, which I was so looking forward to for Billy!
I knew he was excited to see it.
The 17 Mile Drive goes pretty quickly, so I'd recommend getting out on the stops to take in the views and learn about the different stops!

This tree is the Lone Cypress. 
It is 250 years old and the only tree to be still standing out there after all the storms!

Our favorite part of the 17 Mile Drive was, of course, the ending at Pebble Beach.
We got out of the car and explored the country club along with the surrounding areas, and then made our way to the 18th green. You are allowed getting pictures by it, so if you go here, remember that! 

Later that evening, we went and walked on Carmel Beach (the sand is so white!)
 and had a few drinks before we got ready for our last night of vacation. 

Since we hadn't had enough wine on this trip (I hope you sense my sarcasm), we went and did a wine tasting in Carmel by the Sea! It was SO fun. 
I tried some great wines and they gave us a free hummus appetizer to share during it. 

{ahem, this wine is delish.}

Once we were finished, we just walked right next door for our dinner reservation. 
We ate at a greek restaurant called Dametra Cafe, which is supposedly one of the most popular restaurants in the area. This place was a blast...mainly because the owner is really outgoing/fun and comes out to play music and have people dance/clap while he plays.
 If you like greek food, I definitely recommend this place. 

It was such a fun ending and perfect last night to our vacation! 

The next day we explored Carmel a bit more in the morning, but then it was time to head back to reality. Flat lands, no gorgeous ocean views, and no vineyards = an extreme bummer.

When we first planned this trip, I kept telling Billy "you're going to love it! you're going to want to move! you won't believe how pretty it is". Like most things (kidding), I was right.
As a couple, we've found our ideal trip. 
We like jumping from city to city to see what all is out there and we like to keep busy, do tours, and make the most out of our time in new places. 
Relaxing is for those beach trips in the dead middle of winter, right? 
I could've easily kept traveling California for another week and I want to do it again ASAP...who wants to go with me?

So, to wrap this up, all you girls who live in California--
Count your blessings!
Get out! Explore! Do it! No excuses!

*If you are a planning a trip like this or stopping at one of the cities I stalked about and have more specific questions, feel free to email me! 

PS: Congratulations to Jane, you are the glam grab giveaway winner.
Email me your address!


  1. I love seeing all these pictures Katie! I'm glad that someone else (besides me) takes 1497235487239458 pictures while on vacation. Happy belated 2 year anniversary too!

  2. I loved reading all of your recaps, they've been so helpful! We leave tonight and I'm definitely going to refer back to your posts to hit the hot spots:) I love the anniversary photo idea, very cute!

  3. I love your enthusiasm. You are the cutest. Awesome pictures.

  4. this looks GORGEOUS!! so glad billy got to goto peb beach! i am dying to see that course...and play it!

    loving the 2 year anni tradition and the photo! and when y'all are 100 years old holding up frames...how cute will that be!!!!

    Sexual chocolate wine. I might need.

    hahah like that pic of you with the fruit strip in your mouth. i had to look close at what that was!! hahah

    going to deff refer to these posts when i plan a trip to Cali. I need to go there adn your posts just made me SO EXCITED to go one day!


  5. I am in awe at how beautiful this is {and you are} happy 2 years!

  6. Love this post! I've been hearing about all the places you have talked about since I was a little girl because my dad used to do that trip every year with his best friend for EVER (only they stayed a month. JEALOUS) I think we'll totally have to do this trip someday! :) In the mean time... I'm totally packing for Tahoe. EEEEEEK!

    Side note - I'm totally doing anniversary pics with the year too. Such a cute idea. :)

  7. Carmel looks absolutely precious! I've been sending my husband the link to each of these re-cap posts and dropping subtle (okay, maybe not so subtle) hints about making our own trip

  8. Beautiful pictures!! I'll admit, I'm a little sad the recap is over - I was just imaging myself there the whole time! But the oil turned are so amazing. What time of camera o you use?


  9. OMG I'm dying at the cute that is this sign anniversary tradition photo taking... ADORBS.

    How can sexual chocolate wine NOT be delish?!

  10. BEAUTIFUL PICTURES!!! I am so glad you enjoyed your 2 year trip.. i hope alex & I can do the same thing every year together!!! You both are such a model couple.

    && i am dying to become a wino..any recommendations?
    I need to do a few chalkboard signs for the wedding!!!

  11. your pictures are pure perfection. looks like such an incredible vacation was had!

  12. It was the most perfect trip...so glad you two had fun and got to see so much!! You could easily to the same exact trip again and have it be completely different! I still have not made the same trip to SF twice...it's always different to me each time I go! xo

  13. What a cute idea! and I love your pictures.

  14. I've enjoyed all of your recaps, but I think this is my favorite! I've never been to any of the places mentioned here, so it was fun to see new places! Looks like you and Billy had a ball. The picture of the tree by itself out in the sea is really neat.

  15. LOVE those tan boots you have!! And as a southern california girl... I have to say I love it and can't move anywhere else!

  16. Looks like Carmel was the perfect ending to a great vacay and Year 2! If I had gotten so close to a deer, and especially a baby Bambi, I might've died from the excitement!

  17. Your trip looked fantastic! And I love your sign tradition- wish I had thought of that/seen it for our anniversaries. It might be weird to randomly start on number 5 next year, so I'll just have to be jealous of your cute photos!

  18. Amazing 2 year Anniversary pic! Y'all look so happy!! Did you travel around with a tripod for your camera or did you just ask people to snap pics of the two of you together?

    The PCH and Carmel were sooooo gorg! I wish we'd had time to make the drive from Carmel to Big Sur to see more of the coast. We also did 17 Mile Drive and drooled over the unbelievable views and the mega mansions! I'll be posting the second part of our vacay recap on the blog tomorrow night. ;)

    Hope y'all are having a great weekend!

    Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  19. Sounds like you had a fantastic time! I am actually going to Monterey/Carmel this weekend with my bf for our anniversary and you gave me some great ideas!

  20. love the new blog design! and I am OBSESSED with that picture of you and Billy (the 2 year one) - love it!!!!

  21. All these pictures are gorgeous! Happy anniversary! xo

  22. Looks like a great time. I love your green pants btw :)

  23. loved your california recap and so sad it's over :( my boyfriend and i did an anniversary trip down to carmel amnd monterey and totally loved it. so magical!


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