After two years of being sidelined due to the pandemic, my family returned to Carmel, California over the weekend and had a wonderful time together exploring the beauty of the California Coast.
A 2022 Return To Carmel, California
Can you believe that the last time we traveled to to Carmel was after Thanksgiving in 2019, just a few months before the world would totally change? Back then, we only had one child and my life looked a whole lot different than it does now.
I prefer to head up north late on Thanksgiving night and stay a night at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, but we felt that was too rushed this year on Thanksgiving Day and wanted to get our work done and the house clean before departing.
We were able to get out the door by about 9:15 am on Thursday enjoyed a relatively smooth drive up US-101 North (we did hit some heavy traffic – delirious Black Friday shoppers at the outlets in Camarillo).
I wanted to drive all the way to Paso Robles, but the kids got quite hungry as we approached noon so I introduced them to Cracker Barrel in Santa Maria, California.
I exercised some self-control and failed to order the 4,500 “sampler” feast this time around, opting just for meatloaf. The kids had chicken and my wife had beef….and we all liked it. It was a nice stop.
We then continued to Paso Robles, where were stopped for a coffee break at Spearhead Coffee and then re-charged the car (no tire problems this weekend, thankfully).
From there, we made the final two hour trek to the Hyatt Carmel Highlands. We arrived at dusk and it was great to return to this hotel that my family has so greatly enjoyed in the pre-pandemic years.
I’ll provide a full review of this hotel in the days ahead: let’s just say there was some disappointment, but it will not stop me from returning.
Here’s one clue:
Like, seriously? You get rid of your wood-burning fireplaces for this?
But we had a marvelous time here and it is really one of the most beautiful spots on the Earth.
We spent the next day in Pacific Grove and Monterey. In Pacific Grove we stopped by a little thrift shop, enticed by the 50% sale, and had a great time filling up a basket with stuff we really didn’t need, but was so cheap it was just a fun family exercise.
As always in Monterey, I enjoyed some great coffee and cold pressed juice at Captain + Stoker.
The following morning we went to church in Carmel before enjoying some time together at the hotel before heading back.
…Well, my wife and children headed back—after dropping me off at Monterey Airport. I’m enroute to a whole new adventure this week.
It was great to spend a few days with my family in the beautiful Carmel Highlands. Little getaways like this our revitalizing and such quality family time is great for Heidi and me and great for Claire Marie and Augustine. We will do this again soon.