Archive for December, 2011

The mission in Carmel has a lovely garden.  We zoomed in just a bit before they were closing:

Carmel mission garden gate

Wandering around with no particular agenda is my favorite way to travel.  Time was a bit constrained here, but a lot of prettiness can be absorbed in a short time:

I love the bright colors against the muted stucco and rock

The mission itself is lovely, and we were able to spend a bit of time in the interior of the church.  Look at that ceiling:

Inside the Carmel mission church



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Have yourself a merry little Christmas…

love that sky!

Whatever holiday you’re celebrating at this festive time —

All the best to you and yours, now and in the new year!

— Susie C.

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Sometimes it’s the little things that catch my eye, like this pretty curved gate with a Norwegian surname above it on the arbor:

I like the little purple flowers climbing on the left side, too

Or windows that look just a little bit different:

Check out the ripply glass in these windows

Or something strange found on the beach!  The next photo requires some explanation.  If you read the Monterey Bay Aquarium post, you know about the giant kelp forest the aquarium was able to grow in their huge tank.  In nature, giant kelp anchors itself in the ocean by attaching itself to rocks at the bottom.  After a storm, you might walk on the beach and see this:

A kelp anchor washed up on the beach in Carmel after a storm

Next time I post, there will be photos of the second mission established by Fr. Junipero Serra and the Spaniards — Carmel Mission and its gardens:

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

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Let’s start off this post with another storybook photo:

The air was soft with mist, and the front garden looked so pretty

The trouble with photographing Carmel houses…it’s like eating potato chips.  You can’t stop at one!

Yet another charming old Carmel house -- I promise I'll stop now

Think I’ll switch to a photo of a Carmel resident who neither golfs nor drives a Lexus, but does enjoy dining alfresco:

The houses are only one part of the prettiness equation.  You have to add  trees, shrubs, flowers and the ocean nearby to achieve Carmel’s total beauty.

These fuschia blossoms were stunning

Don’t you want to sit here with a glass of wine and a book?


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Carmel is on the Monterey Peninsula.  It’s an artsy, exceptionally charming seaside outpost of exorbitantly expensive real estate (as are most California seaside outposts, come to think of it), and many people are able to indulge their architectural whims:

A Tudoresque building on the main drag through Carmel

Carmel is a great place to walk, and you never know what’s around the next corner:

Hope my husband and I look this content down the road... 🙂

There are sweet-looking cottages with down-home charm:

Charming cottage complete with daisies

…and there are architectural extravaganzas:

Getting close to the ocean. (Can you tell?)

Doesn’t this look like an illustration from a fairy tale book?

I want to see the secret garden behind this heart-pierced gate

More Carmel later…

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After spending a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we decided to cruise along and explore Monterey Peninsula.  No, you don’t have to drive along the 17 Mile Drive toll road (although I have before) to see beautiful sights:

Monterey Peninsula's rocky yet flowering coastline

There are lots of places to pull over, park, gaze at the ocean or go walking:

The Monterey Peninsula -- beautiful to drive, beautiful to walk

There’s plenty of gorgeous scenery, and beautiful houses if architecture interests you:

Pacific Grove, Monterey house -- seems inspired by Greene & Greene houses in the Arroyo Terrace historic district in Pasadena, CA

Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach are linked by the 17 Mile Drive toll road.  There you will find The Lone Cypress perched precariously on its outcropping (the most photographed tree in America?), but you won’t find it here from me today.  🙂   Instead, how about this photographically neglected stairway:

Old stairway down to the rocky cove

And one more photo, just a little lagniappe:

Afternoon stroll -- no guardrails, no problem! 🙂

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium facility is impressive.  An expansion was added on to the original building, and this upper-story bridge links the two:

View from the upper walkway to the new section of the aquarium

I really like the rhythm of the lines separating the glass panes, not to mention the view.  Ah, the view…especially nice in the (expensive but worth it) restaurant!  🙂

The building(s) have quirky, beautiful touches that are really impressive.  Look at this detail of the sculpture just outside the edge of the tank:

The sculptured octopus tentacles and shells look so amazing

The next photo is not, I repeat, NOT, seaweed:

Leafy sea dragons!

Sea dragons live in Australia are related to seahorses and pipefish.  They not only look like seaweed, they move like it, too.  I’ll give them my vote for Second Best Underwater Camouflage.   (Octopuses get the gold medal).  🙂


You can see them at the aquarium in Long Beach as well.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium provides a safe haven for many rescued creatures, and I’ll finish today’s post with a shot of one of them:

A beautiful creature in a beautiful place

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