Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Carmel weekend, part one

I'm requesting another day for this weekend; three wasn't nearly enough. I'd like one extra day to get stuff done around the house and yard and to sleep. Ahh, sweet sleep, I remember it well.

I left work mid-day on Friday to drive down to Carmel. First I had to pack, which I had put off for the last minute. I realized that my handy Timex running watch, which I have in fqstpnm different colors (what? how many?) didn't look right with a girly dress and rainbow sapphire bracelet. I checked and all of my nicer watches had dead batteries so my first stop after leaving the house was at a jeweler's to get my Seiko fixed. Yup, my Seiko lasted longer than my marriage did. Hmmm? Don't you remember that commercial from the 80's?

The ride down was fine, it seemed that all the holiday traffic was headed in the other direction. At least until I got to 101. Forty seven lanes merged into three so there was a slow-down there. The speed went on to vary from way over the limit back down to 10 mph for the rest of the ride. It ended up taking me about 2 hours I think, which isn't bad at all. I went directly to the motel to check in.

A bunch of us were staying at the Hofsas House in Carmel. It's a cute collection of buildings that they united by painting pink. I found out my room was on the fourth floor - no elevator. From the street it was the second floor though so it wasn't a problem unloading my car. My room was pretty small but cute and clean so no complaints there. It was like being in an old house, the walls were thin and I could hear people in other rooms and on the street. Whatever, like I was going to sleep anyway.

I looked at the map I had been given and realized that the local yarn shop was really close, so I walked on over there. Only getting lost about three times. In three blocks. Sigh. Directionally dyslexic. Nothing I can do about it. The LYS, Knitting by the Sea, was a cute little shop. They didn't have a huge selection but what they did have was interesting. I looked at the Mountain Colors, a hand painted yarn from Corvallis, MT. I ended up buying a couple of skeins of their Bearfoot, 60% superwash, 25% mohair and 15% nylon sock yarn. Yeah, I know I don't knit socks. Yet. What's your point? It has a lovely feel, nice and soft. One skein is Granite Peak, the other colorway shall remain nameless as I bought it as a birthday gift for someone. I also bought one skein of the Weaver's Wool Quarters, 100% sport weight wool, in Moose Creek. I loved the deep, somber, yet clear colors. I'll probably end up knitting, oh, a hat or scarf or shawl or gloves or ... yeah, something that isn't socks.

After I returned to the motel I contacted Pam and discovered that she had been given a really nice room. A really nice BIG room. A huge room. Fireplace, microwave, mini-fridge, sitting area. Apparently there was a problem with the cheap room she had reserved so they gave her the big room for the night. We called Anita, who had arrived with Gary and Kendra, and she came over and we all decided that Pam had definitely gotten lucky. Because of Kendra (her dog) and paying less, Anita had gotten the smallest room of all. They weren't too pleased with that.

The four of us (no, not Kendra) headed out for dinner, figuring we'd find something nearby. We did; we ended up at the Forge in the Forest which looked both casual enough and cheap enough. Hey, prices in Carmel are ridiculous! Anyway, Anita and I ordered Mandarin Mojitos, a liberal naming of a pretty good drink. They muddled the mint with an orange slice and used Mandarin Vodka instead of rum. Very very tasty. Another, please! For dinner I ordered the soft tacos with ahi which was seared on the outside and thinly sliced. Very tasty fresh raw fish wrapped up in a tortillas with typical taco sides. I was very happy. And the mojitos had, I'm sure, nothing to do with it!

Pam and I had decided we were taking advantage of not having to get up to run in the morning, so we decided to contact each other no earlier than 9:00 am. After a mostly sleepless night I got up and dressed early, checked out the so-called Continental breakfast in the hotel lobby, and waited until 9. We decided to walk down to Ocean Avenue to check out the coffee shop situation. We walked to Caffe Cardinale Coffee Roasting Co. and stood in line, eyeing the pastries and wondering whether we should splurge. We did. I got a berry scone, which I ended up not eating since it wasn't good enough to waste the bazillion calories on. My latte was wonderful. I have nothing against Starbucks (obviously, slurp), but it's nice to have something special. This certainly was.

We wandered in and out of a couple of shops, not really in buying mode, just looking. We walked into Lloyd's Shoes, mostly to look at the very fancy, expensive girly shoes they had. High style, higher prices. Who buys these things? Shoes for $400?? To each their own, I guess. Then I looked at the other side of the shop where it was more casual. I tried on a pair of Merrell slides, leather outside and sheepskin lining, and fell instantly in love with them. I thought they'd be perfect for after winter marathons, just what cold sore toesies need. So they stayed on my feet and they've come home with me. They suited the weekend Carmel weather, cold, misty and foggy. [Talking with her later, my sis didn't understand why I had bought fleece shoes in late May. Obviously she hasn't spent a summer in California!]

I went back to the motel and did the whole make-up/hair/dress thing. I was having hair issues; this last cut looks best when I wear it as straight as possible but the humid foggy air thought I'd be better off with curls, waves and frizz. After trying and trying to get it straighter I gave up and whatevered. Waves it is!

We drove to the church, the Carmel Mission Basilica. I was following Pam's car and we managed to only get lost once. It wasn't our fault; the desk clerk at the motel told us to drive straight down the street outside, we'd run right into the church. She neglected to mention that at one spot the road dead-ended and we had to go either left or right. We picked wrong. We did manage to get turned back around, thanks to a helpful gardener in his yard. The Mission was interesting. There's a huge sense of being surrounded by history, not all of it good. Anyway, we met up with a bunch of other friends and waited for the wedding to begin. Which it did, almost exactly on time.

The bridesmaids and matron of honor strolled down the aisle, then Sandy was walked down by her brother. She looked just like a fairytale princess in her gown with the long train and full veil. My pictures inside didn't turn out well because of the dim lighting. The ceremony was long and, I guess, traditional with the whole mass. Stand, sit, amen and repeat.

Afterward we decided to take the scenic route to the reception. We had free entry to the 17 Mile Drive and enough time. Most of the views were incredible. The road was twisty turny and mostly we followed other cars through. People live in there; I'm sure they get sick and tired of all the tourists driving through all the time. Hey, they bought their tickets.

The reception was ... ok, I'll be continuing this tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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