Honeymoon: 1 night in Carmel, CA

When I was a kid, there was a long stretch of years that my family vacationed in Cape May, NJ. I've never been to Disneyland or Disneyworld; instead, my family spent a week every year in a town with Victorian Houses and a cross-stitch shop. In some ways, I am very grateful for this type of repeated travel; I know Cape May well. When I returned once as an adult, I sought out a shop where they sell Christmas ornaments and salt water taffy and I realized how much of my Mom I have in me.

On these trips, my parents would make it a point to stop at a fruit stand along the highway to buy Jersey peaches and tomatoes. I'm not quite sure what the magic is about Jersey fruit, but eating roadside peaches always reminds me of vacation on a beach to this day.

As we made our way out of San Francisco, we noticed more and more fruit stands along the side of the road. Finally I told Chris we had to stop... and we grabbed cherries, strawberries and a couple of peaches for old time's sake. The best kind of snacks on a roadtrip.

We made it to our hotel in Carmel and I'll admit it- I was ITCHING for a swim. We had been in California for several days and my misunderstanding of northern California weather had left me shivering in sweaters for days. So although we were the only ones in the pool at the hotel, a swimming we did go. 

Carmel was pretty, but expensive. We did the 17-mile scenic drive, which happened to be the same weekend as a giant, fancy car show. This made a lot of sense when we learned about it, as we'd spent the previous several hours with minds blown by the fact that everyone in Carmel seemed to drive a Porsche. Turns out, it was just for the weekend.

Meanwhile, we'd been telling people that we were ending our trip in Palm Springs. "Palm Springs in August, huh?" they'd say. "It's pretty hot down there!" Indeed; it was supposed to be 120 degrees. The horseback riding we had planned wasn't going to happen, as horses apparently don't like carting humans around in such heat. (Who can blame them?)

So while checking out the local Carmel guide, it felt serendipitous to discover that there was horseback riding available near Big Sur the next morning. We called, we booked it. And we set our alarms to wake up early for my first experience riding a horse. 

More pix on Flickr here

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