Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Carmel Day 2- Fairy Tale houses

The rest of the California doesn’t have those kind of houses, at least,how much I’ve seen. To my knowledge, almost all the houses are same through out California, with some Spanish style houses in upscale Santa Barbara. 

However, the houses I'd seen in Carmel , all were different, apart from very few extremely modern houses. All the chimneys were not straight, rather they had their own distinct style. They looked liked , as if it was built it hurry, so the workmen could keep the symmetry.The shapes were somewhat crooked. It reminded me one of my childhood rhyme, "The Crooked Man".

 It seemed that, like the fairy the houses were built whatever came in the hand. None of the roofs was straight cone. It looked that they also couldn't keep it straight while building the houses. Moreover, the creepers on all the sides of those houses gave a feeling that any time I could see a fairy was sitting on the swing. I’m not really exaggerating at all. Really I felt that so. Every house I visited I felt to sit in the porch with beautiful teacup in hand with some beautiful ladies.  


Anyway, those English fair tale cottages  were designed by one man, named Hugh Comstock. Once he came to visit his sister and brother in law in Carmel, and fell in love with a doll maker. Later they married. His wife requested him to build a house to keep her dolls . Without any prior experience he built one cottage inspired by fairy tale illustration, and named the cottage Hansel. Soon, the residents wanted their own fairytale cottages. And whole Carmel came up with different cottages. 

As the area is hilly, and full of greens, and  amid big trees those houses got a totally different look. I had been telling Mr. Man, that those houses couldn’t be that much beautiful without those beautiful green trees

When we visited the visitor center we got a list of fair tale houses from there. We found that the houses were very  near to our inn. So, while coming back to the inn, we went to see the cottages. After seeing all similar houses , those houses really gave a feeling of difference. Like a child we tried to take glimpse of the cottages through the fence and big trees.

Though I'm sharing some pictures, but I couldn't do justice to the beauty with my cell phone camera.

....to be continued

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Carmel Day2 - Cottage of Sweets

It was another destination for us to visit in Carmel. Cottage of sweets was nothing but a candy shop. 

However, the little building was alone a place to visit. With white walls, and uneven curved roof,gave perfect look of the fairy tale cottage.The enchanting building was built in 1922.

The shop was really small indeed. But, the smallness gave it a exact fairy tale look, we usually imagine after reading fairy tale story. 

The cottage was not built as a candy shop from the beginning. The cottage served various businesses time to time.After a fire destroyed the area, the whole courtyard was redesigned.

 The cottage became a candy shop, which not only the destination of the little ones, but also a sweet destination for the grown ups.

....to be continued

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Carmel Day 2- Secret Garden

In my previous post of Carmel I told you about the secret passages. Some of my blogger friends, who visited those Carmel told me how exciting to discover those secret passages. So, I thought of writing again about my experience of those secret passages.

 That was real fun to discover the secret passages and walking on them. Just like we found one secret passage just across the street in front of Carmel Art Association. My son was excited to explore that secret passage. We entered that passage which end up to a rusty and beautiful cottage. 

I don’t know whether it was a private property or not. Another passage we entered, at the end we found a small staircase. We son was over excited, and climbed the stairs, then he ran down and told that, that was actually a home of someone. Then again we  entered in another passage we climbed down all way to find out there was no where to go. So, discovering those passages were real fun. 

Another passage we went down at ended up to a restaurant. Anyway, as we were walking on the sidewalk, we saw a beautiful sign named “Secret Garden”, and there was a secret passage. We decided to take a chance and went in the secret garden. That was a right decision to entering inside.

 It was just a big fairy tale garden, full of exotic succulent. Some of them were potted on the ground, some of them were potted on the hanging pot on the wall, and all beautiful garden decors were larking in the lively green succulents. The sound of the water fountain and the arrangement all plants and figure gave a different feeling amid a very small narrow space. At the end of it we reached a small open space with banana tree adorned with different Buddha statues. 

....to be continued 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Carmel Day 2- Porta Bella Restaurant

After visiting the Murphy’s house we all realized that our stomach had been rumbling. Carmel was a heaven of all exotic restaurants. Mr. Man took  the responsibility to finding a good one, where every one of us could get their desired food. At that moment we were on Ocean Avenue, and he found out a French Restaurant, Porta Bella on Ocean Avenue. 

Moreover, the restaurant was just beside Cottage of Sweets which was one of our must see place.


It was cold chilly cloudy day. We slowly walk through the sidewalk , and reached a small old door with a beautiful Christmas wreath hanging on it. I slowly pushed the door, and it open with little squeaky sound, and we entered in a warm cozy eatery with burning fireplace inside. The warm nice feeling just took away the fatigue, and we were ready to devour some mouthwatering food. 

We got a table near the window from where we could see the street, where people had been walking on their Christmas best attire.

 My son couldn’t order anything else but pizza. I’m not a pizza fan, it is the food when no option usually are left. I’m a fish loving person, so when I saw salmon in the menu card I quickly decided to order that. Mr. Man ordered beef burger. 

Anyway, we were not in hurry, we enjoyed every single bit of our food. At the last our server served a little desert , and told it was on the house. I just can’t describe the feeling when the cream in it just slowly moved down my throat. We were all full, on the top of that we had been eating limitless sweet things during that tim, so I didn’t order another plate. I didn’t know the name of it, so I asked him. It was Baklava. The cream and the crunchiness of that made a heavenly combination. That was really a sinful bliss. 

..... to be continued.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Carmel Day 2 - The walking tour

We reached Carmel in  the pitch dark, so we couldn’t see anything. Next morning when I woke up and look through the glass door of the balcony. I could see endless the deep blue ocean covered with gray clouds hovering over the horizon.

Anyway, we wanted to take walking tour around the town, but  we didn’t know from where to start. So, we went to the hotel office, the lady there suggested going to the visitors center, which was in a beautiful mall.

The lady in the visitor center gave us a detailed map, and as well as the list of fairy tale houses. She told that the little town was within one square mile,so better to walk around. Luckily we didn’t take the car with us. We readily planned to go towards the ocean first , then while coming back we would visit the other little places. 

Our hotel was just outside the downtown. The specialty of the town, that most of the building were maintaing their facades. The way they were built early twentieth century still look the same, but inside everything had been changed. Our first stop was the furniture shop.The shop was nothing but another normal furniture shop. However it was actually the dairy farm dated back when it was developing, and it was a little town indeed , rather than tourist destination.

The furniture shop

 Next stop was the drug store, but what was so special? Actually the drug store changed to a different shop, most probably an art gallery, but the original sign was still kept on the wall. When the city decide to take down all the big facade, but they kept the name of the drug store for some unknown reason. 

The town had numerous hidden passages. Those hidden passages were actually lanes and by lanes with the blocks. It is difficult to see those lanes, but you have to search to find those hidden lanes. Some of the lanes would take you through the blocks to the other sides.  The two sides of those lanes had beautiful shops, art galleries, and beautiful other things. One of them was Secret Garden. I would rather write about it in another post.We went most of the lanes. Most of them leads to the other side of the blocks, but some of them leads to the entrance of the some cozy restaurants, even some of them leads to the entrance of private residence. 

Murphy's house

We went to the Murphy’s house, which was built in 1902. Murphy was 19 years old when he built the house. Most of the building in downtown are built by Murphy.

Mr. and Mrs. Murphy

 After visiting the Murphy’s house we felt hungry. After searching we found out one French restaurant named Porta Bella. The food was scrumptious.
After having food, again we started our walking tour. Then we started walking towards to ocean side.Each and very houses on the ocean side were extremely beautiful, and very much unique in their own way. All the houses in carmel had some different ouch, which made them district from other houses in rest of California. On the top of that, unlike other parts of California, Carmel was full of greenery. With beautiful green front yards, the hilly land, the old houses, and could weather gave carmel a fairy tale environment. It was very much like Bibury Village in UK. Anyway, after strolling around the ocean side again we came back to the downtown. I really didn’t know the rout, by which we strolled, I just depended on Mr. Man. 

 One of the building in our list was L’Auberge. L’Auberge was nothing but another beautiful inn. 

However, it had a little history. It was first apartment building in Carmel, which was actually built for artists. Then again we started walking and reached Church of the Wayfayer. It was most probably first built in 1903. On the opposite was Cypress Inn. That in was built in completely Mediterranean style. 

Again we started strolling again. We reached another beautiful mall. My son wanted to go a Christmas shop. Each and every decorations were extremely beautiful but too expensive.
Again we came to the visitor center from where we started our walking tour. Our next destination was fairy tale houses.

   ....to be continued.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Carmel Day 1 -Yafa Resturant

As I told you that my house was getting remodeled, and just before Christmas we got our house back. So, the Christmas was super busy, from cleaning the house to arranging everything. In the mean time, Mr. Man arranged a small trip to Carmel. The plan was to start from home around noon on 23rd December. However, I had been still cleaning and arranging things around till 12 in the noon.  Anyway, after finishing all cooking, eating, cleaning, arranging we at last depart from home around 2 in the afternoon. When we reached Carmel, it was already dark. I couldn’t see anything. I felt that Mr. Man parked the car on some one’s driveway. He told me that he parked car on roadside, and he needed to go on foot to find our inn, where we were gong to stay for next two nights . Anyway, he parked the car on the front road of the inn. After finishing all the work at the office we luckily got a parking spot on the inn’s parking space, as that was the last one left. *smile*

Our next work was to find a restaurant nearby. Carmel is full of exotic restaurants. We found a Moroccan restaurant very near of our inn, and we decided to go there, as all of us love Mediterranean food. 

Lentil Soup

It was not far from the inn. So, we decided to walk there. Anyway, after walking little on the dark road, we reached a very small door, which went down a little from the sidewalk. We almost missed the door. My son, pointed out the little door of the restaurant. That was a very little cozy restaurant with maximum occupancy of 40, named Yafa.

Chicken with apricot sauce

Inside it was dimly lit, an old gentleman had been singing most probably on Moroccan language, but it was very beautiful to the ear. Music and dance has no language barrier. If the music is nice to ear, and the dance is beautiful to eyes, then you can watch without knowing the language. The interior was very much  Mediterranean in style. We ordered our food, and was  listening to the songs.

Lamb ravioli

 Suddenly one man took out one drum kind of small instrument, and started beating in a quick rhythm, so that you will feel dancing. The owner of the restaurant came with waist belts, and offered all the ladies there to dance. Few of them started dancing, but I didn’t. In my life I never danced. *smile*. However, that was really a fun time.


The food was extremely delicious. I never rated chicken with apricot sauce. So, I ordered that. It tasted heavenly. When my son found ravioli in the menu card, he effused to eat anything but lamb ravioli. Mr. Man wanted to eat small, and he ordered shrimp. After all days of work and driving (though I didn’t drive) this warm cozy feeling with delicious food took away all the fatigue from the body and mind. 

     .....to be continued.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A day trip

On first day of the year, Mr Man didn’t want to stay at home. 31st night he suggested going on a day trip to Tahoe. Though I didn’t say anything, my answer was negative. He was just like a kid, he didn’t want to listen. When I told him that I was tired, he told me that he would drive, so I didn’t need to worry. I couldn’t make him understand that I just wanted to stay at home and have rest. Anyway, we woke up early in the morning. I packed up all the possible winter garments in the car, in case if we need. While driving on the way, we continuously talked about our last year winter vacation to Tahoe. The memory of the vacation will never be faded from the memory.If you want to read about our last year visit to Lake Tahoe, please click here.

On the way we even stopped at the same Starbucks, where we went last time amid pitch-dark and torrential rain. Anyway, this time Tahoe was totally different. Due to lack of rain Tahoe was almost dry, and could see only patches of snow here and there. We didn’t go up to the lake. We decided to go Donner Ski area, before the lake. The Ski area looked miserable. They could only make a small path of snow for skiing, and few people were skiing there. I’ve never seen such empty Tahoe. Anyway, my son did tube sliding for few hours and we decided to go back.

Auburn Museum

I wanted to go to Auburn, which is a historic small town established during California Gold Rush. Last year we went Placerville which is the next town to Auburn. The little downtown was old in true way. It showed every point how the small towns grew at that time, without much planning. As the area was hilly, the sidewalk was little funny. Some time, the sidewalk ended up in staircase. Yes, a public staircase to on the other side. 

We parked our car at the parking area of Auburn Museum. As it was 1st January, the museum was closed. So, we couldn’t find any information about the little old town. 
We decided to just walk around. In the mean time my son got impatient, he didn’t want to walk around with us. I was lost interest as I couldn’t find much information. I could see all the old building, and I was eager to know about each building, but I had no option. While walking we suddenly found a huge statue of the man, and we went to find out.

Claude Chana

 From there we came to know that the statue was of Claude Chana, who came to Auburn during Gold Rush, and built a little adobe. After staying one year there, he went to Sutter’s fort to work there. Again he came back to Auburn with couple of men in search of gold. Anyway, during that time whine the population started growing in that area, the people deiced to give a name, Auburn was chosen. 

The little history I got from Interment. To my disappointment,  the museum was closed, so, I couldn’t get chance to find all little history , which generally hard to find.