Carmel is just as charming and quaint as I remember.
It almost feels like we took a quick trip to Europe!

I even spied a Welsh flag outside of one gallery!

We spent all day Saturday exploring the nooks and crannies.

It takes all day just to see all the antique stores, art galleries and boutiques.

There are no bargains here for sure, but Carmel is so romantic that you don't mind.

One of our discoveries was "Forget Me Not," an antique and design store.
Shirley, the owner was a blast to talk to and we hit it off right away.

Her store is filled with unique treasures like this one-of-a-kind sea shell lamp.

I was crushing on this faux bamboo armoire. Isn't it amazing?

There was even an antique bee skep covered with mud.
I thought of my friend Lisa who is collecting them right now.

A lovely collection of tole and crystal chandeliers caught my eye.

And my favorite, Bella Notte linens too.

Carmel is so much fun to visit. I just hope we don't wait for another 5 years until we visit again.

Just north a few miles is Monterey.
We spent time on the wharf and Cannery Row.
Lots of history here, I'm always reminded of John Steinbeck and his novels about this area.

Of course you have to have oysters for lunch here...

...while watching the sea lions out the window.
They were quite a site, lounging in the sun...

...and frolicking in the water.

And so, we headed home feeling like we were gone for a week.
It was our first trip as official empty nesters. It seemed weird that Dexter wasn't with us.
I found myself looking in the back seat a few times to check on him. It's just habit I guess.

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