Carmel-by-the-sea, California

I'm finally getting around to updating my travels over the past few months.  After spending a very hot summer in Shreveport, La with temperature in the triple digits for days on end, it was nice to work in New Roads, LA.  Although it was a 60 mile drive one way each day, it was wonderful sleeping in my own bed for 3½ weeks.

Oh well, break's over.  Well it's not that bad because I've landed in Carmel-by-the-sea, California.  This very unique place is well known for attracting the rich and famous - and of course, me.  Carmel is a very dog friendly town and have been told that sometimes borders on the ridiculous side.  I noticed  a George Rodrigue (he's from Lafayette, LA) gallery with Tiffany pictures in the window.  Old time movie actress, Doris Day pretty much started all the fuss.

I even managed to eat at the next table to Clint Eastwood a couple of nights ago.  No, I didn't hound him for a handshake, autograph or a cheesy photo.  No one else seemed to make a big deal out of it so I figured I'd go along with it.  Actually, it was at his Mission Ranch Restaurant.  I heard he would show up there on occasions but it caught me completely off guard when he pulled up a chair with a group of friends next to the table with me and my two dinner companions.

Feeling that I might not be here for a while, I've invited my wife up next weekend to stay a while so it was appropriate that I scout out places I wanted to show her.  This afternoon, I drove south on Highway 1 along the sometimes foggy coast.  Occasionally, pulling over to take in the sights of wildflowers, hearing sea lions bark  and snapping a few pictures while I watched a California Condor glide the up draft and eventually perch on a ridge high above me.

Driving further south onto Big Sur, I drove under some big Redwoods and with the sunroof open, smelled the ever present Eucalyptus trees.  One of the highlights was recognizing the Bixby Creek Bridge that we have all seen in commercials and movies.  Completed in 1932, it spans over a deep gorge and is an imposing part of the landscape.

Further south, I enjoyed getting out and walking down a trail at the Julia Pheiffer Burns State Park to a very controlled stroll that overlooked the McWay Falls.  I say controlled because you must stay on the trail and going down to the beach just doesn't happen.

Figuring I should get back to my hotel in Carmel, I arrived near sundown to see the sun casting a warm glow on a gingerbread style house behind the inn.  While not all the houses in Carmel look like this, the "cottage" look is what makes the place their own.