I just LOVE living in California.  There’s an endless stream of weekend get-away’s that can take you from snow to the dessert to the ocean.  This weekend we chose the ocean.  Claire and I had a quick overnight in Carmel.  We left Sunday and checked in at the Homestead Inn which is the sister property of the Mission Ranch Inn which are both owned by Clint Eastwood.   Mission Ranch is a stunning property which almost never seems to have an opening.  When I called they transferred me to their sister property which did have a reservation.  We had a lovely old fashioned room with a double bed, a twin bed, a full kitchen, dining area, bathroom, and redwood deck.  It was a great price $110.00 for the night.  After we stashed our stuff we headed over to Point Lobos and walked around China Cove which is just spectacular.  We were greatly entertained by a group of five little girls ranging from age 5-12 who were impervious to the cold ocean water and having the time of their collective lives!

We had intended to stroll around Carmel and collect up cheese, salad, bread and wine for dinner but at around 6:00 on a Sunday night none of the gourmet shops were still open.  We ended up eating at Patisserie Boissiere, a very nostalgic place for me.  They opened in 1961 and sometime in the mid-seventies I started going there.  My boyfriend at the time had trained with a French chef in the Bay Area who was friends of the family who opened the Patisserie and we took several trips to try them out.  At that time there was no one like them.  Their pastry case shimmered like jewels at Tiffany’s and their menu was very French.  Their dining room probably hasn’t changed since they opened their doors which is another thing I love about the place.  The food is served at a very leisurely pace and we were concerned we’d miss our chance to watch the sun set so we grabbed our desserts to go and headed to the beach.  My bittersweet Pots de Crème was good enough for me to finish as my first course to breakfast the next day.

Monday we strolled around town, shopping and stopping for breakfast at the Tuck Box Inn which looked like a kind of English Troll house.  The scones were the most interesting scones I’ve ever tasted.  They are dense and spongy and I think baked in small round pans, or skillets.  One scone is a half of a round split in half and cut into four wedges and heated, definitely plenty for two people.  It is served with softly whipped cream and two jams, one berry, one marmalade.  To me the scones seemed more like a crumpet batter poured in a pan and baked.

After that we happened upon a beautiful French linen shop called Jan de Luz.  I want to live there and be best friends with the French women who run it.  They were so classically French and impeccably dressed and a hoot!  I have a long standing tradition of using tea towels as my window curtains and I’m due to replace my existing ones so I bought a couple of tea towels for my next set of curtains.  They will embroider anything you want on any variety of linens that they sell.  They have several women working on site so depending on your order and their schedule you may be able to take your newly embroidered items home with you that day.

Lastly I grabbed four coconut macaroons at the Carmel Bakery on Ocean Ave.  They are a Carmel institution known for their pretzels, but let me tell you, their coconut macaroons are the best anywhere.

I have not tasted any as good elsewhere.

On our way home we detoured at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for a thrilling ride on the Giant Dipper, cooling ride on Loggers Revenge and then dried off by floating over the boardwalk on the sky ride.  We had our obligatory corn dog and tried to get some garlic fries (they were out and took forever to make more), and topped it off with a chocolate dipped cone and got in the not so thrilling commute traffic coming home.