Thursday, July 12, 2012

Carmel California Instagram(ed)

I just got back from the absolutely BEAUTIFUL Carmel, California (I. am. in. love.)! BIG HUGE Thank You to Dole for a wonderful event! They brought myself and 13 other food bloggers out there for a “Taste of Salad’tude”! It was SUCH a blast and I was posting photos all week over Instagram in place of blogging…

However, Jessica brought to my attention that for some reason it wasn’t syncing up to my Facebook page (major crisis, you guys!!! hah). Very bizarre! I’ve tried to re-sync it and it refuses to work… 🙁 Anyhow, I’ll step off my pity party soap box. Since many of you aren’t over on Instagram, I thought I’d do a quick Instagram photo recap of my week out in Carmel/Salinas:

Hubs & I stayed down at the W in Ft. Lauderdale the night before I flew out. I had to be at the airport at 3:45 am on Sunday morning and I wasn’t about to make the 1 1/2 hour drive on top of that! lol

It blew my mind how many people were up at that ungodly hour hah:

2 flights later, I NEARLY missed my third and final connection (I may or may not have given Jessica a near heart attack since she was waiting for me at the gate haha).

We met up with the lovely Dara (that’s pronounced Dare-uh not Dah-ruh FYI 😉 ) and the 3 of us got on a teeny tiny puddle jumper plane (biggest fear of mine – another FYI). I survived and a short car ride later, we FINALLY made it to the Carmel Valley Ranch! We were early and our rooms weren’t quite ready so we sat and had a wonderful brunch overlooking the pool. I’m pretty sure we didn’t even talk – we were all famished and scarfed our food down (yah, I didn’t even take a picture haha).

After lunch my room was ready and I was DYING to check it out:

Holy moly the suites were IN.SANE. I didn’t want to leave. I had a lovely patio with a view…

and 2 flipping fireplaces!!!! TWO.  Coming from a girl who has ZERO fireplaces… I was kind of obsessed. My favorite was lounging on the bed after a shower and just staring at the fire… apparently I’m a bit of a pyro (just another FYI… how many are we up to now?!).

Want to know my favorite thing about Carmel Valley Ranch? They serve s’mores every. single. night. Be still my heart! We were so excited that we opted for a pre-cocktail s’more. It was everything I dreamed it would be:

And in case you guys didn’t know… S’Mores and wine go hand-in-hand. You’re welcome. 😉

We met up with our friends from Dole & the other bloggers for dinner (with a VIEW) which was DE-LICIOUS:


After dinner I went back to my room and CRASHED. I think I’d been up for 23 hours… oiy veh.

Day 2 we got up for breakfast and then took a walk around the Ranch Property… they had lavender EVERYWHERE (another thing I became obsessed with):


Carmel Valley Ranch also has tree swings all over their property… I couldn’t help myself! I snapped a shot of my girl Jess swingin’:

They are growing their own vineyard right now… Won’t be ready for another year though – the wine will be Pinot Noir!

We shuttled over to Corkscrew Cafe to grab lunch:


Holy toledo the Meyer Lemon Pizza was my FAVORITE!!!! SO SO good… you better believe I’ll be recreating that one! 😉

With our bellies full, it was time for a tour of the lettuce fields and the Dole Processing plant. Pretty fascinating stuff – you wouldn’t BELIEVE all the work it take to get the lettuce from the ground to the grocery store. I have a WHOLE NEW APPRECIATION!




Day 3 consisted of Salad 101 & 201 classes


Oh. Em. Gee. This watermelon tomato salad = to die for!

Ending the day with  Pineapple Arugula Mojitos (holy YUM) and some silliness with these ladies! (I LOVE THEM: Ashley, Jessica S, Jessica M, Lauren, and Jenna)

The liquid courage gave us the guts to ask the bell boy (aka: Ryan Gosling look-alike) for a photo. We may or may not have also gotten him to say a few “Hey Girl” quotes. We are SO mature. 😉

One last night of S’mores by the fire and I was off to pack for my 3 am wake up call:

Goodbye California… 🙁 until next time!

Anyhow, I’ll be back this weekend with some of the photos I took with my big girl camera! 🙂


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16 Responses to “Carmel California Instagram(ed)”

  1. 1

    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — July 12, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

    This trip looks like so much fun! Pretty sure ALL hotels need to start serving s’mores. Best idea ever!

  2. 2

    Amy @ The Nifty Foodie — July 12, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

    WOW! That looked like quite a trip! Every time y’all posted about those s’mores, it really tempted me to drive to the store to get the ingredients to make my own. Then I realized eating s’mores alone wouldn’t be very fun, and I’d probably eat 20 of them and ruin my diet. 😛

  3. 3

    mom — July 12, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    What a beauiful place! So glad you got to spend time with these fabulous bloggers and….WOW…what an incredible opportunity DOLE gave you all! Carmel is BEAUTIFUL!!!

  4. 4

    Jessica Lynn — July 13, 2012 @ 4:39 am

    That place looks like an absolute dream! How fun!!

  5. 5

    shelly (cookies and cups) — July 13, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    What a great trip. I am only a little jealous. ok, a lot.

  6. 6

    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven — July 13, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    Looked like a wonderful trip!!! So glad you had a great time! 🙂

  7. 7

    Debbie — July 13, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Can’t wait to try wine and s’mores!

  8. 8

    Jenny — July 13, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    looks like it was SO fun! 🙂

  9. 9

    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — July 13, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

    The first plane ride I ever took *alone* was in one of those teeny tiny planes! So terrifying!

    Glad you enjoyed NorCal! Hmmm, Carmel is only a couple hours away from me, I smell a new adventure spot!

  10. 10

    Melissa (Alienbody) — July 14, 2012 @ 2:50 am

    I just love Carmel! Did you know that Clint Eastwood used to be the mayor and STILL lives there? The Monterey/Carmel coastline is one of the most rugged and beautiful in the world. I was just in Monterey the other night taking my daughter on a self guided ghost tour. Fun fun! Glad you enjoyed your trip to MY neck of the woods!

  11. 11

    Jennifer — July 15, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    This trip looks like so much fun! Your hotel was absolutely beautiful. It is so cool to see so many of my favorite bloggers having fun at the same event.

  12. 12

    Lauren — July 16, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    Great to see you again, friend!! xoxo

  13. 13

    Megan {Country Cleaver} — July 16, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    Looks like that was one heck of a weekend!! All of my favorite girls!

  14. 14

    Lauren — July 17, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

    So glad you enjoyed NorCal! Carmel is so beautiful. Loved the pix!

  15. 15

    Cookin' Canuck — July 23, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

    It was such a fun trip and you are an absolute doll, Tina! I hope we get a chance to meet up again sometime.

  16. 16

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 25, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

    What an amazing trip – the ladies on it, the scenery, the experience…how fun!

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