Lori and I went to Carmel on Labor Day. Carmel is always a nice day, wandering around the shops, having lunch. And the drive itself, following Monterey Bay around from the northern tip at Santa Cruz to the southern tip at Monterey and Carmel, can be beautiful. It’s actually a reminder of what California was and still is, as you go from coastal mountains with coastal redwoods to the agriculture of the mid-bay area (Castroville artichokes!) then to the pines of the Monterey Peninsula. All with beautiful sandy beaches, or lively and lovely tide pools.
This trip we ate at a restaurant new to us, Dametra Cafe, which bills itself as a “Ristorante Mediterraneo”. Indeed it is a Mediterranean restaurant, with a Greek-based menu, but with dishes from as far away as Persia. There were also dishes from Israel, Italy, Lebanon and Turkey that we noticed on the menu. We went pretty simple for lunch, with Lori ordering the chicken shawarma sandwich and a gyro for me. Portions were more than generous, and the food was delicious. Their wine list is a bit limited, but Lori found a Penfolds Cab Shiraz, and I had a glass of a nice Spanish Garnacha Syrah blend. Great atmosphere there, very friendly, and adding to the Mediterranean feeling was the post-lunch serenade of the restaurant, in Spanish, by the Mexican chef.
Shopping in Carmel is always fun, and we found a few things, including being able to check off a few boxes for the holiday gifts. And not to worry, we bought something for each of the grandkids.
After Carmel, we decided to take the driving tour of 17 Mile Drive. This is a scenic road that winds through the Pebble Beach area, through golf courses, mansions and some great California coastline. Just a beautiful day for that. I don’t know if you can see them in the photograph, but seals were all over the rocks just offshore.
Finally, on the way home, we made a pilgrimage to Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing. Only one of the best fish restaurants around, although not particularly fancy. We picked up a quart of clam chowder for dinner, actually getting off pretty easy. But it was Labor Day, and we weren’t sure if the boats had actually been out, so we didn’t worry about picking up any fish.
Hope you had a great holiday weekend also!