Points North
on Aug 08, 2013 in Travel

Carmel by the Sea

Let me tell you a story about my night in Carmel (a beautiful coastal town along the Pacific Coast Highway, bursting with shops, galleries and restaurants, and attracting visitors from all over the world). I thought I would be hanging tonight with a new friend I made over lunch, but our schedules didn’t sync up at all, so naturally I went out on my own.

First I went to see the sunset over the Pacific from the beach. There was a chill in the air but it was welcomed and actually quite perfect. The sunset took my breath away and my mind to places not of this world.

I made conversation at a lookout point by offering to take a picture of a couple trying to do it themselves. I love these moments right here, and everyone loves a good picture against a scenic backdrop. They returned the favor and took the picture I posted earlier.

Carmel is such a beautiful place for the many people from all over who are passing through. It’s more than I can find the words to describe.

I looked up a sushi restaurant craving a cucumber avocado roll and set out to find it. Unexpectedly, Urban Spoon failed me as when I got to the location I saw it was quite residential with no restaurant in sight. I called the number to find out they closed at 9pm and it was already 8:50. With that knowledge, I saw no reason to figure out where they were really located.

Bummed, and roll-less, I meandered back in the direction of my hotel. In Carmel restaurants close early, many at 9pm and some at 10. I really wasn’t sure what I would find. I stumbled upon a French restaurant, La Bicyclette, that happened to stay open until 10pm, and had a couple cancelled reservations so there was a table ready for me.

“How many? Just one?” the host asked, and I wondered if he counted me, myself and I. Sitting down I was consumed by the livelihood, ambiance, and watching patrons enjoy good food, wine and company. But eventually I settled into my book, my food and a glass of wine.

There was a couple sitting next to me. I thought actually that they were speaking French, so I was most pleasantly surprised to find out they were in fact from Lebanon. I struck up a conversation because I noticed the wife asked her server for the cork from the wine they enjoyed with dinner, and I was curious why.

They were saving them to make a cork board that would hold many stories of many bottles of wine. What a great way to keep track of a journey and to have memories with you always. I offered suggestions of other things they could do with them, and from here a great conversation ensued.

They were traveling down the PCH, and I was traveling up. We both shared great tips on where to stop. They loved my story of what I was doing, I loved that we randomly met in such a sweet way.

She gave me some great recommendations for books and Lebanese films. Fantastic! And with that we all parted with best wishes for our respective journeys (but not without friend requests on Facebook of course).

Being in Carmel is almost like being in another country or some place where multiple worlds collide in the spirit of shared loves and experiences.

I could stay here longer if I didn’t have to go. But this I had to write down, because I want to always remember, beautiful moments as sweet as this. Good night world.

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