Surprise Trip to Carmel with Mom

It’s sure hard to keep a secret, but I’ve had this little mother daughter trip to Carmel planned for MONTHS. (note: I am the worst secret keeper ever. If you have something important resting on your soul, don’t tell me about it. Eat a piece of chocolate instead.)

The other day, I picked up my mom from the airport in San Francisco and just started driving south. About fifteen minutes in, mom goes, “So, are we just going straight home to your place to make dinner?” I couldn’t hold it in anymore so I said, “Actuallyyyy, there’s a change of plans. We’re going to Carmel for two nights and staying in a bed & breakfast right on the beach!”

{enter confused/astonished pause}

“You mean…just the two of us?!”

“Yes! Just the two of us. We’ll be there in two hours!”

“What???” <—another confused/astonished stare

This surprise was worth keeping my mouth shut.

For our quick girl’s trip, we stayed at The San Antonio House Inn.

Adam and I have stayed there before and, honestly, I wouldn’t stay any other place in Carmel. Ever. Why? Because it’s buy one night, get the next night free! Totally worth it AND a block from the ocean. It’s a little dated (think floral and “rustic cottage by the sea-like”) but I love how they bring warm blueberry muffins and hard boiled eggs in the morning straight to your room. It’s so cozy. Mom and I stayed in the “Dollhouse Suite”, which had two bedrooms and a little sitting area with a gas fireplace. My room was filled with dolls (only a teeny bit creepy) but had two twin beds and lots of little nooks and windows that opened up to the quiet neighborhood below. You can walk to both the ocean and the little village in under five minutes; it’s perfect!

Again, I highly recommend The San Antonio House Inn—-and no, they have no idea who I am and did not pay me to write that!

Right when we got there, we checked in and then headed to dinner at La Bicyclette. Adam and I ate there once after a camping trip and I just love it. It’s a great little French bistro with delicious pizzas made in the restaurant’s huge wood burning oven.

Mom had a cheese pizza and we got eggplant parmesan! Delicious but gave me awful heartburn.

Fried eggplant and tomato sauce? Heartburn? Go figure. That’s goat cheese fondue, though, on the bottom….it was delicious!

{toes in the sand}

We then went back to our room and went to bed at 9pm.

The next day, we both woke up at the crack of dawn (she was still on east coast time and I’m just a spaz and can’t sleep in). We headed out for an early morning walk + coffee.

{not the first time I’ve had my photo taken by this door. My hair is so much longer now though!}

Then, we ate the lovely breakfast above and headed out to Big Sur! We had lunch at Ventana and I ordered the steak soft tacos. They were the BEST steak tacos I’ve ever had. I should have known because last time we were there,Β  Adam ordered them and I just sat there and drooled while I ate my lettuce.

This time I knew what was up. No more messing around.

{Perfectly grilled steak. Mexican rice. Black beans. Pico. Guac. Arugula Slaw. Perfect corn tortillas that you can’t see}

I practically licked my plate clean. True story.

I also took mom to visit The Carmel Mission. If you ever get a chance, you must go visit this beautiful church. It was built in the 1770’s and really just takes your breath away.

Lots of Jesus trinkets to play with inside!

Later that day, I spotted this. It was over from there.

I love a good chocolate shop! I made a beeline for the chocolate covered sea salt caramels. What can I say? I know what I like.

And I like sea salt caramels.

A lot.

{afternoon snack}

For our last dinner, we are at Dametra Cafe. I was excited because this place has the number one Yelp reviews of any restaurant in the area and I had been dying to try it forever. Dametra is a tiny (total hole in the wall!) Mediterranean restaurant right on Ocean ave with a VERY personable staff that busts out the guitar and sings to you during your meal.

I had Cioppino for my meal and it was full of fish, mussels, clams and shrimp with a thick slice of garlic cheesy bread for dipping.

Mom had some sort of Greek chicken kabob that was fabulous. We both loved our meals and the service. It doesn’t help that their standard pour of wine is double what normal restaurants give. I can’t wait to take Adam back!

Both nights we were there, mom and I took cups of red wine to the beach and parked our butts in the sand to watch the sunset (along with the rest of the town). Such an amazing display of God’s beauty and creation.

I could never get sick of this view.

We had a fabulous short girl’s trip to Carmel!

I only get to see my mom a few times a year so I was especially thrilled to plan something special like this for us. Like I said, the secret keeping surprise was totally worth it.

Here’s a quick recap for any travelers out there:

We stayed: San Antonio House Inn

We ate: La Bicyclette, Ventana, Dametra Cafe (I’d also recommend Carmel Valley Roasting Co for coffee!)

We explored: the drive on Hwy 1 down to Big Sur, the village of Carmel by the Sea, the Anthropologie sale room, the Carmel Mission, the beach at sunset

{all the photos taken in this post were taken with my shattered iphone}




You Might Also Like

  • kat
    July 19, 2012 at 3:15 am

    ok! 2 things…..

    i’ve been meaning to ask forever..where are your glasses from?!

    And i cannot for the life of me find a chambray shirt…where’s yours from?!!!


    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 6:32 am

      My glasses are Valentino. Got ’em at my eye doctor with an amazing discount using my eye insurance. And the shirt is from Gap. πŸ™‚

    • Lindsay
      July 19, 2012 at 6:39 am

      Old Navy has some great (super affordable!) chambray shirts and even have them in talls, although I will say my tall was still not quite as long as I would have liked…

  • Lesley
    July 19, 2012 at 3:23 am

    The picture of you in the pink pants is amazing. You are beautiful!

  • Kathryn
    July 19, 2012 at 3:31 am

    We’re driving from LA to San Fran in the summer and have been looking for places to explore on the way – Carmel sounds perfect, thanks for the tips!

  • Jenn
    July 19, 2012 at 3:36 am

    I love the before picture when your hair was short. You looked so natural there and fresh-faced. You may not have been paid for the review – but you might get a free trip next time when they see your review! πŸ™‚

  • DessertForTwo
    July 19, 2012 at 4:31 am

    You are making me homesick. I took my parents to Carmel last year and they STILL can’t stop talking about it. And Big Sur?! Well, Big Sur is my favorite place in the entire world. Entire world. I’d rather be there than anywhere.

    Have fun with your mama πŸ™‚

  • Erin
    July 19, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Thanks for the B&B recommendation. Going to San Francisco to visit friends in the fall and we were talking about taking a weekend trip to Carmel — buy one, get one free on the hotel might be a clincher.

  • Karen Teague
    July 19, 2012 at 4:39 am

    It is usually moms making happy surprises for our kids, so nice to see mama getting the surprise, looks like a perfect get away for the two of you, have a wonderful time. Say “hi” to your mom.

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

      Will do, Karen!

  • Tessa
    July 19, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Beeeeee-utiful !!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    July 19, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Oh wow Jenna, I’m sure you’ve definitely earned ‘best daughter ever’ status in your mom’s mind!! What a fun little getaway! It looks like you ladies had a great time. I’ve never had Cioppino in my life but I love all of the seafood in it that you mentioned so I think I’ll be ordering it at my next opportunity!!

  • Emily
    July 19, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I love, love, love travel reviews! Sure, this could partly be because my blog is dedicated to traveling and living abroad, but I miss the States and California so much, that this post made me happy. I’ll be sure to check all of this out when I get back to Cali at some point!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    July 19, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Wow, you are so sweet!
    Also, nail polish color? I love it and need it!

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

      Color Club “Blue-My”–part of this month’s Birchbox!

      • Elizabeth
        July 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        I got the same color in my Birchbox – It looks great on you!

  • Amy
    July 19, 2012 at 5:15 am

    I think we are nail polish color twins! πŸ™‚ or at least super close…Essie Turquoise and Caicos?

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

      Color Club “Blue-My” πŸ™‚ But very similar!

  • Lisa
    July 19, 2012 at 5:26 am

    I love your hair long! So pretty! Question: Is it driving you crazy yet since you have always had short hair? lol Also tiny hole in the wall places have the BEST food!!! The trip looks amazing!!

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 6:30 am

      It’s kinda driving me crazy but I’m really trying to grow it out!

  • katie @KatieDid
    July 19, 2012 at 5:30 am

    gosh she’s lucky to have you as a daughter. What an amazing trip!

  • Ali @ Gimme Some Oven
    July 19, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I love it! What an incredible place to visit. πŸ™‚ Glad you two had a great time together!!

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance
    July 19, 2012 at 5:31 am

    What a fun surprise!!! The steak tacos from Ventana look AMAZING. I’m making a mental note of that place, for the next time I’m out there.

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    July 19, 2012 at 5:35 am

    What a great recap/review! Looks like you had an amazing trip… I canNOT wait to move back to California!

  • Lauren
    July 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Love my hometown!

    I worked at the Carmel Valley Coffee Roasters on Ocean all through high school.

  • Urban Wife
    July 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Awww! What a sweet, thoughtful gesture to your momma. You guys are gorgeous! And those sunsets…wow, they just about rival Florida beach sunsets. πŸ™‚

  • jessie
    July 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

    I love that you surprised your mom with a girls getaway weekend. What a sweet taugther. I’m so glad you two had such a wonderful time <3 All of your entrees look delicious, and that chocolate… wow, i want some of that!!

  • Kim
    July 19, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Love the teal colored watch you are wearing in the picture in front of the door. Where did you get it?

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 6:30 am


  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen
    July 19, 2012 at 5:49 am

    I can only dream some day one of my 3 daughters will do this for me πŸ™‚ Looks like you guys had a GREAT time!! It’s SO pretty there!

  • Anne W
    July 19, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Dametra’s is my family’s must-visit in Carmel! The brothers who own it are always so sweet and the food is amazing! Glad you posted about it!!!

  • elizabeth @ chronic venture
    July 19, 2012 at 5:57 am

    wow what an amazing surprise for your mom! it looks like you guys had a great time (an some delicious food obviously!)

  • Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    July 19, 2012 at 5:58 am

    the pictures from your trip look amazing! what a nice surprise!

  • Julie
    July 19, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Jenna! What is the nail polish color/brand? I’ve been searching for one JUST like that and have tried so, so many that aren’t right … I love your “jean” button down as well! I have one just the same, it’s a staple πŸ™‚

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 6:29 am

      It’s called “Blue-My” from Color Club. It was part of my Birchbox this month!

  • brandi / branappetit
    July 19, 2012 at 6:10 am

    how fun! i’ve only been to Carmel twice, and for VERY short trips (one JUST to watch the sunset on the beach and one just for lunch) but I have been to La Bicyclette and it’s incredible.

    sounds like a fun mom/daughter trip πŸ™‚

  • Jenn
    July 19, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Time for a “closet” post! πŸ˜‰

  • Anja
    July 19, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Wow, that is such a lovely post! I will probably not make it there since I am from Germany but it is a lovely idea for a nice and very special surprise for someone you love.

  • Mel
    July 19, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Such a nice surprise for your Mom!

    My Mom and I took a girls trip to Big Sur last February, and ended up stopping at one of the beaches in Camel- so beautiful! I’ve never stayed in a Bed & Breakfast before, but they sound like the way to go. Also that eggplant parmesean looks sooooo good! And goat cheese fondue? Get out of town!

  • Marissa@ohhhsolovely
    July 19, 2012 at 6:40 am

    mom/daughter time is! and carmel is such a fabulous place! this post makes me want to visit again really soon. your momma is so cute too!!

  • eppie
    July 19, 2012 at 6:41 am

    What is the name of the spot that sells the yummy chocolates and pastries? My husband and I will be in Carmel later this year, and I don’t think we could forgive ourselves if we visited Carmel and didn’t satisfy our sweet tooth with something from that delicious spread!

    • Sarah
      July 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

      I grew up around Carmel, and it looks like Cottage of Sweets on Ocean Ave. in Carmel. Cute place!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    July 19, 2012 at 6:42 am

    This place looks ridiculously awesome! I love road trips with my Mom…so special.

  • marisa
    July 19, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Love Dametra!! Might have to check out the San Antonio Inn. Thanks for the recommendations.

  • Kay
    July 19, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Oh, super! What a wonderful time!! Your mom must just love this precious time with you!! Say hello to her for me!

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    July 19, 2012 at 7:13 am

    What a fun trip with your mom! My mom is here visiting me too, and this is giving me an idea… And yes, beautiful sunset!

  • Nancy~ The Wife of a Dairyman
    July 19, 2012 at 7:21 am

    What a wonderful surprise for your visiting Mom! Sounds/looks like fabulous memories made πŸ™‚ Carmel is a magical place.

  • @hilaryfleming
    July 19, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I love Carmel. We went on our honeymoon there. Next time you go, check out Portobello. It’s in a little French cottage looking place close to the Anthropology and shipping. We always go for lunch because it’s $$$ but the food is delish and service is amazing. What a great mom-daughter outing!

    • @hilaryfleming
      July 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

      *other shopping not shipping

  • The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    July 19, 2012 at 7:52 am

    This is the 2nd Carmel post I’ve seen this week. We went 2 years ago and love it there. Great, now I’m going to have to back. *Darn*

  • Lily O' Dare @ Candied-Life
    July 19, 2012 at 7:56 am

    missing my mom so much right now!! i love that you surprised her. i can picture how happy and delighted my mom would be if i did that to her. your trip sounds dreamy and i love the entrance to the dollhouse suite!

    funny enough, i’m staying at a friend’s property/farm/barn/beautiful house in goshen, vermont and the bedroom i’m staying in is filled with dolls!!! a little weird, especially this one with very ratted hair, but at the same time it makes me feel girly. this trip came at the perfect time because i was starting to get that concrete chaos claustrophobia feeling in nyc. enjoying every minute of baking, sleeping, wondering, cooking, reading, blogging, and gardening while i can (till sunday).

    glad you and your mom could share such a wonderful two nights together! that sea salt caramel became a topic of conversation in the car ride home from a pizza parlor nearby (it was on my insta feed) delicious!!

  • Jacqueline
    July 19, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Aww this looks like so much fun!!!! I think it’s so sweet how you made your visit extra special by taking your mom to Carmel. And all that food looks sooo good. I’m adding Carmel to my list of places I’d like to go someday!! Glad you had such a great time!

  • Katie
    July 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

    This is awesome for my cali roadtrip I have planned this summer!!! I’m confused. Were the chocolates from the church?

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Nope–a chocolate shop in the Village. (I don’t know the name of the shop)

  • Ashley
    July 19, 2012 at 8:06 am

    What an amazing little trip you planned! I cannot wait to do something similar with my mom at some point. She would love it! — The b+b sounds totally charming and the restaurants sound fantastic as well. If I had to survive on one type of chocolate to eat for the rest of my life it would be dark chocolate caramels with sea salt. For sure! Also, I want your pink pants! Lovely photo. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah
    July 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

    This is so much fun! My mom is my best friend and a girls getaway would be the best thing ever! I am definitely keeping this in mind next time I am in California. And love all your outfits!

  • Ashley
    July 19, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Cool trip and great job on the surprise! Two questions. I love your glasses! What brand are they? I love your nail polish! Where does a girl go to get her hands on that? Thanks!

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 8:24 am

      My glasses are Valentino and I got them at my eye doctor. My polish is “Blue-My” from Color Club πŸ™‚

      • Ashley
        July 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

        Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks
    July 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

    This. Is. Incredible.

  • kim@hungryhealthygirl
    July 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

    You and your mom are beautiful and I love your pink jeans! What a great trip….makes me want to plan one for my mom and I. The dollhouse suite looks adorable. Thanks for sharing!

  • Heather {ModernMealsforTwo}
    July 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Sounds like an awesome time!

  • Sonia the Mexigarian
    July 19, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I love Carmel and the Monterey Coast. I don’t go down there as often as I should. Sounds like you had a lovely time with your mom. So sweet of you to treat her to such a lovely vaca πŸ™‚

    Now I want caramel and chocolate.

  • Cait's Plate
    July 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Aw, what a nice daughter you are πŸ™‚ I’m the worst at keeping secrets as well – it’s SO SO hard because I get too excited about my surprises for people.

  • Karen
    July 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Love your style! Those pants are awesome! And I love the watch and bracelet!

  • Vicki
    July 19, 2012 at 9:07 am

    That is just the sweetest thing ever. I love vacations with just my mom. She and I went to Maui about 13 years ago… I think we’re past-due something like this!!! I got all weepy just thinking about what a sweet surprise you’d planned! yay you!

    oh! and p.s. I’ve only been to Carmel once and I’m pretty sure that’s what God has in mind for me for heaven – at least I’m a-hopin’! Such a perfect place.

  • Susan
    July 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Looks like such an awesome trip! Hope y’all are enjoying your time together! I can’t seem to find your OpenSky shop – do you still have it?

    • jenna
      July 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I don’t. It hasn’t been in operation since 2010, actually!

  • Jessica @ New Girl, New City
    July 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Breathtaking views!! I love mommy/daughter time!

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama
    July 19, 2012 at 9:49 am

    What a fun trip! I love seeing kids taking vacations with their parents and acting as best friends. So glad that you two still get to see each other even though you are so far away. Love this post, Jenna!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    July 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Jenna I love this post. The views, the time with your mom, the caramel!!, that very awesome rustic door, all the things you and your mom did together; fast forward 20 years and I hope to god my daughter will think I am cool enough to want to go on a road trip with me πŸ™‚

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    July 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

    How fun! I’d love to do that with my mom sometime. She is 1/2 way across the country and we only get to see each other a few times a year. But now that there’s grandkids involved, I’m sure I couldn’t get her to spend any time away from them when she visits!

  • Ingrid
    July 19, 2012 at 10:20 am

    i LOVE your pink jeans! where are they from?

  • Becky
    July 19, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Oh, wow! What a great surprise! I am now craving a chocolate-covered sea salt caramel. Or 10. And that sunset is amazing! Glad you guys had a great trip!

  • Sam
    July 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I love reading your posts but its hard to take it seriously when you end them with calling a sunset God’s creation. I know you are religious and have wonderful faith in that but for your readers who don’t believe sunsets and oceans were created by God..I would appreciate you not making those references so I can continue to read every blog post with enjoyment and trust.

    • M
      July 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Are you saying Jenna should only write and say things that her readers can agree with her on?

      • Melissa
        July 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

        Wow…Sam, I’m not religious by any means but your comment blew me away! I’m sorry but…that was way out of line. Jenna’s religious beliefs don’t conflicts with her remarkable insights into her own travels and experiences. It’s your choice whether or not to read her blog but to blast her on her own blog is inappropriate.

    • Dana
      July 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Sam- I think your comment is valid, although it is Jenna’s blog and therefor she should be able to write about her beliefs in any context she wants and if you don’t want to read it or if it offends you then don’t read it! πŸ™‚ Just saying!

    • Michelle
      July 20, 2012 at 5:54 am

      I think that is unfair. If a person wants to sound out their appreciation to God it they should not have to hide it, just because others disagree. It would be enough to say you don’t agree with that comment but to ask someone to not mention it all is just ridiculous.

      • Anne
        July 20, 2012 at 9:19 am

        Well, I have to admit the one thing that disturb me in this blog is all the rerefences to god, church and bla bla bla. Same thing with other blogs that I have stopped reading because of that. Religion is personal, private, and I don’t want to know about it.

        • Sam
          July 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

          I was not blasting her! I really enjoy all her stories and pictures and I love this blog. I am a huge supporter of her. However, I find it offensive when people relate everything to God instead of science, nature, etc. Anne put it correctly in stating Religion is personal and private. I never thought of this blog as religious but I have been getting the feeling lately that it is turning into one and I would like to continue reading it without having to deal with uncomfortable comments.

          • Sam
            July 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

            However- I do not want to detract from a wonderful blog post- so I would like to just leave my comment as it is and not gather any more negativity towards it, and sure I am entitled to my position as well as the author- I know that. I will just be reading now for the recipes!

  • Ashley
    July 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

    What a lovely weekend! So nice of you to treat your mother! I would love to go to Carmel.

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    July 19, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I’m sure your mom appreciated the trip, that is so sweet of you – would love to take my mom on a similar sort of trip someday.

    Although I have to say, sleeping in a room full of dolls would trip me out way too much. That’s a tad creepy.

  • Em
    July 19, 2012 at 11:16 am

    So fun to read this post! I just forwarded it on to my momma! We took a trip together to Cali and Carmel last summer. Lovely to remember!

  • Jenn
    July 19, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Is that the 1969 classic western from gap?

  • Laurel
    July 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Ahhh! My favorite place in the world! I haven’t stayed at the San Antonio yet but will definitely check it a future trip. We usually stay at the Svensgaard Inn which is a bit further up the hill but affordable and often has great deals. Next time you’re in town, there is a little bakery, I think it was called Pastries and . They serve delicious lunch plates and sweet little desserts with mini rose atop. Hidden gem! Definitely worth a stop! πŸ™‚

  • domonique @ a bowl full of simple
    July 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

    love it! short and sweet. sometimes just what the soul needs.

  • Candice
    July 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I lost my mom 2 years ago and I miss my best friend daily. Treasure every moment and make more great memories!

  • Danielle
    July 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Beautiful, Jenna. All of it!

  • Christine @ The Pantry Drawer
    July 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    that looks incredible! I want to recreate that for myself asap! I was actually going to go to Carmel a couple of weeks ago but we opted for Sausalito instead (it was a bit less expensive). But I think next time we’ll definitely have to make the trip to Carmel…

  • Christine @ The Pantry Drawer
    July 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    PS. LOVE the outfit!

  • Belinda
    July 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I just happen to be going to Carmel in September with my hubby, mom and dad and 2 sets of aunts and uncles. My hubby and I hadn’t booked a room yet, but now we have, thanks to you πŸ™‚ We’ll be staying at the San Antonio House Inn, even more perfect, because I’m from San Antonio but live in Oklahoma, and miss SA, TX terribly. This was a perfectly timed post, and I’m so excited to do the things you talked about and visit the places you went, especially the Carmel Mission and the sea-salt covered caramels πŸ™‚

  • Liz (formerly VeggieGirl)
    July 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Jenna, this is absolutely incredible!! What a nice surprise and getaway for you and your dear mom πŸ™‚

    Sorry about the heartburn though – at least that was just one blip in the fabulous trip!

  • Becky White
    July 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I read every comment to see if you answered my question…but no πŸ™‚ Where did you get your necklace? I love the pearl/dangly thing going on there. And the rest of you is gorgeous as well! Love your blog, keep the posts coming πŸ™‚

    • Kristen
      July 25, 2012 at 7:04 am

      I saw this original question (and was glad you asked! such a pretty necklace)….I came back to see if she had the time yet to answer. i’ll check back!!



      • jenna
        July 25, 2012 at 7:28 am

        Sorry, girls! I didn’t see this. My necklace is from Forever 21 and my mom’s is from Stella & Dot πŸ™‚

        • Kristen
          July 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

          Thanks, friend! πŸ™‚

  • Elle @ nutritionella
    July 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    A surprise trip to Carmel!? Amazing. My fiancΓ© and I ate at La Bicyclette when we were visiting and it was delicious… love the cozy atmosphere too. Glad you had a wonderful time!

  • Elle @ nutritionella
    July 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    A surprise trip to Carmel!? Amazing. My fiancΓ© and I ate at La Bicyclette when we were visiting and it was delicious… love the cozy atmosphere too. Glad you had a wonderful time!

  • Holly
    July 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    We went to Carmel last December and LOVED Dametra…and we wished we went there for our second dinner instead of the upscale seafood place we chose! We also loved the little rooftop lounge on top of Vesuvio restaurant πŸ™‚

  • Keri
    July 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I just moved to Monterey with my family,and we visited Carmel last weekend. Such a fun place! Can’t wait to explore more. And I def had that same piece of chocolate when I was there!

  • Kerri
    July 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Stunning! And that chocolate shop looks AMAZING. It looks really beautiful there and I think it’s really sweet that it was just you and your mom.

  • rachel
    July 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    love this post! it’s fun visiting the same place with different people you love and making new discoveries, such great memories to treasure!

  • Dana
    July 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Looks like you guys had so much fun! The picture of you by the door is so pretty- I love your haircut and glasses they totally suit you. When Im older Im going to surprise my mom with a trip like this. Just need to turn 16 and get that darn drivers license πŸ™‚ It was so sweet of you- and ps you have me drooling over the salted caramel!
    Have a good weekend Jenna!
    Love from Canada!!

  • Alyssa
    July 20, 2012 at 6:45 am

    You are so beautiful!

  • Jean
    July 20, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us! So glad you got to spend some time with your mom. I think I need to check flights to Carmel soon…maybe I’ll just do that right now!

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See
    July 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Awww I LOVE going on girls trips with my mom πŸ™‚ We’re always totally on the same page!

  • Doris @ vanillacocoberry
    July 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    jenna I cant say it enough .. those glasses suit you reallyy well!!

  • Katie R
    July 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Next time you must try Il Vecchio in Pacific Grove! Great spot!

  • JulieD
    July 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    So beautiful, Jenna. And I still feel terrible about your shattered iPhone. xoxo

  • Sara
    July 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm


    Stumbled across your blog today and wanted to say that I think it’s the greatest. I thought it was love when I saw the blueberry mojitos but then I saw this post! I’m also from Northern California and happen to have a sweet spot for Carmel and Big Sur. Plus, you named my favorite restaurants… la bicyclette has an amazing bread pudding and dametra has the best veggie pizza – literally, years later, I dream of it.

    So excited to read more!


  • Moni Meals
    July 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Yay!! Great pics, what a lovely trip you both had!

  • luv what you do
    July 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Wow, my mom and i could use a weekend like that. I will have to plan a surprise trip for us. How special!!!

  • Heidi
    July 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Loved this post! I sent it to my boyfriend and told him “this is what we’re doing for my bday in December!”. I gave up shopping for new years but was wondering where the anthropologie was that you went to? And the mission?! I have a goal to visit all the CA missions. Can’t wait to do this πŸ™‚

  • The Long Drive Home β€” Eat, Live, Run
    July 21, 2012 at 3:13 am

    […] so the drive was supposed to only be two hours home from Carmel. But…..we made a few […]

  • Amanda (modernation)
    July 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Love Carmel. We went for the first time a month ago. We had the best time. There is a little cheese shop downtown that I totally recommend. They give you so many samples! And we ate at Mundaka which was a tapas place – yummy!

  • Kim
    July 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Beautiful pics!! Wow, it looks like such an awesome trip! That is an awesome surprise for your mom. And couldn’t agree with you more on the sunset. I kept thinking the same thing when we were in California last year.

  • Summer Fattoush Salad β€” Eat, Live, Run
    July 23, 2012 at 6:53 am

    […] I was lucky enough to attend a conference by Dole in beautiful Carmel, California. I had planned mom’s surprise trip to Carmel right before I found out about the Dole trip to Carmel, but I definitely wasn’t […]

  • Kristen
    August 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Just booked this for my birthday weekend! Am so excited to drive up the coast, and explore this little town and Inn!