Allie and I passed through Carmel again to tie up loose ends before continuing back up to the Bay Area. In a little Carmel gift shop, some items spoke to me quite loudly:
Finally around 3:00, we set sail (in Allie’s Subaru) for points farther north. Allie revealed a serious collection of goodies, so we had snack time in the car:
I ate a plum (or two) and many slices of delicious Boars Head Swiss:
Along with some of this Sobe life water:
What I really wanted was real water, but that seemed to be in short supply throughout the entire trip!
We arrived in Allie’s little town of Benicia around 5:30, and she drove me around her neighborhood for a tour. Who knew California had so many quaint towns full of charming cottages?! I’ve visited tons of times before, but I really think this trip took the cake (hahhhhaaa) in terms of cottage quantity/quality. Allie’s abode definitely fit right into this charming category, and I immediately set myself up with some honeyed and milked yerba mate atop a vintage Quaker oats trivet and an equally vintage side table of sorts.
After a brief excursion out to Chris’s house for a visit, we headed back to Allie’s for a big-sister-prepared feast. Allie broke out a bottle of Tuscan herb olive oil and 20-year-aged balsamic vinegar from a recent Napa trip:
The precious goods made excellent dipping for toasty cheesy bread.
We followed our gourmet appetizer with this spaghetti and shrimp marinara:
Allie expertly dusted my bowl with red pepper flakes and parm:
For dessert, we split another treat from her Napa trip:
Dark chocolate-covered marzipan:
Cue collective YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Allie and I passed out by 10 and stayed out all the way until 9 the next morning! I had some nieces to visit next on my agenda, so I scrambled out of bed, threw my clothes on, and ferreted out half a grapefruit while Allie primped.
For our real breakfast, Allie pulled together one of the best meals of the entire trip!
She made a breakfast burrito consisting of eggs, gorgonzola, parmesan, tomatoes, fresh basil, onions, and peppers atop a whole wheat tortilla:
It was delicious and way hit the spot …
… especially alongside a baby juice shot of Odwalla B-Monster and more tea.
We were out the door by 11:10 and on our way to Fairfax for a visit with my nieces, my sister-in-law, and my fourth bed of the trip.
Do your vacations tend to morph into whirlwinds of activity, or do you limit them to relaxation time?