TRAVEL | Alameda Point Antiques Faire

Earlier this month, I ventured out to the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. It’s held the first Sunday of every month with scaffolded pricing. The earlier you go, the more expensive. I didn’t get that at first, so I went for the $5 admission, which was after 9am.

Once I got there, I realized why. EVERYONE is bustling and grabbing the great deals early in the morning!!! It was way busier and packed than I expected. I’ve been to the San Jose Flea Market before and it’s dwindled since I remember going as a kid. I thought it’d be like that, but NOPE. I guess Alameda’s Flea market is the place to go!

I wasn’t searching for anything in particular, but it was fun looking at all the stuff that was there. There were tons of vendors with a lot of useful stuff. I was looking for some cool lettering things or antique art supplies, but didn’t find much. I was also looking for  Le Crueset  dutch oven to add to my kitchen!

My favorite as you’ll see were the record players, suitcases, and vintage signage! I like the idea of having those suitcases stacked in my living room because it doubles as STORAGE, but looks presentable! What do you look for when you’re thrifting?

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TRAVEL | Carmel, CA

The last time I visited Monterey/Carmel back in April 2015, I did the Pebble Beach and Point Lobos State Park things. It was more of an explorer and adventure trip. This time my focus was relaxation.

There are many places for coffee/pastries, but I decided to go with a place that many locals go to. I grabbed lunch, but missed out on getting their angelwings and raspberry croissants. Evidently, they only bake it once a day and they’re sold out by 10am. Next time!

Paris Bakery Monterey

I won’t stop raving about the French Onion Soup. The broiled crispy bread.. but unlike many places I’ve ordered the soup, Paris Bakery puts 2 layers of bread, so you have enough for the whole cup of soup. The broth was definitely well flavored. Gosh, this is what dreams are made of.Paris Bakery Monterey Pesto Chicken French Onion Soup Paris Bakery Monterey

I also went to Monterey Fish House instead of the Fisherman’s Grotto, despite it having fewer reviews on Yelp. I don’t really eat seafood because I have allergies to shrimp and lobster specifically. One thing I CAN eat are scallops, and so, I naturally got the scallop pesto linguine with vodka sauce. It was tasty and there were many Bay scallops. Monterey Fish House Scallop Linguine

A got the Sicilian Holiday Pasta. He said it had a LOT of seafood in it. “A piece for every bite of pasta”. I think there were clams, mussels, shrimp, squid/calamari, and 2 big pieces of salmon. Monterey Fish House Seafood Holiday Pasta

A hole in the wall place we tried out was Baldemiro’s Taco Shop. It was 2 streets down from the AirBnB. It was pretty good! I love tacos from taco trucks, but they don’t always load up the meat and toppings. Baldemiro’s DOES. I mean.. A’s tacos had 3-4 shrimp on EACH TACO. Baldemiro's Taco Shop tacos

Lastly, Carmel Beach. I’m not the biggest fan of Carmel downtown. It’s cute and quaint. I enjoy grabbing coffee and a pastry and sitting in the patio area at Carmel Coffee House on Ocean. It’s tucked into an alley, but if feels like Pike’s Place a little. It was overcast on beach day, but it was still beautiful nonetheless. I could spend forever on that beach and its soft white sand. Carmel Beach Carmel Beach Panorama

What are your favorite spots when you’re in the Monterey/Carmel area?

Ann

TRAVEL | Monterey, CA

One of the biggest attractions in Monterey is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I haven’t been since I was maybe 10, so I decided to pay a visit this time around. The AirBnB I rented had guest membership cards, which is really what made me choose it in the end. Admission for an adult is $50, so it’s a steep admission if you ask me.

I got there late morning and it was already bustling. It’s definitely smaller than I remembered, but I went through each exhibit slowly. I really enjoyed the huge tank with the sharks and seeing all the jellyfish! After that, you can walk down the stretch of Cannery Row and even dip your toes in the Bay along the way (you’ll see a beach entrance area). IMG_2345-2monterey bay aquarium shark tank monterey bay aquarium otter monterey bay aquarium seahorse monterey bay aquarium shrimp monterey bay aquarium touch tank monterey bay aquarium otter feed monterey bay aquarium monterey bay aquarium octopus
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Next post, CARMEL! (and food pictures.. of course).

Ann

TRAVEL | Capitola, CA

On the way down to Monterey, I love stopping in downtown Santa Cruz for a coffee break or a stretch break. I love Verve Coffee and the Penny Ice Creamery (which serves Verve Coffee ice cream!).

My 2 favorite shops are Stripe (they have a men and a womens a few stores down). They take such care to decorate their store and it’s curated so well. It helps also that everything in those stores are in my style aesthetic, I’ll be honest. It’s a great place to pick up gifts for others or something special for yourself! They have home goods, cards, clothes, hats, and even sunnies!

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Less than 15 minutes away is Capitola, which is the home of the infamous row of colored houses. Parking is not easy to come by at the beach front, but that’s to be said about any beach, right? This time, I took my chances to see if there was parking and to my surprise, I found a spot right in front of Mr. Toots Coffee House. I’d never noticed this place before, but they had a sign outside advertising “Free Wifi” and “a great view”. I guess you could always eat at the restaurants on the waterfront or head down to the beach, but it sure is relaxing to be on your laptop doing work and still get a great view! There are only 2 tables on the terrace, so cross your fingers and hope they aren’t taken!

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Capitola State Beach is much less crowded and low key than Santa Cruz Beach (Boardwalk), so if you’re into a day on the beach out on the sand, I’d suggest to head over to Capitola. And hey, if you’re not feelin’ Capitola when you arrive, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is only about 15 minutes away!

Capitola Beach

5 Must Know Tips for Packing Light & Sample Pack List for Monterey/Carmel, CA

Friends, after I made this pack list on Polyvore, I saw the pack list for my solo trip to San Diego back in April… and gosh, it looks so similar to this. I am pretty convinced I might be the most basic person ever.  Then again, I’ve whittled my wardrobe down to a small number of items, so I’m playing with mixing and matching with my minimal closet…
I know I keep saying it, but pairing down to a capsule closet of basic essentials and quality pieces is so great. Packing is always a breeze and I take 20 minutes max to do it. Serious.
Monterey/Carmel is going to be mid to high 60s, and with it being by the coast, I’m thinking warm, but breezy day time and chilly evenings.  I’m spending time at the beach and hiking/explore equally, so I chose to bring layering pieces (vest over sweater over tank top). Comfort is always key for me.
Tips for packing light when you don’t have a minimalist closet:
1) Plan outings/things to do beforehand, so you know what kind of things you’ll be wearing. If you’re going on a romantic getaway or a girls trip, you’ll probably want to bring something a little more dressed up (black dress instead of grey), a statement necklace, a elevated jacket, and either heels or fancier sandals. You get the gist.
2)Choose a neutral, whether it’s black, grey, white, navy, or brown/beige. Stick to 1, but really don’t go more than 3.
3) Choose an accent color. Here, I chose army green to ground all my other pieces and add interest. If you simply cannot decide on ONE color, decide between cool or warm colors. Bring pieces that are all in the same color family.
4) Choose pieces that are not fussy or don’t wrinkle easily!
5) Choose pieces that layer well together. You never know about weather and also, layering creates texture and depth, which in turn add interest to outfits.
See you in Monterey!

 

Road Trip: Monterey x Carmel

I’m taking a quick trip down to Monterey and Carmel this week! It was sort of a last minute trip before the school year starts, so I didn’t have many choices with my budget for AirBnB. I DID find a gem of a place that offered a free ticket to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! That got me sold, knowing that an admission ticket is $50.

The purpose for this trip is simply some R&R and getting outdoors and taking it slow. I’ve been doing a lot of product development and work for Adventure of Letters. That means I’m sitting at my desk either on my computer or drawing, so my neck and back are really taking a beating, even with stretching and getting up! Next post will be a packing light post for my trip! Stay tuned…

A