Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

June 22nd, 2009
The BIG Birthday Getaway :: Santa Barbara, pt.2


Cruising to Carmel

Back on Hwy 101 we’re heading for Carmel-by-the-Sea. It’s been ages since
I’ve been there. We parked in town and briefly peeped into the shops-
eyeballing inventory that looked oddly dated: old lady clothes, non- compelling souvenir stores, and an abundance of art galleries with painted seascapes that looked to be the consequence of wealthy townies with way to much time on their hands. We mostly enjoyed our walk along the street across from the beach, checking out (and in some case even trespassing for a quick window peep to check out the decor) some great bungalows.

Stretched and full of fresh air we drove 15 miles east outside of town to the glorious Bernardus Lodge.

At the gracious reception area we were offered a chilled glass of chardonnay from Ingrid’s Vineyard – an estate wine. The first of many nice touches. My sis swooned when she saw the oversized roses, huge hydrangeas and long-stemmed iris adorning the hall table. Were these blooms were on
‘roids or what? Nope, the concierge told us they were grown by the Flower Lady, a neighboring septuagenarian neighbor who was the reigning green thumb.

Details:
The 57 adobe-style guest rooms all have fireplaces, feather beds, super bathrooms (loved the “stretch bathtub”) and spacious balconies.
Complimentary bottles of red and white Bernardus wine, with fresh fruit and cheese, and munchies came in handy for an impromptu cocktails on our terrace.
Also on site: tennis, croquet bocce, 24 hr. fitness center, pretty pool and a seductive 5300 sq.ft. spa offering innovative treatments such as a special “Vineyard Romance Experience”.

Added Value:

Do NOT miss the fabulous artful chocolates made by the Ben Spungin. This innovative young pastry chef deserves his own label soon.

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